Bulletproof (sometimes referred to as Upgraded Self) has its fair share of innovations over the past few years, chief among them Bulletproof Coffee. (Spoiler alert: We’re fairly big fans of fats + coffee for sustained mental energy.) We’ve reviewed a few of their nootropic and brain-boosting formulas, including Unfair Advantage and Choline Force, and have generally been pleased with the quality and often unique delivery systems of their formula (with a few exceptions; read our reviews to learn more).
Recently, Bulletproof reformulated their Glutathione Force supplement in order to improve delivery and taste. We put the new formula to the test; read below to see what we found.
- Glutathione, 100 mg, See below
- Riboflavin, 1 mcg, Vitamin B2, a precursor to glutathione recycling.
- Molybdenum, 35 mcg, A trace mineral involved in glutathione pathways
- Inactive Ingredients: Glycerin, lactoferrin, oleic acid (from olive oil), phosphatidylcholine, polysorbate 80, Bulletproof XCT Oil (sourced from coconut and/or palm oil), Stevia, and Natural Flavors (essential oil of orange, cinnamon, clove).
Glutathione is an incredibly important molecule for human bodies, and an entire “glutathione system” based around its role as one of the body’s most important antioxidants. Glutathione acts through a complex system of enzymes and processes, and the theory behind glutathione supplementation is to provide cells with more of the molecules necessary for this entire system to run well.
However, glutathione is generally fairly abundant in food, and there’s some debate over whether or not supplemented glutathione can actually make it to the body’s cells intact. Bulletproof/Upgraded self claims Glutathione Force uses patented technology to deliver a form of glutathione bound a peptide called lactoferrin, which helps the molecule survive digestion and actually be absorbed in the intestines. However, the effectiveness of this method is still controversial, as many of the body’s tissues must break down glutathione into L-cystine before it can be absorbed into cells (in which case, it could be more cost-effective to use n-acetyl-cysteine to supplement glutathione with higher reliability and probably cheaper cost).
Bulletproof claims supplementation with Glutathione Force can detoxify the body, improve heart health, protect the gut, fight infections, and, perhaps most importantly, optimize the central nervous system and brain function. However, the research surrounding glutathione supplementation in humans is so far inconclusive when it comes to A) whether the body can benefit from it in a direct manner and B) exactly what systems, tissues, and functions it could improve. More controlled, randomized studies are needed.
Each oral dispenser contains 10 servings. Using the ml markings on the side of the tube, gently dispense 1 ml of Glutathione Force onto a spoon and swallow. Best taken on an empty stomach or 20 minutes before a meal.
What Our Testers Say
“After what I’d heard about the old formulation, I was expecting an acrid, sulfur-heavy taste, but I didn’t experience that; in fact, I liked the orange-and-cinnamon flavor of Glutathione Force (this version, at least). However, I didn’t feel much (if anything) from this supplement, even after taking it for 10 or more days.”
“Glutathione Force comes in these neat plastic vials to keep the ingredients from getting exposed to air and oxidizing (it’s main ingredient is an antioxidant, hence why they don’t want it to react with oxygen before you consume it). I liked the flavor, and it gets good bonus points for the delivery system. But I didn’t feel much, if I forgot to take this supplement one morning or at a particular time I didn’t notice because I didn’t feel any different on it or off it.”
“I’m a big fan of Unfair Advantage, another signature product from this brand. And I wanted to like Glutathione Force, because I was thinking I’d take it as a compliment to my other nootropic regime. But it just didn’t do much for me. I’ll stick to Unfair Advantage, which gives me a physical kick, especially in the gym.”
“I don’t think this supplement did anything for me. I took it for nearly a month and felt nothing special or different.”
- Take on an empty stomach in the morning as the manufacturer suggests.
- Glutathione Force contains ingredients from milk, though the manufacturer claims it does not contain lactose; something to be aware of for people sensitive to dairy products.
- Buy direct from the manufacturer to ensure the new (and palatable) formulation is what you get.
- It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor or a medical professional before starting a new supplement regimen.
Glutathione Force is an interesting idea in theory, but in practice there’s not a ton of evidence the body is able to utilize it as the manufacturer claims. Our testers much preferred the same brand’s Unfair Advantage formula, a combination of ActivePQQ™ and CoQ10 (as ubiquinol) that gave them an energetic feeling mental (and in at least one instance, physical) boost along with their normal diets and variable supplement routines. In our opinion, Glutathione Force may be worth trying in one cycle to see if individual experience varies.
We look forward to seeing what new research comes out on glutathione supplementation. For now, it looks like supplementing N-Acetylcysteine may be more effective to promote the antioxidant benefits of the glutathione system.