Glutathione in ENT Conditions paper published

October, 2016

A paper on glutathione and ENT conditions has been published. The paper, Oxidative Stress and Low Glutathione in Common Ear, Nose, and Throat Conditions: A Systematic Review, was published in Alternative Therapies Magazine.

The tissues of the Ear, Nose, and Throat are exposed to the highest concentrations of oxygen in the body. So it should come as no surprise that ENT conditions are associated with increased oxidation stress and low glutathione. This article reviews peer-reviewed publications documenting that glutathione is low in common ENT conditions.

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ABSTRACT

Context
Oxidative stress and tissue-damaging, oxygen (O2)-related, free-radical formation is inherent in human metabolism, and the tissues of the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) have an increased exposure to injury from those substances. Because glutathione (GSH) is a major component in an antioxidant defense against oxidative damage in ENT tissues, a review of the impact of lowered GSH and oxidative stress in conditions associated with the upper respiratory tract is warranted.

Objective
The review intended to summarize the role that oxidative stress and GSH play.

Design
The research team performed a literature review from 1980 to the present that was based on the following keywords: oxidative stress, oxidation, antioxidant, and GSH in common ENT conditions. The review found the following conditions: (1) rhinitis, (2) allergic rhinitis, (3) chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), (4) CRS with polyps, (5) otitis media with effusion, (6) chronic otitis media (COM), (7) COM and cholesteatoma, (8) tympanic membrane sclerosis, (9) tonsillitis, (10) Meniere’s disease,
(11) laryngeal conditions, and (12) chronic cough.

Results
ENT conditions have been found to be associated with oxidative stress and with low GSH. A limited number of the reviewed studies discussed antioxidant use or repletion of GSH. Although only a few reports support the use of GSH or antioxidants as adjuncts in the management of ENT conditions, no reports of side effects were found related to their use.

Conclusions
Many ENT conditions are associated with oxidative stress and decreased GSH, both locally in the
affected tissues and systemically. The oxidative stress of those conditions may be related to depletion of GSH, which is increased by the higher levels of O2 in the upper respiratory tract. A small number of studies have reported clinical benefits from the use of an antioxidant or GSH support. The findings of benefits and the lack of reports of side effects suggest that the clinical use of antioxidants and support with GSH in ENT conditions may be considered as adjuncts to conventional management and that more research is warranted.

(Altern Ther Health Med. 2016;22(5):44-50.)
Benjamin F. Asher, MD, FACS, is a clinician at Asher Integrative Ear, Nose and Throat in New York, New York. Frederick T. Guilford, MD, is a clinician and science officer at Your Energy Systems, LLC, in Palo Alto, California.