What is Glutathione
GLUTATHIONE (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own”) is the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and prevent aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more. And necessary to treat everything from autism to Alzheimer’s disease. I called it the mother of all antioxidants.
The good news is that your body produces its own glutathione.
The bad news is that toxins from:
- Poor diet
- infections and radiation all deplete your glutathione.
This leaves you susceptible to unrestrained cell disintegration from oxidative stress, free radicals, infections and cancer.
And your liver gets overloaded and damaged, making it unable to do its job of detoxification.
How does it work?
The secret of glutathione is the sulfur (SH) chemical groups it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule.
It acts like fly paper and all the bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins like mercury and other heavy metals.
Normally glutathione is recycled in the body — except when the toxic load becomes too great. And that explains why we are in such trouble.
4 Health Benefits of Glutathione
1. Glutathione Fights Oxidative Stress in the Body
Glutathione reduces the amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress in the body.
Which would otherwise cause damage to cells and DNA.
It protects against chronic oxidative stress that can cause cancer, neurodegeneration and a range of other diseases that we will discuss below.
As well and neutralizing reactive oxygen species (ROS). Glutathione is important for the regeneration of other antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E.
2. Glutathione May Control Inflammation
It inhibits the production of most inflammatory cytokines.
Glutathione deficiency causes inflammation in the airways of mice. This inflammation was reduced when the mice were given Glutathione.
Glutathione inhibits NF-κ, a transcription factor that increases the transcription of various inflammatory genes.
A number of pulmonary diseases are caused by excessive inflammation. In many of these diseases, restoring Glutathione to a healthy level is protective.
Indirectly supporting the idea that Glutathione is anti-inflammatory.
3. Glutathione is Anti-Aging
With less Glutathione, free radicals can harm the body and cause aging.
Replenishing Glutathione levels can slow the aging process.
Imbalances in Glutathione levels affect immune system function and are thought to play a role in the aging process.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that the body makes less Glutathione as it ages.
Glutathione drops off during menopause. Which may be part of the reason for the dramatic aging that occurs in this period in a woman’s life.
By maintaining Glutathione levels, aging individuals may prevent age-related cognitive decline.
Decreased levels of Glutathione in aging subjects cause oxidative stress, which can cause bone breaking and osteoporosis.
Myricitrin, a drug used in preventing age-related osteoporosis, may work by increasing levels of Glutathione.
4. Glutathione May Prevent Depression and Stress
Its levels have been shown to be low in patients with Depression.
Glutathione is able to prevent shock-induced behavioral depression in animals.
A study on mice showed that Alprazolam, a drug used to relieve stress, increased levels of Glutathione in the mice.
7 Simple Ways to Enhance Glutathione Production
While scientists clamor away, trying to find a marketable form of artificial glutathione, there are many effective ways to enhance glutathione levels naturally.
By supporting the body with the proper nutrients and movement that it needs to reside in a state of harmonious balance, one can optimize glutathione production over the long-term.
1. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Including an array of fresh, organic produce in the diet is helpful in providing the body with the nutrients it needs to create glutathione.
Sulfur-rich vegetables such as garlic, onions, parsley and cruciferous vegetables are particularly helpful in addition to avocados, squash and tomatoes.
Be aware that cooking reduces the glutathione content of vegetables by 30-60%, and canning eliminates it completely.
2. High Quality Whey Protein
Nondenatured, native whey protein contains the highest levels of the full range of naturally-occurring glutathione precursors: covalent bonded cysteine, lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, and active peptides.
Each whey protein is not created equal:
Be sure that whey is from grass-fed cows, cold-processed, without sweeteners or other additives as these factors have a deleterious effect on the delicate glutathione-boosting proteins.
3. Healthy Exercise and Recovery
Glutathione production is dependent on adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the molecule which supplies cellular energy.
Kick start your energy system by including a healthy amount of physical activity into your routine.
Ironically, exceedingly strenuous exercise can lead to extensive cellular damage and free radical production however.
So, contrary to the popular “no pain, no gain” dogma, take care to practice healthy fitness and discover the balance that currently works for you, including adequate rest and recovery.
Rebounding is one very effective way of enhancing cellular metabolism, while minimizing injury risk.
4. Raw Milk and Raw Eggs
Fresh, raw milk and raw eggs promote glutathione production. However these benefits are completely lost during pasteurization so bare that in mind.
High-heat processing obliterates the useful proteins, cofactors and cultures. Obtain raw milk and eggs from pastured chickens at a trustworthy local farm.
5. Red Meat and Organ Meats
Alpha lipoic acid, as found abundantly in red meats and organ meats from grassfed animals, has been shown to help regenerate glutathione and support the sustained activity of vitamins C and E in the body.
If you are leery about incorporating actual organ meats into your diet, desiccated liver is a helpful way to reap all of the benefits of organ meats without the sensitivities about taste or texture.
6. Organic Turmeric
This delicious Indian spice contains curcumin, an active compound known for its potent healing qualities.
In addition to acting independently as an antioxidant and antiseptic, some studies have indicated that curcumin may be very helpful in enhancing glutathione metabolism.
Incorporate turmeric into your diet by adding it into soups, stews and salad dressings or by using the capsule form.
7. Stress Reduction
While practicing methods to promote glutathione production, it is also important to actively minimize the factors contributing to its depletion.
Chronic low-level stress is one of the primary means by which glutathione is lost.
Our bodies simply weren’t designed to handle the prolonged cortisol and adrenaline release experienced as a result of unchecked stress responses.
Find a means to reduce stress through practices of mindfulness, yoga, time spent outside, reading or laughter.
Although simply stated, finding a way to manage stress can be very difficult. It is one of the most genuinely healing steps you can take towards vibrant wellness.