Naturally occurring glutathione, considered to be the body’s most powerful antioxidant, is found within all bodily cells. With additional vital roles as an immune booster and a detoxifying agent, this hard working and incredibly beneficial molecule is the only intracellular antioxidant in prime position to help maintain cellular health and performance, as well as provide protection from oxidative stress by neutralizing the free radicals that can cause DNA cell damage. Produced in the liver from three amino acids, glutamic acid, L-cysteine and L-glycine, healthy levels of glutathione reduce the risks of developing age-related diseases. Additionally, glutathione acts to control the inflammation behind the development of chronic diseases, and aids in the elimination of toxins, pollutants and heavy metals.
Extremely important to maintaining cellular health, evidence shows that the chronically ill, heart attack victims, and patients hospitalized with serious diseases are often found to be deficient in glutathione. Low levels of glutathione leave the cells more vulnerable to cellular DNA damage that contributes to the development of cancer, neurological diseases, and other age-related illnesses. Aging, stress, poor diet, injury, and illness all contribute to low cellular levels of glutathione. However, you can help to protect the body from oxidation by supporting the production of glutathione, as glutathione is both produced and recycled within the body.
Increasing the blood levels of glutathione supports immune function, optimizes detoxification, reduces free radicals and enhances heavy metal clearance. As a master antioxidant, glutathione recycles other antioxidants, such as oxidized lipoic acid, and vitamins C and E, and restores them to an active state after they have depleted their electrons neutralizing free radicals. The most effective way to increase glutathione levels is by eating glutathione boosting foods, exercising regularly and supplementing with glutathione and its precursors, the molecules necessary to support glutathione production.
Sufficient levels of glutathione won’t actually make you look younger, but will help to keep you healthier longer. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, practicing functional medicine physician, “A high level of glutathione is critical to recovery from nearly all chronic illness, to preventing disease and to maintaining optimal health and performance.” By exercising, consuming a nutrient dense diet, and supplementing, you can optimize your overall health and wellness goals along with your naturally occurring glutathione levels:
- Supplementation: Liposomal glutathione/S-Acetyl Glutathione– Glutathione on its own is not readily bioavailable. Liposomal glutathione, however, is believed to be fully absorbable. Liposomes are microscopic fats that surround and essentially hide the glutathione inside. Cells recognize the liposome, which is quickly absorbed into cell along with the glutathione. For optimal absorption and bioavailability, s-acetyl-glutathione provides the acetylated form of glutathione.
- NAC – One of the most effective ways to improve and ensure healthy levels of glutathione is by supplementing with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), an essential amino acid and a main building block of glutathione.
- Pay attention to vitamin intake – Be sure to get adequate levels of vitamins B6, B12, folate and betaine to support critical bodily functions, that include DNA repair, detoxification and immune health.
- Enhance glutathione synthesis – Consider supplementing with liver-supportive milk thistle, as well as selenium, which supports glutathione recycling, and alpha lipoic acid for support of many bodily processes, including detoxification and energy production.
- Add concentrated whey protein to your morning smoothie – Bioactive, pesticide and hormone free, whey protein is a great source of cysteine and other amino acids that support glutathione synthesis.
- Eat smart – Be sure to include sulfur-rich, cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetables in your diet. Studies have shown that sulfur amino acids stimulate glutathione production and support higher glutathione levels.
- Minimize toxin exposure – Toxic overload not only depletes glutathione levels; it also reduces the liver’s ability to produce it. To reduce your toxic load, switch to natural cleaning and body care products, use glass in lieu of plastic to store and reheat food, and when possible, purchase organically grown fruits and vegetables.
- Another reason to exercise – Studies suggest that moderate exercise, especially cardio exercise in combination with weight training, can increase glutathione levels, which helps to boost immunity, support detoxification and enhance antioxidant defenses.
- Manage your stress – Unmanaged, chronic stress takes on toll on glutathione levels. Take steps to get stress under control by using any calming techniques that help you to relax. This can be as simple as practicing mindful breathing several times each day.
Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality nutritional supplements to support overall wellness and healthy aging:
S-Acetyl Glutathione Synergy by Designs for Health – This formula provides a unique acetylated form of glutathione for optimum absorption and bioavailability. Additional ingredients include vitamin B6 and NAC. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.
NAC 600 mg by Pure Encapsulations – As a precursor to glutathione, this free- form amino acid enhances glutathione production, increases tissue levels of glutathione and plays a role in heavy metal detoxification. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.
Milk Thistle Max-V by Douglas Laboratories – This product provides standardized Silymarin shown to nutritionally support and enhance normal, healthy liver function, acts to prevent toxins from entering the liver and enhances levels of glutathione. Soy free, vegan formulation.
Whey Protein Concentrate by Biotics Research – This Non-GMO, hormone-free whey protein concentrate is derived from grass fed New Zealand cows in support of anti-aging, detoxification and liver and gallbladder health. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.
Homocysteine Factors by Pure Encapsulations – This formula provides activated B6, folate as Metafolin®, B12 as methylcobalamin, and anhydrous betaine in support of healthy homocysteine metabolism and glutathione production. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.
The importance and regulation of hepatic glutathione. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC25960
The Key Benefits of Glutathione. http://aminoacidstudies.org/l-glutathione/
What Glutathione (GSH) is and how it affects your immune health. http://www.immunehealthscience.com/glutathione.html
Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/glutathione-the-mother-of_b_530494.html
What is Glutathione and How Do I Get More of It? http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/12/what-is-glutathione-and-how-do-i-get-more-of-it/
Methylation Problems Lead to 100s of Diseases. http://suzycohen.com/articles/methylation-problems/
How Does Liposomal Glutathione Work? http://glutathione.wellwise.org/how-do-liposomes-work