By: Cat Ebeling, RN, MSN-PHN, co-author of the best-sellers: The Fat Burning Kitchen , The Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix
This antioxidant is so important it is considered the “Master Antioxidant” in the body .
This “master” antioxidant protects the human body like few others. This antioxidant is called glutathione. If your levels of glutathione are low, you are at a much higher risk for strokes, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s diseases, cancer, dangerous infections and even severe complications of Covid19 .
Glutathione also boosts and recycles other antioxidants in the body including vitamin C , vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid and CoQ10. This antioxidant is made up these three amino acids: cysteine, glycine, glutamic acid (or glutamate).
When these three amino acids come together to form glutathione, they have the power to detoxify and get rid of dangerous free radicals, toxic drugs , and heavy metals such as lead and mercury. This mechanism is incredibly important to protect your entire body from dysfunction and disease .
Glutathione also protects the mitochondria in the cells—which is the power plant of the cell–ensuring your cells are able to make the energy your body needs. Each and every cell in the body contains mitochondria that convert glucose, amino acids, and fats from the foods you eat into energy. Our mitochondria need to be protected , and the primary protector is glutathione to guard our source of energy.
At first glance, glutathione is similar to other well-known antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E. However, unlike most antioxidants like resveratrol and quercetin – your body can make its own glutathione . It just needs the right building blocks.
In fact, your body needs to make glutathione in order for you to live a healthy life. Scientists have even suggested its levels as a great predictor of one’s lifespan . Certain health conditions and lifestyle factors can lower one’s glutathione levels. People with diabetes, hepatitis, cancer, heavy alcohol consumption, HIV, Parkinson’s COPD, and cigarette smokers have low glutathione —although it is not known if low glutathione levels brought on the disease or if the disease actually depletes glutathione levels.
• Diets high in processed foods and preservatives including nitrates, artificial sweeteners, dyes, and preservatives
• Chlorinated water
• Strenuous exercise
• Aging—levels go down after the age of twenty
• Pollution from car exhaust, second-hand smoke and industrial pollutants
• Pesticides, herbicides, solvents, fuels and fuel byproducts
• Household products such as laundry soap, fabric softeners, air fresheners, bleach, lawn and garden supplies
• Certain medications, including Tylenol
• Chronic stress, anxiety, depression
• Physical trauma
• Too much sun exposure, X-rays and electromagnetic fields (EMF’s)
Even though glutathione is naturally created in your cells, your body’s levels of it still naturally decrease with age. And glutathione also does not act alone in your body — it needs coenzymes to perform its various enzymatic roles.
The role of glutathione in necessary bodily functions is of primary importance. Healthy levels of glutathione are a major factor to good health and fighting disease.
The following health benefits largely relate to glutathione’s role in these vital bodily processes: Powerful Antioxidant
Antioxidants are one of the body’s biggest protectors of aging and disease . They go after free radicals and oxidative damage. Free radicals are highly reactive forms of oxygen produced in the body. When free radicals come into contact with normal molecules, they steal an electron, damaging the healthy cell and its DNA.
Just ‘living’ produces free radicals, and exercise, toxins in the environment and even lack of sleep increase that load. In fact, some estimates show that the DNA in your cells take 10,000 oxidative hits daily. Antioxidants work to counteract that damage caused by free radicals.
Glutathione directly binds to oxidative compounds that damage the cells and energy production. It goes after a wide range of oxidants, including superoxide, nitric oxide, carbon radicals, hydroperoxides, peroxynitrites, and lipid peroxides. Glutathione offers all-around antioxidant defense better than any other antioxidant .
Glutathione is equally important to boost the power of antioxidants your body needs, such as vitamin C and E. It increases overall antioxidant levels, something that could not be accomplished just with one substance. Lowers Inflammation
High levels of inflammation are present in virtually every chronic illness including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. However, inflammation can, and should be, a healthy and necessary reaction to fight infectious invaders . The problem comes when you cannot shut down an excessive inflammatory reaction.
Glutathione can block production of most inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are a product of our immune system. If you suffer from chronic health issues, cytokines contribute to a state of constant low-grade inflammation. While cytokines can be very beneficial, people with high levels of inflammation can have harmful levels of cytokines.
A number of airway and lung diseases including COPD, tuberculosis, pneumonia and asthma result in excessive inflammation, but they can improve when healthy glutathione levels are increased.
The highly contagious virus, SARS-CoV-2, also incites an inflammatory reaction in the lungs of some people, which can become deadly. This is often a result of a ‘cytokine’ storm which causes an excessive amount of fluid and inflammation to build up in the lungs. Glutathione helps to modulat e the immune reaction and lower the inflammatory response in this viral illness.Injuries also create an inflammatory response. Whether you are talking about trauma, infection, toxins, or allergies, your immune system answers the same.When an injury occurs, blood and lymph vessels release fluids and this creates the physical manifestations of redness, pain, stiffness, and swelling. After the infection or injury is repaired the acute inflammatory response normally subsides and goes away. Unfortunately for many , environmental toxins, diet, chronic stress, and other lifestyle issues can cause inflammation that does not go away as it is meant to. As a result, many people suffer from chronic, systemic inflammation.Rebalancing glutathione levels reduces chronic inflammation and restores a balanced immune function. Immune Power Glutathione helps your immune system stay strong and always ready to […]