NSAIDs Deplete Glutathione

Posted On: September 6, 2017


Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
Updated: March 16, 2020

Millions of doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are taken by Americans every day, primarily to suppress inflammation and pain.

Studies have been published which report that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs cause a depletion of glutathione levels.[1],[2],[3]  Commonly used NSAIDs include: ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), naproxen (Aleve), piroxicam (Feldene) and ketoprofen (Orudis) as well as many prescription strength NSAID.

Glutathione is well known as the Master Antioxidant, a key regulator of the immune system and one of the most important agents in managing detoxification throughout the body. There are studies linking virtually every form of chronic degenerative disease with low levels of glutathione.  Drs. John Richie and Calvin Lang proposed the Glutathione Deficiency Hypothesis and propose that low levels of glutathione are a key factor in the aging process.[4] In every species of animals tested, raising glutathione levels has resulted in improved health and increased longevity….ie. life extension.

Be Proactive and Boost Your Glutathione Levels

Anything that depletes glutathione levels will result in increased free radical

damage, a weakened immune system and greater accumulation of toxins in the body. Glutathione is now recognized as a reliable BioMarker of Aging and boosting glutathione levels is one of the most important proactive steps people can take to improve their health and quality of life.

There are several ways to boost glutathione levels. Nutritional precursors for glutathione synthesis include N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), lipoic acid, selenium and the herb milk thistle.  Active glutathione (also known as reduced glutathione) can be administered intravenously (IV), in a nebulizer and orally in liposomal delivery systems.

Boosting Glutathione with Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3

In 1995 a unique strain of probiotic bacteria named Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 (often referred to simply as ME-3) was found to synthesize glutathione. In a human clinical trial, individuals taking ME-3 gained a remarkable 49% increase in the ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione.[5]  Hence, products containing Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 have recently attracted world-wide recognition as the fastest and most efficient way to reliably boost glutathione levels on a daily basis.

Where to buy probiotics with ME-3

Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 is available in products under the brand name Reg’Activ®.  Detox & Liver Health® is the best choice to help support your liver detoxification pathways and to protect against exposure to mycotoxins. A daily dose (2 capsules) of Detox & Liver Health® contains 6 billion viable ME-3 bacteria, which is the equivalent of ingesting 6 billion little glutathione “manufacturing plants” daily that are constantly producing glutathione. The Detox & Liver Health® formula also contains selenium, N-acetyl cysteine, methionine and the herb milk thistle as supplemental ingredients, which aid in the production of glutathione.


[1] Shimizu M., et al. Correlation between the physicochemical property of some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and changes in adenosine triphosphate, glutathione and hemoglobin in rat erythrocytes. Biol Pharm Bull. 2003 Aug;26(8):1155-65.
[2] Michell L., et al. Effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on glutathione levels in various organs of rat. Agents Actions. 1992;Spec No:C106-8.
[3] Yokoyama H., et al. Glutathione disulfide formation during naproxen metabolism in the isolated rat hepatocytes. Res Commun Mol Pathol harmacol. 1988 Feb;99(2):143-54.
[4] Richie JP, et al. Correction of a glutathione deficiency in the aging mosquito increases its longevity. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1987 Jan;184(1):113-7.
[5] Mikelsaar M, Zilmer M., Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 – an antimicrobial and antioxidative probiotic. Microb Ecol Health Dis. 2009 Apr; 21(1): 1–27.