Glutathione is a “master” antioxidant in your body, far outstripping the importance of any antioxidant you can take by mouth. It has multiple functions:
A study out this year by Dr. Zine Kechrid and colleagues showed that vitamin D supplementation in rats dramatically increased the amount of glutathione in the liver. The Vitamin D supplemented rats tripled the amount of liver glutathione over the vitamin D deficient rats.
Kechrid Z, Hamdi M, Nazıroğlu M, Flores-Arce M. Biol Trace Elem Res. Vitamin D Supplementation Modulates Blood and Tissue Zinc, Liver Glutathione and Blood Biochemical Parameters in Diabetic Rats on a Zinc-Deficient Diet.2012 Mar 14. [Epub ahead of print]
We know the liver is the major site of detoxification and antioxidant activity, so certainly these finding portend well for vitamin D sufficient patients with liver disease. We also know that vitamin D increases glutathione in the brain, where it functions as listed above, portending well for those with brain disease.
In addition, the Kechrid study showed the importance of taking zinc together with vitamin D, as zinc deficient rats given vitamin D did not make as much glutathione as zinc sufficient rats. The incidence of low zinc intake in the world and its importance to the human body is enormous.
That’s why we recommend that you take at least 10 mg of zinc with your vitamin D, such as contained in the Vitamin D Council’s approved D-Plus.