The Glutathione and Testosterone Relationship

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


The essential hormone for males is testosterone. Testosterone is the essential male hormone. It's responsible for health, performance and virility. You'll feel and look better if you increase your T level. 

This article will tell you all about glutathione, a powerful protein that can improve your overall health as well as optimize your testosterone levels. This article is for anyone who wants to boost their testosterone levels. 

What we will cover: 

  • What is glutathione?
  • What is the role of testosterone and glutathione
  • What to do to increase glutathione levels without supplements

What is glutathione?

It is important to regulate overall wellness and health. Glutathione is made up of three amino acids: cysteine (amino acid), glutamic and glycine. 

The most abundant low-molecular weight chemical in mammal cells [1] is glutathione. However, it is dependent on selenium as an antioxidant. Glutathione is unable to function properly without this "co-factor". 

As it is naturally produced in the body, it does not qualify as an essential vitamin. While supplementation may not be necessary to reach peak levels, you should still ensure that your diet contains enough. 

You can achieve this by including dark green veggies in your diet, such as spinach, broccoli, and beets. Grapes and melon are good sources of this vitamin. 

Its diverse functions make it one of the most essential nutrients for the human body. The functions of this protein range from the synthesis of DNA to the regulation immune system. The detoxification process of heavy metals is also improved by this substance. 

It is also important to note that the glutathione plays a role in regulating testosterone. The substance does not increase testosterone per se. Instead, it protects the free-circulating level from toxic and harmful impurities. 

Glutathione, a type of protein that regulates and supports testosterone production in the body is important. 

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What is the role of Glutathione in supporting testosterone?

The powerful antioxidant can be used to detoxify heavy metal exposure. Glutathione-rich foods help to eliminate toxins. 

Mercury is a metal that has received criticism because of its adverse effect on the human body. However, several studies have shown it to reduce testosterone. 

A study in Occupational & Environment Medicine [2] showed that workers who worked with heavy metals, such as chloralkali, had a high mercury exposure. Their T levels dropped. Mercury is the most toxic metal that can be poisoned. This is why T levels are so important. 

The Glutathione plays three roles to reduce the mercury toxic effects. First, it stops mercury from binding with cellular proteins. Second, it removes mercury through the kidneys and liver. It also increases your cell's antioxidant capability, giving them a better first-line of defense [1]. 

It is not only a powerful antioxidant, but it can also help to produce testosterone. 

One study found that selenium supplements increased testosterone, improved sperm mobility, and improved semen parameters in 468 infertile men after just 26 weeks. Selenium regulates glutathione, and this is why it's important. 

In a study in Endocrinology, [4], glutathione was reduced by 70% using a buthionine-sulfoximine injectable. The researchers used rats because it was impossible to obtain ethical approval for human participants. Rats have testicular tissues that are similar to those of humans. This is still a reliable source for data. 

The researchers wanted to know what effect it would have in the Leydig cell of the testes. Results showed that testosterone levels had been halved, indicating that glutathione was regulating the production of T. 

Glutathione protects testosterone naturally. 

How to optimize glutathione?

You can optimize your glutathione level by doing more than just eating dark green veggies. These tips not only increase levels of the important protein but also increase T levels. The most important are: 

#1. Reduce alcohol consumption

Alcohol can be harmful to the body, especially when consumed in excess. Alcohol consumption can lower the sperm counts, reduce sperm mobility and decrease testosterone. 

More alcohol will mean less glutathione to maintain your T level. By eliminating alcohol, you give glutathione more time to work. 

#2. Boost your magnesium levels

The relationship between magnesium and glutathione is clear. By correcting magnesium deficiency, glutathione levels will also increase [6]. 

TestoFuel, a supplement that contains this essential mineral is the best choice. 

#3. Resveratrol: Increase levels

Resveratrol, also known as phenolic acid, is found naturally in grapes and cranberries. The grapes that are used to make red wine also contain this phenol. 

This powerful compound not only directly increases T levels, but it also stimulates the production of glutathione [8]. We've already warned you to avoid drinking too much, but a glass of red wine each night will do wonders. 

#4. Exercise

Weight training is not only important for stimulating the production of androgenic hormones in men, but it appears to also elevate glutathione. 

One study found that combining circuit training with aerobic exercises was the best way to increase levels when compared separately to weights and cardio [9]. 


Glutathione and Testosterone Interrelation -- Glutathione is an anti-oxidant protein which contributes to overall health, well-being and testosterone production.

Although naturally produced within our bodies, glutathione can also be found in foods like dark green vegetables, beets and melons.

Antioxidants like vitamin E are powerfully anti-oxidant and help detoxify the liver, protecting mitochondrial DNA while helping regulate cell proliferation and apoptosis (disposal of old cells).

Exfoliation is crucial in the removal of mercury and other heavy metals from the body as it prevents them from binding with cellular proteins and aiding their elimination through urination and other channels.

Furthermore, studies have revealed its ability to decrease systemic inflammation - potentially the source of many chronic and acute conditions.

Studies have also revealed that when individuals experience stress, illness or heavy drinking their glutathione levels decrease due to depletion by these factors and medications such as antidepressants and acetaminophen.

One effective strategy to increase glutathione levels is taking selenium supplements, as glutathione depends on it for co-factor activity. Furthermore, selenium has also been found to enhance glutathione's effects and support testosterone production.

Exercise and lifting weights have also been proven to increase glutathione levels, since exercise boosts it and acts as a powerful antioxidant that can rid your body of free radicals.

Studies have indicated that combined circuit training may be particularly effective at increasing glutathione levels. 

You can optimize your glutathione level by following lifestyle changes such as a diet rich in dark-green foods, combining weight training with cardio, or limiting exposure to heavy metals.

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  1. Patrick, L. Mercury Toxicity and Antioxidants: Part I: Role of Glutathione and alpha-Lipoic Acid in the Treatment of Mercury Toxicity. Mercury Toxicity Review. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Dec;7(6):456-71.
  2. Barregård, L et al. Endocrine function in mercury exposed chloralkali workers. Occup Environ Med. 1994; 51(8): 536-40
  3. Safarinejad, MR et al. Efficacy of selenium and/or N-acetyl-cysteine for improving semen parameters in infertile men: a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study. J Urol. 2009; 181(2): 741-51
  4. Chen, H et al. Effect of glutathione depletion on Leydig cell steroidogenesis in young and old brown Norway rats. Endocrinology. 2008; 149(5): 2612-9
  5. Maneesh, M et al. Alcohol abuse-duration dependent decrease in plasma testosterone and antioxidants in males. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2006; 50 (3) : 291–296
  6. Bede, O et al. Effects of magnesium supplementation on the glutathione redox system in atopic asthmatic childrenInflamm Res. 2008; 57(6): 279-86
  7. Shin, S et al. trans-Resveratrol Relaxes the Corpus Cavernosum Ex Vivo and Enhances Testosterone Levels and Sperm Quality In Vivo. Arch Pharm Res. 2008; 31(1): 83-87
  8. Kode, A et al. Resveratrol induces glutathione synthesis by activation of Nrf2 and protects against cigarette smoke-mediated oxidative stress in human lung epithelial cells. American Journal of Physiology, Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology. 2008; 294(3): L478–88
  9. Elokda, AS et al. Effects of exercise training on the glutathione antioxidant system. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2007; 14(5): 630-7
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