Put a damper on inflammation

At the site of any organ or tissue damage, there is inflammation. Long term chronic disease is often a result of chronic inflammatory processes that involve reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Oxidative stress occurs in the body when free radical cause a large chain of chemical reactions. Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), a biomarker on a laboratory liver panel blood test, is a signaling factor of this chain of chemical reactions. One may request blood work for liver enzymes, including GGT at their primary care provider – this includes a naturopathic doctor.

Whether GGT acts as harmful (pro-oxidant) or protective (antioxidant) depends on the situation. And when out of balance, whether too high or too low, diseased states are recognized.

Out of forty-four chronic disease states, higher levels of GGT, even if they are within the normal range, are found in thirty-eight of them. This includes cardiovascular mortality, stroke, T2DM, metabolic syndrome, higher levels of hypersensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), low adiponectin, the presence of chronic kidney disease (CKD), and hepatic steatosis.

Diseases with significantly decreased GGT activities include knee-joint degenerative disease, gastric cancer, cervical cancer, cystic fibrosis, HIV, emphysema, asthma, some allergic disorders, drug toxicity, autism, metabolic disorders, renal cyst, preeclampsia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Huntington’s Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis (MS), and schizophrenia.

Balance is key.

Glutathione is an antioxidant and plays several critical roles in cellular physiology: DNA and protein synthesis, amino acid transport, enzyme activation, immune system function, scavenging free radicals like hydrogen peroxide, cofactor in Phase I cytochrome P450 enzyme-mediated detoxification, amino acid translocation across cell membranes, detoxification of estrogen like environmental toxicity (xenobiotics), maintenance of sulfhydryl groups of proteins, mitochondrial function and maintenance of mitochondrial DNA, and catalysis of many exchange reactions. It inhibits prostaglandin synthesis at elevated levels, chelates reactive metals and facilitates their transport across cell membranes, participates in rejoining of X-ray induced DNA strand breaks, and promotes myelin maturation.

GGT is naturally refreshed inside the cells and synthesized in the body as part of a major redox system. The ability to synthesize it apparently declines with age. Magnesium, B6, proper thyroid levels, vitamin C, N-acetyl-cysteine, and glutathione all contribute to healthy levels of GGT.

Glutathione is relatively nontoxic, its lethal dose being quite high, and is overall well tolerated and safe. Uncontrolled high IV doses for long periods of time may cause toxicity and promote risks like zinc depletion, hypersensitivity, drug interactions, and teratogenicity. Side effects on the use of higher levels of injectable glutathione for skin lightening include toxic effects on the liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The preferred route for administration of glutathione GSH is absorption from the orobuccal mucosa where it can bypass intestinal and hepatic degradation. Oral mucosa has a rich vascular supply and lymphatic drainage achieving a high serum level of therapeutic value.

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND will help ensure you have a a diet high in antioxidants, proper balance of the building blocks and vital nutrients to monitor and achieve a balanced level of GGT.


Bai, C., Zhang, M., Zhang, Y., He, Y., Dou, H., Wang, Z., Wang, Z., Li, Z., & Zhang, L. (2022). Gamma-Glutamyltransferase Activity (GGT) Is a Long-Sought Biomarker of Redox Status in Blood Circulation: A Retrospective Clinical Study of 44 Types of Human Diseases. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2022, 8494076. https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/8494076

Iskusnykh, I. Y., Zakharova, A. A., & Pathak, D. (2022). Glutathione in Brain Disorders and Aging. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 27(1), 324. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27010324

Sharma, D. K., & Sharma, P. (2022). Augmented Glutathione Absorption from Oral Mucosa and its Effect on Skin Pigmentation: A Clinical Review. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 15, 1853–1862. https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S378470

Xing, Y., Chen, J., Liu, J., & Ma, H. (2022). Associations Between GGT/HDL and MAFLD: A Cross-Sectional Study. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity : targets and therapy, 15, 383–394. https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S342505