Glutathione IV Treatments Are All The Rage With Celebrities, But What Do They Actually Do?

People all over the world have long been intrigued by the lives of celebrities. They seem to have it all, from good looks to luxurious homes to the latest fashion. Naturally, many try to emulate all of this. Why else would Vogue feature beauty tips from the stars, and Architectural Digest review their homes?

We also love to hear about how celebrities stay in such good shape. It leads us to buy celebrity cookbooks and even follow fad diets just because a celebrity adheres to one, like the 22-day vegan diet created by physiologist Morco Borge, which Beyoncé followed before performing at Coachella.

A more recent health trend among the rich and famous are IV vitamin treatments, and among the popular substances in these IV treatments is glutathione. But before rushing out to seek your own dose of glutathione, you should first understand what it is, and what makes it appealing to A-listers.

Glutathione is an antioxidant, and more

The liver produces glutathione, which is an antioxidant found in all of the body's cells. This chemical has a hand in building and repairing tissue, producing other important chemicals in the body such as DNA, and regenerating vitamins C and E. Well-balanced glutathione levels also aid with lymphoid cell function, and so to make your immune system work optimally (per Proceedings of the Nutrition Society). On the other side of a cell's life, this swiss army knife of a molecule plays an integral role in the natural death of cells, known as apoptosis.

A study from Japan concluded that taking glutathione by mouth reduced triglycerides, non-esterified fatty acids, and ferritin levels, meaning it could help people suffering from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (via BMC Gastroenterology). Glutathione also protects cells against damage caused by oxidative stress, meaning it could reduce symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, and therefore reduce symptoms from other afflictions that involve oxidative stress (per Free Radical Biology & Medicine).

Gwyneth Paltrow often receives glutathione in IV treatments

Some believe that glutathione might help with aging, liver disease, and heart disease. However, many of those who have studied glutathione explain that more extensive testing is needed to accurately determine glutathione benefits, and researchers are unsure if it helps people who already have normal glutathione levels. However, glutathione administration did help the immune systems of those with glutathione deficiencies, such as HIV patients (per Proceedings of the Nutrition Society).

Possible regeneration of tissue and immune support are probably the benefits of glutathione that appeal to celebrities, as they hope to stay looking young and stay healthy through hectic travel and work schedules. Gwyneth Paltrow said on the Dear Media Podcast that she "loves to have" glutathione through IV. Other popular IV treatment ingredients include vitamin B12 and vitamin C. "I use [IV treatments] on a case-by-case basis," said Dr. Sohère Roked of the Omnya Clinic when speaking to Get the Gloss. Dr. Roked also stated that she discusses possible benefits with patients prior to beginning any injections.