By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
Scientific Director, Essential Formulas
(NAFLD) has been a ‘silent epidemic’ and is now recognized as a global health crisis.i It is interesting to compare COVID-19 with NAFLD. COVID-19 was a rapid-onset health crisis that resulted in a fast global emergency response. However, NAFLD is a chronic disease with a gradual onset. Consequently, many people are either complacent or unaware of its signs and symptoms.
An article published in Scientific American announced that NAFLD is one of America’s most significant health risks.ii Globally, NAFLD is the most common liver disease in human history, and current estimates suggest that NAFLD currently affects nearly two billion people globally.iii This means that approximately 25% of people worldwide are affected by NAFLD.iv
Glutathione’s Role in NAFLD
Increased levels of oxidative stress and free radical damage play a vital role in the development and progression of NAFLD.v The liver is the primary organ responsible for detoxification, and liver tissues have the highest glutathione levels in the body. Numerous studies have reported that patients with NAFLD have low levels of Glutathione.vi
Many health problems are associated with increased risks of developing NAFLD, such as obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.vii Also, numerous lifestyle and environmental factors deplete glutathione levels, increasing risks for developing NAFLD. These glutathione-depleting factors include nutrient deficiencies, a sedentary lifestyle, alcohol consumption, OTC and prescription drugs, especially those containing acetaminophen, and exposure to agricultural chemicals, mycotoxins, and other environmental toxins.viii,ix,x,xi
The use of Glutathione to treat diseases constitutes medical practice, which means physicians can only order it. Until recently, glutathione supplements were not available because Glutathione is not well absorbed when taken orally.xii Consequently, the general public isn’t nearly as aware of Glutathione compared to high-profile supplements like vitamin C, vitamin D, and omega-3 fish oils. However, Glutathione is beginning to ‘garner more respect’ as information about the importance of Glutathione continues to be publicized.
When it comes to nutritional supplements, increasing glutathione level is one of the most important proactive steps. Beyond NAFLD, boosting Glutathione helps reduce risks associated with many other diseases and improves overall health. Glutathione levels are now recognized as a reliable biomarker of aging.xiii
Even though oral glutathione supplements are generally not well absorbed, one human clinical trial did report a positive outcome. In this study, patients with NAFLD took 300 mg of Glutathione daily for four months, which resulted in an average 12.9% decline in the critical liver enzyme known as ALT.xiv However, in this trial, the patients underwent a 3-month program of diet and lifestyle improvements before taking the glutathione supplement daily for four months. Thus, improvements in liver enzymes could have been due to 3-months of diet and lifestyle changes rather than the 4-months of oral glutathione supplementation.
Results from a study titled Glutathione: in Sickness and in Health revealed that the body’s production of glutathione declines as people age and that glutathione levels are also directly proportional to health status.xv The results of this study revealed that healthy young people have higher glutathione levels than healthy older adults. Also, healthy older adults had substantially higher glutathione levels than elderly people with chronic or acute health problems. However, because orally ingested Glutathione gets destroyed before it can be absorbed, very few studies have been conducted using oral glutathione supplements.xvi
The Glutathione Revolution: Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3
About 20 years ago, a revolutionary breakthrough occurred when scientists discovered a strain of probiotic bacteria named Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 that synthesizes Glutathione.xvii Although oral glutathione supplements are not effectively absorbed, taking capsules containing Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 has been proven to be a very effective method of boosting plasma glutathione levels. Human clinical trials have documented the effectiveness of ingesting capsules containing Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3. Benefits of orally taking ME-3 include the following:
Reg’Activ® is the brand name for products that contain Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3. Essential Formulas has the sole right to distribute Reg’Activ products in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. There are four Reg’Activ formulations. Detox & Liver Health™, Immune & Vitality™, and CardioWellness™ each contain several additional ingredients, and the recommended dose is two capsules daily. A fourth formulation named Essential ME-3 contains Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3, and the recommended dose is one capsule daily.
Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 is Acid Tolerant
Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 is not destroyed by stomach acid, and digestive enzymes like oral glutathione supplements do.xxi This is a critical feature regarding Reg’Activ products because it means the Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 bacteria are not killed when exposed to harsh stomach acid and pancreatic digestive enzymes. When the Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 passes through the stomach and arrives in the small intestine, they produce glutathione 24/7. This means that consumers have an easy-to-take capsule that can be taken daily and effectively boosts their glutathione levels. This is a revolutionary breakthrough in health and medicine.
No other product has shown the health benefits that have been reported in human clinical trials with Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3. Thus, taking one of the Reg’Activ products every day is an effective way to boost glutathione levels and help improve overall health. Reg’Activ products can be purchased at most fine health food and vitamin stores or www.essentialformulas.com.