Glutathione Alcohol Detoxification

Glutathione Alcohol Detoxification

Drinking too much alcohol ups your chances of long-term health problems, including liver damage and toxicity in your body. There are many ways to prevent alcohol-related damage, but one of the best ones is by using glutathione. We'll go over glutathione alcohol detoxification, as glutathione and alcohol go hand in hand.


What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body and is the most basic form of our body’s defense system. It protects us from the damage caused by harmful molecules. Harmful molecules are called reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the damage they cause is called oxidative stress. Studies have shown that oxidative stress plays a major role in the development of numerous diseases.

Glutathione is a molecule that is produced naturally by the liver. It consists of three amino acids – cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. Glutathione helps to detoxify many substances in the liver such as alcohol, as well as neutralize free radicals from other parts of the body.

Alcohol Acetaldehyde Build Up

Alcohol affects multiple organs in the body - including the liver, muscles, brain and heart. It's a toxic substance. When we drink alcohol it enters our bloodstream and goes straight to the liver where it's broken down.

When alcohol is broken down by the liver, acetaldehyde is formed. Acetaldehyde is a very toxic compound, said to be up to 30x times more toxic than alcohol itself. If not acted upon quickly enough, it can cause serious damage to the body at a cellular level.

The liver breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is then oxidized into acetate by an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). This happens every time someone drinks alcohol, but when they drink excessively or persistently, it can overwhelm the liver. When this happens, acetaldehyde builds up in the bloodstream and tissues.

Acetaldehyde is a very toxic compound, said to be up to 30x times more toxic than alcohol itself. If not acted upon quickly enough, it can cause serious damage to the body at a cellular level.

Acetaldehyde is toxic to the body and can cause many unpleasant symptoms that are associated with hangovers. These include:

  • Flushing of the skin
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Severe headache
  • Nausea and vomiting

Glutathione Alcohol Detoxification: How Does Glutathione Help Detoxify Alcohol

Glutathione is an essential antioxidant that plays a key role in detoxification of alcohol. In fact, studies have found that glutathione deficiency is a major underlying factor in the development of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.

Alcohol is notorious for attacking glutathione in the liver and systems involved in detoxification, as it depletes its stores. The liver is the largest organ in your body. It's responsible for processing all of your body's internal chemicals, including toxins such as those created by alcohol. If you're a heavy drinker, or are regularly exposed to toxins, your liver has to work especially hard to keep all of these things under control.

Glutathione has a direct role in the detoxification of alcohol as well as alcohol byproducts. The body uses two enzymes to break down alcohol — alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase. When these enzymes can’t keep up with the amount of alcohol being consumed, toxic byproducts build up, contributing to hangovers and general malaise.

Glutathione helps break down these toxic byproducts. It also helps prevent oxidative stress caused by the inability to properly metabolize alcohol. For example, when acetaldehyde, an alcoholic byproduct directly involved with hangovers, builds up in the liver due to drinking too much, glutathione protects against its damaging effects.

These studies below prove glutathione's role in helping detoxify alcohol and playing a key role in your liver function:

  • Glutathione Decreases Alcohol Acetaldehyde Levels¹
    University of Milan discovered in a study that during alcohol consumption, glutathione has a significant effect to decrease acetaldehyde levels and hepatic triglyceride levels.¹
  • Alcohol Depletes Glutathione Levels³
    A study out of Spain showed that the levels of reduced glutathione in the liver, heart, kidney and brain decreased substantially acute ethanol intoxication, up to 83%.³
  • Glutathione Is Key To Liver Function & Linked To Liver Injury²
    Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found evidence suggesting that glutathione synthesis is impaired in multiple liver injuries.² And lower hepatic glutathione levels leads to greater liver injury.

Glutathione alcohol detoxification is a sure way to protect your liver and body from the negative effects of acetaldehyde and alcohol. 

Increase Your Glutathione Levels With Supplementation

Glutathione is found in food sources like meat, dairy products and cruciferous vegetables broccoli and spinach. However, these foods only contain small amounts of glutathione.

Taking a supplement is the best way to increase your levels of glutathione with alcohol consumption, most importantly as alcohol can decrease your levels. Glutathione can be a very effective for liver aid and as a liver aid supplement

Zaca's recovery chewables are loaded with bioavailable glutathione. Take 2-4 chewables before bed after drinking for a glutathione boost and liver support.





1. Effect of Glutathione on Blood Alcohol and Hangover Symptoms
2. Dysregulation of glutathione synthesis in liver disease
3. Changes in glutathione in acute and chronic alcohol intoxication