Antioxidants are as you probably know superheroes for our body — with glutathione being no less than a cross between Superman and Underdog. As the most powerful antioxidant in the body, glutathione works around the clock to fend off the bad guys.
However not many people know about it
Glutathione is going to be a major helper as far as our health is concerned as research is showing us more and more as they begin to connect the dots between depleted stores of this antioxidant and the likelihood of chronic disease.
If you haven’t heard of Glutathione yet then watch out – it will be a headliner!
We make this amazing antioxidant in our body but as the body starts to wear out, due to toxins, nutritional deviances and high stress levels, the ability to make it depletes and so we start to break down.
Glutathione is a triple threat to toxins. It neutralizes free radicals, enhances the immune system and detoxifies the liver.The trappings of modern life — everything from refined foods to over-the-counter painkillers to stress — rob the body of this vital antioxidant. Around age 45, our glutathione levels start to slip. Ultimately, those levels can dip as much as 50 percent below optimal as we age.
Some scientists are now concluding that low glutathione levels are in part to blame for the free-radical-induced illnesses so common in middle age and later, such as dementia, cancer and heart disease. Indeed, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that, among people with heart disease, those with the least amount of glutathione in their blood were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those with the most glutathione.
If you have the burden of heavy metal toxicity – like mercury poisoning, then your glutathione levels take a beating. When you decide to do a heavy metal detox, this is using even more of your glutathione and so depletes the levels further
More about Glutathione
Found in every cell in the body, glutathione protects the cell’s engine, called the mitochondria from bacteria and viruses as well as toxins. It’s considered “the mother of all antioxidants because all other antioxidants, including vitamin C and vitamin E, rely on it to give them a second life.
The average antioxidant has a short life span, sacrificing itself whenever it wipes out a free radical. But glutathione carries enough extra zip to not only bring spent antioxidants back from the dead but also to recharge itself.
Most glutathione is made inside the body from three amino acids: glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine. In addition, some foods, particularly asparagus, Spinach avocado and squash, are high in a plant version of glutathione that the body converts to replenish its supply.
Under healthy conditions, and in a healthy environment, our bodies would be able to churn out plenty of glutathione to meet our daily needs. But cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods and certain medications deplete the body’s stash. As does stress. Toxic surroundings may pose an even bigger threat to our body’s glutathione supply. What I mean by toxic surroundings is the chemicals we use to clean and also to make our house smell lovely, air fresheners. Plus, we have another toxic stress and that is EMF – see my other blog on this
To fully understand the importance of glutathione, it helps to know a little more about its nemesis: free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules created by our metabolism. The instability stems from a missing electron. In a mad attempt to find balance, the rogue molecules rip electrons from their neighbours. As a result, those molecules turn into free radicals as well. This damage can eventually snowball and disrupt a cell’s integrity, causing it to behave abnormally.
Our body is always creating free radicals it is part and parcel of life. As it sparks our immune system into life either repairing or destroying. However, it is the amount of free radicals that we are now dealing with that is slowly but surely depleting our body.
Unfortunately, our bodies must contend with an ever-growing onslaught of free radicals in the environment. Free radicals hitchhike into the body on the backs of chemicals in the air, the water supply and the food chain. The cumulative load is called oxidative stress . Corrosion caused by oxidative stress (or oxidation) inside the body is often compared to the slow rusting of metal when it’s exposed to the elements.
Protecting cells from oxidation is where antioxidants, particularly glutathione, come into play. All antioxidants retard oxidative stress, but because glutathione recharges its allies, it plays a particularly important role in helping the body keep up with our accelerated modern-day demands.
Found throughout the body, glutathione is concentrated in the liver. The body’s primary detox organ, the liver is charged with giving nutrients permission to be absorbed and giving toxins heave ho. But expelling a toxin isn’t easy. In phase one, of the liver detoxification process, liver enzymes must convert the toxin into a compound that can be flushed. (phase one of the liver is the rounder up of toxins and phase two mops up)
In phase two, glutathione is used to grab hold of the toxin and escort it out of the body via urine or bile. If there isn’t enough glutathione on hand, the toxins stack up like so many cars in a traffic jam.
Glutathione owes much of its detoxifying prower to cysteine. A sulphur-rich amino acid. Cysteine is abundant in eggs, garlic, chicken, beef, fish and whey protein.
Sulphur is a sticky smelly molecule that acts very much like a flypaper as in it traps toxins “Sulphur is a sticky, smelly molecule that acts like flypaper trapping toxins in the body This is why vegetables high in sulphur, including garlic and onions, have been at the heart of detoxification diets for years. Plus we now have black Himalayan salt that is high in sulphur as well as other minerals. I get many clients to take a form of Sulphur which is commonly known as MSM – the creation of Glutathione is the main reason it is on the menu!
Another plant substance, called cyanohydroxybutene - found in cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, can help to restock the body’s glutathione supply.
We have been taught that broccoli and other cruciferous veggies are important to the detox protocol, but we didn’t fully understand the significance, Now we know that it’s because they enhance glutathione production
Green tea and resveratrol also contain substances that switch on genes responsible for making glutathione.
If you have already learnt about glutathione and taken a supplement but not had any significant results there is a reason.
It is because we are so much better off if we can give our bodies enough of the ingredients that makes glutathione and then our liver can do it’s job far more effectively. .
So if you know that your liver is struggling then it is time to look at how you can support it in the most natural way possible
Or why not do that even if you are sure you are healthy it would be good to make sure that you are keeping your levels of glutathione up – prevention is so much easier than cure
There is no blood test as yet that can tell you what your levels are – well none that are offered as standard anyway
So, don’t wait until you’re sick to think about glutathione. High stress levels, certain medications, past infections and a poor diet can all nibble away at the body’s glutathione stores.
So develop a strategy
Eat lots of the following –
Asparagus, spinach, grapefruits, strawberries, cauliflower.
Plus the foods that are high in sulphur – as mentioned above - eggs, garlic, chicken, beef, fish and whey protein.
Limit toxin exposure – eat as much organic food as possible plus only buy real, unprocessed foods. Use natural cleaning products and do the EMF detox I talk about in my other blog
Supplement with Selenium – especially in NZ where our levels are very low in the soil.
if you are not on Vitamin C then it is a good idea to make sure you are having enough
Plus include herbs – medicinal and culinary – Milk Thistle, Oregon grape root, turmeric, cayenne pepper they all help enhance glutathione production.
Try our Glutathione boost herbal/homeopathic – it really can help.
Other supplements you can try – although they are expensive if you are struggling with your health and well-being these two are very valuable NAC – N-acetyl- cysteine and Alpha Lipoic acid – both can help a severely depleted Glutathione system.
If you are interested lets chat xx