Glutathione is dangerous? Show me the science!

by | Last updated: Feb 11, 2017 | 17 comments

Updated April 21st, 2017

Have you ever been to your doctor and she asked you to show proof that whatever she injected you with was safe?

Weird, wouldn't you think? A doctor would check that before she introduces a drug into your body, right?

And yet this is something that started happening ever since I began warning people about the dangers of glutathione (GSH).

Patients have been reading the many horror stories induced by GSH injections in mercury toxic people and have been presenting them to their doctors, asking for an explanation.

As a response, some doctors were asking their patients for scientific proof of the dangers of glutathione.

glutathione is dangerous? Show me the science!

So, does it exist? Is there evidence that shows that glutathione can induce dramatic side effects in mercury toxic patients?

Proof of the dangers of glutathione

1) Numerous reports of often substantial adverse reactions.

Reports of adverse reactions are the most common reason why drugs are withdrawn from the market. Every banned drug has been initially approved as safe by the FDA.

Drugs are banned not because the company which has been selling the drug for years, all of a sudden decided to fund an expensive study on its safety. Drugs are usually taken off the market because of increased adverse reports from patients and/or doctors, or because of class action law suits.

Then, reports of adverse reactions are a valid means to gauge the risk of a given drug.

Adverse reactions after glutathione administration range from:

• “feeling like dying”
• suicidal thoughts
• deepest depression
• debilitating headaches
• crushing nerve pain
• sensitivity to electro magnetic fields to the point of making it impossible to use a cell phone or a computer
• having rods in the brain
• losing ability to walk
• having a feeling of complete mental and physical devastation

2) Known contribution of thiols to the development of mercury toxicity.

Glutathione is a thiol. Thiols are a type of sulfhydryl (SH, sulfur hydrogen) group. Sulfhydryl groups are everywhere in us. Every cell in our body produces glutathione. Sulfhydryl groups can be found in cysteine, on cell membranes, on red blood cells, in glutathione, methionine and in many other compounds in the human body.

Thiol groups are found in all body cells and are indispensable for life(3, 24). Some sulfur-containing antioxidant compounds are cysteine, methionine, taurine, glutathione, lipoic acid, mercaptopropionylglycine, N-acetylcysteine, and the three major organosulfur compounds of Gallic oil (diallyilsulfide, diallyldisulfide and diallyltrisulfide)(3, 10). Proteins constitute the main antioxidant component of serum and their sulfhydryl groups are mainly responsible for their antioxidative effects. In a recent study it was calculated that SH protein groups contribute 52,9% to the measured serum total antioxidant capacity in healthy subjects(17). 

A simple automated procedure for thiol measurement in human serum samples“, Carolina M. da Costa1; Rita C. C. dos Santos2; Emerson S. Lima1


If thiols protected us from mercury toxicity, no one would become sick with mercury. And yet millions of people, do.

The underlying mechanism how thiols contribute to the distribution of mercury has been known since 1832, when it was discovered that thiols and mercury like to bond.  

thiols and mercury










Since mercury is strongly attracted to sulfhydryl groups, this is the first thing that happens when mercury enters a human body: it attaches itself to thiols. Either to thiols from glutathione, sulfhydryl groups of cysteine or sulfhydryl groups on red blood cells.

From then on it is carried throughout the body into such mercury sensitive tissue like brain, adrenals, liver, thyroid, and so on causing a wide range of debilitating and often chronic conditions.

It took me less than 30 seconds to find a paper which describes this very mechanism (forget the treatment part, what is relevant is the description how mercury toxicity comes about).

This is some basic information about thiols which your doctor should have informed herself about before administering the glutathione IV – instead of asking you, her patient, to check on the safety record of glutathione after the fact.

So is there a study?

Not that I know of. And there doesn’t need to be to show that glutathione is not safe.

Bottom line:

Most doctors these days, both conventional and alternative, are completely mercury illiterate. They do not know how to accurately diagnose, or how to safely treat mercury toxicity. Keep this in mind when undergoing any type of metal detoxification program.

Mercury is one of the most dangerous toxic metals. Any mobilization needs to happen very cautiously and in accordance with biochemical laws that govern our bodies. The only type of mercury chelation program which respects those is the Andrew Cutler method which uses di-thiols as chelators. Read more about it here.

Join the Facebook groups “Ozone, Chelation and Paleo Diet” or “Andy Cutler Chelation Think Tank” to learn more about proper chelation and the dangers of glutathione.

Recommended reading: Andrew Cutler’s book “Amalgam Illness”.


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  1. anna burns

    Years back, on a monthly basis, I would receive glutathione IVs. I remember every time, after my treatment, I felt so amazingly great, that it was indescribable. I had a sense of calm, bliss and well being as well as more energy. If I ever have the opportunity again, I would do it.

  2. Kayla


    I recently got a meyers cocktail and shortly after about 3 days I started to feel fluish with neck pain then my entire body since the October 12th started to burn, I mean everywhere. I’m currently feeling the pain so intensely. I’ve been to the Doctor with Normal lab results although I haven’t been since I got the iv. I thought I would be benefitting from the glutathione. I have been checking online to see who has issues with the iv. I am glad to know that there is things going on with people due to glutathione. I really don't know what to do right now to keep the pain away. The doctors think it’s all psychosomatic as I have been very stressed and burnt out. I took some Benadryl to see if it would calm my symptoms down. I want to go to the hospital because after seeing many doctors they all have no answers but something is definitely not going well here.

    • Paola Dziwetzki

      Hi Kayla,

      glutathione is typically not part of the Meyer's cocktail, unless it is intentionally added to it. Do you have reason to believe that it was?


  3. Concerned

    Wow, I get a glutathione push with my IV's periodically, for over 5 years now, and I feel uplifted and energetic afterwards, always. Glutathione is made naturally in the body, so to a degree you will all be getting glutathione anyway. I hope y'all might take detailed notes on all possible contributing factors to your side effects, because if it isn't the glutathione that is the real culprit, then what's making you feel unwell is being left unnoticed and unchecked.

    • Paola Dziwetzki

      Hi Concerned,

      hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid are also naturally produced in the human body, and yet both of them can kill you if ingested in the wrong way and in the wrong concentrations.


  4. Matthew

    Hi Paola, and anyone else reading, I had a depot glutathione injection because the doctor said it would speed up healing. Bad side effects. Headache faceache tinnitus orchitis and ALL of my joints have been snapping and popping loudly since getting it 5 weeks ago. I had a metals analysis before Christmas which showed high aluminium but not mercury. I did 4 days of ALA every 4 hours but didn't notice anything. Maybe I should do more rounds. I'm wondering if these glutathione reactions go away!!!!

    • Paola Dziwetzki

      Hi Matthew,

      my latest theory on what is possibly going on when people experience the bad side effects after glutathione IVs is that it causes cholestasis through a bile dump.

      So, potentially opening up the bile ducts through lactoferrin, low vitamin A diet, soluble fiber (beans, apple pectin, beta-glucan), alpha lipoic acid could speed up recovery.


  5. Anna-Carin Rahm

    Hi Paola.

    Thank you so much for such a brilliant website. It is one of a kind and it is a treasure.
    I live in Sweden and I have not heard of Glutathione IV. However my question is if it can be dangerous to take Glutathione orally if a person is poisoned with mercury, or is it only IV that is dangerous?

    • Paola Dziwetzki

      Hi Anna-Carin,

      there have been reports from people taking glutathione orally who also had bad side effects.
      In general though the oral administration appears to be less problematic than the IV route.


  6. John S.

    Hi Paola!

    Very good article… Certainly has you thinking before jumping into taking a particular supplement. I desperately want to take glutathione for certain ailments. From the reviews I’ve read, it sounds Fantastic.

    Then I read this review which has scared me to death. It is the only real negative review that has you concerned. All other reviews were highly regarded. And I am referring to thousands. Regardless this one was too concerning to ignore.

    “Many folks are mercury toxic and don't know it. For those who do have mercury toxicity, glutathione (exogenous) can cause serious brain damage. I can't believe a functional medicine doctor would sell this. For more information, go to Cutler Success Stories: What not to do, and read about glutathione horrors. I post this because glutathione ruined
    my life and caused massive brain damage. I live in bed and can barely walk
    or talk. My pain is a 10/10 due to body-wide neuropathy”

    …I desperately want to start taking acetyl glutathione for numerous ailments but Newley diagnosed neuropathy it was suggested for. How would you suggest I rule out if I even have mercury toxicity… I don’t want to do a year of chelation if I don’t even have that issue. I have no silver fillings anymore. Do not eat fish.

    1. What is the simplest way to rule out concerns before taking glutathione?

    2. Is taking alpha lipoic acid (ALA) carry the same dangers concerns as glutathione??

    3. Would taking NAC (precursor to glutathione) be safer since it is not exogenous? Is it as effective?

    I appreciate you taking the time to read my concern and hopefully help alleviate my confusion.


    • paola d

      Hi John,

      if you follow the link I provided and that I'm quoting from, you will find a total of 27 negative reviews concerning glutathione. Apart from that you can join any Facebook group which deals with metal chelation and search through their postings and you should find dozens if not hundreds more people who were wrecked by GSH.

      When you say you'd like to take acetyl-glutathione, I assume you mean orally? If so, this is the most useless form to take it. Glutathione is an enzyme. It will be destroyed in the digestive tract, for sure by the hydrochloric acid in your stomach. What remains is some sulfur. You may as well eat lots of eggs or onions to get the same effect.

      As to your questions:
      1. I don't know that there is a bulletproof way to rule that out. You may be also one of those people who do great on glutathione. Or one of those whose neuropathy will spike to a 10/10. It's essentially like playing Russian roulette, in my opinion.

      2. If you do it wrongly, yes. If you do it correctly, it could potentially be the answer to your problems, see here:

      3. Only if you're not thiol sensitive. How to rule it out is described here:

      I hope this helps.



    Hi Paula,

    I've read your blogs and I can say that it's worth so much its weight in gold, so to speak.

    I wonder if you can provide me a reputable school for ozone practice here in Asia or in Europe and how much would it cost and the duration of the schooling. I earnestly wish and desires to enroll my daughter-in-law, a Medical Practitioner in Physiotheraphy and my spouse who is an Herbologist and Nutritionist and a RN.

    Appreciate your kindness and response.

    Thanks so much.

    • paola d

      Hi Arthur,
      thank you for reading my website.
      Unfortunately, I don't know of any ozone schools in Asia (or anywhere else). There are only courses offered by various organizations or doctors. I can recommend the 10 days course offered in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, by Prof. Maslennikov. Write to or and tell them you have been referred by me.
      I can also recommend Dr. Johann Lahodny as a teacher. Contact him and inquire about his upcoming lectures:

      I hope this helps!

  8. Lara

    Hi Paola,

    My husband was about go to an ND for mercury detox/chelation IV's. They use glutathione, EDTA etc. After reading your info we've decided not to go. Am very interested in the A. Cutler protocol, but he doesn't have hair on his head! What do we do? He has several of the conditions listed where you by Andy's amalgam illness book, so can we safely assume he has this issue (had fillings for 30 yrs) and just proceed with the DMSA etc. protocol?

    • paola d

      Hi Lara,
      you do not need to do the hair test in order to be able to start chelating with the Andy Cutler protocol.
      Does he still have his fillings? If so, they need to be removed *safely* first before you start chelating. This is very important.

    • Ela

      glutathione is in every cell of the body, without glutathione you would die immediately to exposure to toxins like mercury or ozone, so how can you say that glutathione is dangerous? go educate yourself

    • paola d

      Hi Ela,

      thank you for your comment.

      So I took your suggestion to heart and went ahead and educated myself. This is what I found:

      – Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is one of the most ubiquitous molecules in the human body without which our immune system would not work. Yet, when one ingests it in a too high concentration or infuses it via IV in to high appropriate amounts it can kill a person.

      – Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is produced in every human's stomach. It is vital for proper digestion. Without it humans can't get all the nutrients out of food and too low HCl production can lead to a whole range of health problems. But it is highly acidic and corrosive. When ingested in too high amounts or applied topically or in any other way in excessive amounts it can also lead to death.

      – Around 80% of a human body is made of water. But if ingested in too high amounts or if it enters the wrong organs, it can kill a person. See drowning.

      So, I am not sure about you, but I see a pattern here.

      The pattern appears to be that the dosage and type of application is important. Not so much, whether something is being produced by our own bodies or not.


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