The Master Antioxidant

market-922845_1920

 

Bursting onto the health scene as “the master antioxidant,” glutathione has been in the spotlight recently for its ability to enhance the immune system and increase energy. Let’s take a bit of time to discuss what glutathione is, its role in health and how to keep your glutathione at peak levels using real food and lifestyle practices.

While certain vitamins, phytochemicals and minerals also act as antioxidants, glutathione is different because it is intracellular and produced inherently within a healthy and well-nourished body. Proper glutathione levels are actually required so that the other antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, selenium and carotenoids, can be properly utilized within the body. For detailed information on the importance of glutathione and causes of deficiency see our blog What is Glutathione and Why Do We Need It?

Glutathione Supplements: Do They Work?

If glutathione is so fantastically important, it makes sense that we should be able to incorporate a bit extra with a simple supplement and wallah! The problem with this desirably convenient solution however, is that oral glutathione supplements have repeatedly performed poorly in studies testing their absorption.

Another concern with glutathione supplementation is that by introducing large quantities of artificial glutathione, the body’s natural system for production will be disrupted. When a surge of compounds is introduced via synthetic supplementation, the body may cease its own production under the false perception that there are already adequate stores 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.

If glutathione is so fantastically important, it makes sense that we should be able to incorporate a bit extra with a simple supplement and wallah! The problem with this desirably convenient solution however, is that oral glutathione supplements have repeatedly performed poorly in studies testing their absorption.

Another concern with glutathione supplementation is that by introducing large quantities of artificial glutathione, the body’s natural system for production will be disrupted. When a surge of compounds is introduced via synthetic supplementation, the body may cease its own production under the false perception that there are already adequate stores available. Over time, this mis-signaling could lead to a dependency on supplements as natural production screeches to a halt.

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.

 

Proper glutathione levels are actually required so that the other antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, selenium and carotenoids, can be properly utilized within the body. For detailed information on the importance of glutathione and causes of deficiency see our blog What is Glutathione and Why Do We Need It?

Another concern with glutathione supplementation is that by introducing large quantities of artificial glutathione, the body’s natural system for production will be disrupted.

 

greek-salad-263745_1280

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.

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. Not all whey proteins are created equal: be sure that whey is from grass-fed cows, cold-processed and without sweeteners or other additives as these factors have a deleterious effect on the delicate glutathione-boosting proteins. We incorporate it by adding into our Radiant Life Superfoods Smoothie Recipe in the morning.

Glutathione production is dependent on adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the molecule which supplies cellular energy. Ironically, exceedingly strenuous exercise can lead to extensive cellular damage and free radical production.

Fresh, raw milk and raw eggs promote glutathione production, however these benefits are completely lost during pasteurization. Obtain raw milk and eggs from pastured chickens at a trustworthy local farm.

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.

In addition to acting independently as an antiseptic and antioxidant, some studies have indicated that curcumin may be very helpful in enhancing glutathione metabolism. Be sure to find a high quality source of turmeric that is organic, properly ground, and additive free.

Chronic low-level stress is one of the primary means by which glutathione is lost. Find a means to reduce stress through practices of mindfulness, yoga, time spent outside, reading or laughter. Simply stated, finding a way to manage stress can be very difficult.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.