Glutathione as an Appetite Stimulant in Cystic Fibrosis

Many parents of pancreatic insufficient CF children find it a daily battle to get the recommended number of calories in their CF child. They seem to lack appetite, and this cachexia increases as they age. It is a struggle to get a normal body mass index, but that atruggle is vital, for BMI is closely correlated with both lung function and lifespan in CF. So those calories must go in!

Now, as mentioned in another link, salivary gland obstruction may play a role in this, and you will need to moisten all of their food.

But in difficult cases, there may be a role for some type of appetite stimulant. There are many that could be discussed, but do not overlook glutathione (GSH) as an appetite stimulant. Under the brand name Cachexon, GSH is used to augment weight gain in cancer patients and in AIDS patients. Though we did not use that brand, we were amazed at the change in appetite of our CF children when they began to receive oral GSH. All of our CF children now have huge appetites, and they have high BMIs (in one case, the BMI is 95%!).

We believe the glutathione is acting to suppress inflammation in the gut of CF persons, which allows for greater nutrient absorption. But there is also apparently some linkage to appetite itself, perhaps in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties. Because GSH is completely non-toxic with no overdose possible, this might be a good first substance to try when looking for a way to stimulate your CF child's appetite.