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070: What to do about sky-high pyroglutamate?

Masterjohn Q&A Files Episode 70


Pyroglutamate, its other name is 5-oxoproline. It is something that is primarily produced when you are synthesizing glutathione, but you do not have enough of the second step in glutathione synthesis to keep up with the first step.

Maybe you need more glycine, but your glycine isn't low enough to cause orders of magnitude higher pyroglutamate. It's almost certainly the case that you have a glutathione synthetase deficiency, unless you have extraordinary levels of oxidative stress. I think that would be easy to test for because I just can't imagine that your glutathione levels -- I guess it's not that easy to test for because if you have a glutathione synthetase defect, you're going to have bad glutathione levels. If you have a tremendous amount of oxidative stress, you're also going to have low glutathione levels. If you have low glutathione levels, that's going to cause a tremendous amount of oxidative stress.

I think if it's not a glutathione synthetase defect, then it becomes a lot harder to figure out what it is because it probably means you have massive oxidative stress from somewhere and there's a lot of things that could cause that. That would be a potential Pandora's box of questions that would come out of that. But definitely the first step would be to look at glutathione synthetase.

This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:

Harnessing the Power of Nutrients
Recording and Transcript of Ask Me Anything About Nutrition | March 4, 2019
Watch now (157 min) | On March 4, you joined me in a live Zoom meeting to ask me anything about nutrition, and here’s the full recording! We talk about things like: How much spinach, broccoli, and kale is too much? Can frozen vegetables be trusted for their folate? Do cooked legumes lose folate when frozen…
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The Masterjohn Q&A Files
We use Zoom, a video chatting software, in webinar mode. You can ask your question anonymously in text, but you can also ask it publicly, and you can even get "on stage" and share your mic, web cam, or screen with everyone.
Chris Masterjohn, PhD