Is Glutathione Safe During Pregnancy
While the question “is glutathione safe” is asked on a regular basis, it was recently asked if there was any concerns or even benefits to taking GSH glutathione while pregnant. So I did some research on that question and came across this article written by Priya Shah that I thought provided some interesting insight into lower glutathione levels during pregnancy.
Warning: women that are pregnant and nursing moms should avoid using extra glutathione. Women that are pregnant should always consult their health care provider before starting any span of supplementation. Ladies who are pregnant or nursing should stop taking all supplements unless told otherwise by their medical professional.
One of the points Priya brings up is the concern for pregnant women that are taking some prescription drugs that may cause birth defects. Priya states that these drugs may generate free radicals, thereby lower glutathione levels when they are most needed.
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This information is for educational reasons only and that I trust the readers to complete their research, including talking to their healthcare professional before ever taking glutathione supplements during pregnancy.
Glutathione for a Healthier Pregnancy
All parents-to-be nurture the dream of a healthy pregnancy and baby.
But the modern environment and diet is deficient in many factors essential for the health of mother and baby. One of those factors is antioxidants.
The role of antioxidants like folic acid in preventing birth defects like spina bifida and cleft palate is well known. It is now included in all prenatal vitamin supplements. But the role of antioxidants like GSH Glutathione and Vitamin E in pregnancy is often overlooked.
Antioxidants and glutathione status play an important role in the development and growth of the baby – maintenance of a healthy pregnancy – and even before pregnancy, in fertility and conception.
Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant. It helps to regenerate stores of other antioxidants like Vitamin C and E. It also protects both mother and baby from the damaging effects of free-radicals and oxidative stress.
Many pregnancy complications and birth defects have been linked to oxidative stress, free radical damage and low glutathione levels in the mother and baby.
The role of glutathione in the development of the baby and placenta is crucial. (GSH) Glutathione can control cell differentiation, proliferation, and cell death – essential functions in the developing embryo.
In the placenta, glutathione detoxifies pollutants before they reach the developing child. Most substances or factors which cause birth defects (teratogens) are known to exert their embryotoxic effects because they cause oxidative stress.
The human placenta possesses a significant amount of Glutathione S-Transferase (GST) capable of detoxification or activation of drugs and pharmaceuticals during the critical period of organ development in the baby.
Some drugs are known to cause birth defects in the growing baby by generating free-radicals, and depleting GSH stores.
In the early embryonic stages, the baby is sensitive to the toxic and teratogenic effects of chemicals, whereas it is sensitive to carcinogenic effects during late fetal stages.
Carcinogens administered to the mother can be transferred through the placenta and induce cancer in the baby. Many carcinogens are much more active in the baby than in adults and they tend to act as abortifacients and teratogens as well.
Environmental and lifestyle factors are known to cause oxidative stress and lower glutathione levels – resulting in birth defects, abortion and miscarriages in pregnancy.
Some of the known teratogens (causing birth defects) in pregnancy include:
- Pesticides and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
- Air pollution
- Heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, arsenic)
- Vinyl chloride
- Excess Oxygen (hyperoxia)
- Anti-psychotic and anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs)
- Cigarette smoke
- Alcohol (ethanol) consumption
Maternal health factors that increase free-radicals and cause birth defects include:
- Infection and Inflammation
Glutathione and other antioxidants attenuate oxidative stress in pregnant women with inflammation or maternal conditions like diabetes and pre-eclampsia, and in babies at risk for developing cystic fibrosis.
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Supplementation with glutathione precursors and antioxidants can decrease the incidence of birth defects and protect both mother and child from the damaging and possibly fatal consequences of pregnancy complications.
(GSH) Glutathione also prevents or minimizes the oxidative stress that occurs during labor and the birth process.
Perinatal or birth asphyxia/hypoxia (deprivation of oxygen supply to the brain) in pre-term deliveries and labor can lead to cerebral palsy, respiratory distress syndrome, irreversible brain injury, and permanent neurological and intellectual handicaps.
Administration of the glutathione precursor, N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), to the pregnant mother partially prevents oxidative stress during the birth process in premature infants.
Currently, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology advises all pregnant women to take a pre-natal vitamin containing antioxidants.
In addition, they advise eating lots of foods rich in glutathione, the best sources of antioxidant protection. http://www.healthelivingnews.com/articles/antioxidant_glutathione_for_a_healthier_pregnancy.html
Is Glutathione Safe – What do you Think Now?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences or questions about Glutathione, please leave a comment below!!
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