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The most powerful antioxidant that you have never heard of and the bad news is that our poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all deplete our body’s glutathione levels.” Glutathione plays a critical role in the body, responsible for clearing out toxins from our cells, chelating heavy metals, regulating our immune function and reducing inflammation. Our body uses glutathione to naturally detoxify itself on a constant basis, stores are used more rapidly when fighting infection, illness or disease. Stress and environmental toxins can also deplete GSH stores.
In layman's terms, glutathione passes through our cells acting as a magnet for toxins, heavy metals and free radicals. As it passes through each cell it attaches to these harmful contaminants and ushers them out of the body. Once it has done this it is recycled and the process begins all over again. Happening constantly in every single cell in every living organism. The ratio of oxidized glutathione to reduced glutathione in the body is often used to measure cellular toxicity. This is why it is widely regarded as one of the best indicators of overall health and well-being. Maintaining a high level of reduced glutathione as well as efficiently recycling oxidized glutathione into its reduced state is extremely important to optimize cellular and function. Due to the profound health benefits of glutathione and the 100,000 plus studies done on its effects, it is fast becoming a widely recognized antioxidant.

It is used for the repair and synthesis of DNA, proteins, amino acid transport and enzyme activation. Cellular health relies heavily on the ability to rid itself of toxins, heavy metals, oxidative stress and free radicals. These impact the cells ability to produce energy, respond to infection and replicate themselves properly.

 

Anti-Aging Renowned for its anti-aging benefits, glutathione is thought of as a fountain of youth. When people think of aging they always think of two things, their appearance and their cognitive function. Amazingly enough, glutathione can help turn back time on both fronts.

Skin Health and Appearance

The constant bombardment of toxins. Increased toxicity catalyzes the aging process, impairing cellular health and replication. Detoxifying the skin is an effective way to prevent many signs associated with aging such as, wrinkles, crows feet and liver spots. Oxidative damage speeds up these signs of aging and glutathione protects the skin (as well as the whole body) from oxidative damage as well as repairing the damage already done. Liver function also affects how rapidly we age, an impaired liver is incapable of ridding the body of toxins which lead to cellular damage. It leads to yellowing of the skin, eyes and nails (jaundice) as well as inflammation. Glutathione is found in its highest concentrations in the liver, aiding in the detoxifying process, protecting the liver from damage and repairing damaged liver cells. Helping to prevent chronic inflammation, which leads to free radical formation and oxidative damage. Cognitive Function and Health Maintaining cognitive function is one of the biggest concerns we face as we age.

 

Chelating heavy metals is one of the most effective measures in order to prevent cognitive decline. The key to fighting cognitive decline is to promote the body’s stores of the certain antioxidants with the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and detoxify the brain. Glutathione is one of these antioxidants, capable of chelating the heavy metals in the brain while clearing away harmful toxins. Helping to prevent cognitive disorders while maintaining cognitive function throughout the aging process. This means an improved memory and mental alertness, two things that most feel are unavoidable with old age.

 

Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association stated that in 2013 nearly 10% of all Americans had diabetes, and far more have what is called prediabetes. Diabetes is truly a trillion dollar problem. The answer to this increasingly worrisome problem could be improved glutathione levels though. Patients with type 2 diabetes have been found to have severely deficient glutathione synthesis due to the limited availability of precursors. Sustained hyperglycemia is associated with low glutathione levels, leading to oxidative stress, which can cause severe tissue damage.

 

When dealing with persistent hyperglycemia, improving GSH levels can lower oxidative stress and oxidant damage. Reducing tissue damage and fortifying the immune system. By reducing the chronic inflammation glutathione helps prevent damage to nerve and blood cells. When these cells are damaged it leads to heart disease, retinal damage and kidney failure to name a few; all of which are hallmark symptoms of diabetes.

The Liver

The single most important organ in the body when it comes to keeping our body clean. It is a detoxifying powerhouse, constantly cleansing our blood of harmful substances. It is not a big surprise that our most powerful detoxifying organ is home to the highest concentrations of glutathione in the body.

Our modern world bombards the liver everyday through environmental toxins, highly processed diets, toxins found in our crops and drinking water as well as most pharmaceutical medications. Putting the onus of clearing the exorbitant amount of toxins on the liver takes its toll.  An overworked liver cannot work as effectively as it should, it leads to inflammation of the liver which further inhibits its function. If this inflammation persists it can lead to scarring of the liver tissue or liver cirrhosis and eventually liver failure. Another characteristic of an overworked liver is severely limited glutathione stores, because the liver is using up this glutathione in order to help detoxify the body. Enhancing glutathione levels is one of the best ways to relieve the strain placed on the liver, known as the liver’s natural detoxifier.

Allowing this detoxifying organ to work as it should, preventing inflammation and improving the health of every system in the body. Maintaining high glutathione levels not only relieves the strain put on the liver, it also encourages protein synthesis. Resulting in the production of new, healthy liver cells. These new liver cells replace the damaged cells, effectively regenerating itself in order to optimize its performance once again.

 

Energy

Overall energy levels and stamina are a direct result of cellular energy production. The power plant of the cell responsible for energy production is the mitochondria.

Mitochondrial dysfunction is a large contributing factor in many diseases due to its direct relationship with cellular metabolism. Often manifesting as neurological disorders, myopathy, diabetes and a wide variety of other disorders. There is a vicious cycle associated with mitochondrial mutations. When reactive oxygen species are high there is significant oxidative stress in the mitochondria. This increase oxidative stress results in much higher mutation rates of mitochondrial DNA, this causes enzymatic abnormalities which further worsen oxidative stress levels. This cycle is known as the mitochondrial free radical theory of aging, thought to rapidly increase the rate at which a body ages. Due to glutathiones integral role in not only cellular health but also DNA health, it is a key factor in repairing and mitigating damage caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. Helping to reverse the cycle of mitochondrial mutations by reducing reactive oxygen species and correcting DNA abnormalities within the mitochondria. High levels of glutathione ensure the cell’s powerhouse energy producer is working efficiently and replicating properly. Improving energy levels, reducing oxidative stress and slowing down the aging process substantially.

 

Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural and healthy immune response, however it is also the key contributor to virtually every disease we know of. It crosses the line between healthy and harmful when it persists longer than necessary. One small protein complex known as nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-kB) is found in nearly all-living cells. It is involved in regulating immune response and responding to inflammatory stimuli like stress, cytokines, free radicals, bacteria and viruses. Once activated, NF-kB can start a cascading effect of inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation releases a huge amount of free radicals and causes severe damage to our cells, resulting in further inflammation and free radical formation. Very few nutrients are capable of switching the NF-kB off once it is turned on; one of these exceptionally important nutrients is glutathione. Not only does it switch off the NF-kB response, it repairs the flood of free radical and oxidative damage caused by inflammation. Glutathiones ability to prevent chronic inflammation and prevent an unhealthy inflammatory response means it is extremely beneficial in the treatment of most health disorders. This is especially true for the plethora of autoimmune diseases and cognitive disorders that are manifested through an unhealthy inflammatory response.

 

Immune Function

The direct link between glutathione levels and immune system function is paramount in the discussion of why glutathione is so beneficial for our health and well-being. Our glutathione levels are depleted when we are combating disease or infection, due to the consumption of cysteine in order to clone T-cells.

Glutathione regulates the binding, degradation and T-cell proliferation by increasing the number of binding cellular receptors. More receptors mean the body can produce more T-cells simultaneously. Dramatically improving the systemic immune response. The healthy growth and function of immune cells depends heavily on the availability of glutathione. It both enhances the activity of immune cells and functions by acting as a powerful antioxidant within them. “The bad news is that our poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all deplete your body’s glutathione levels.”