Ingredient Spotlight: Glutathione
Glutathione is vital to our life. No, not gluten. Glu - ta - thi - one. It's right inside your cells, yet you probably don't even know what it is or what it does.
- Glutathione is a part of every cell in our bodies and helps with all functions.
- Glutathione can be increased through diet or supplements.
- Higher glutathione levels were linked to better physical health, fewer diseases, and higher self-rated health.
What is it?
On a cellular level, it is a tripeptide made up of cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid that is found in remarkably high amounts in most cells (5 millimolar). This is the same concentration of glucose, potassium, and cholesterol found in cells, yet is mostly unknown.
- Neutralizes singlet oxygen, hydroxyl radicals, and superoxide radicals (cell disruptors found in the environment, i.e. alcohol, smoke, pollution, heavy metals, pesticides, POP’s**)
- Neutralizes free radicals generated by the liver
- Is necessary in several antioxidant enzymes
- Is needed for vitamin C and E regeneration
- Transports mercury out of cells and the brain
- Regulates cellular growth and apoptosis (cell death)
- Is necessary for mitochondrial function and mitochondrial DNA preservation (mtDNA)
How to Increase Glutathione
Glutathione is necessary for good health, to protect the body from pollutants, and to increase lifespan. Since glutathione is so crucial to our functioning, we want to have higher levels. The good news is that there are several effective ways to do this. The first, of course, is to decrease the need for glutathione, which means decreasing toxic load.
The most obvious is limiting alcohol consumption. A lack of antioxidants, such as glutathione, may also increase cell death in the liver. Both people who abuse alcohol and those who do not can get fatty liver disease as a result of this. Glutathione has been found to help people with alcoholic and nonalcoholic chronic fatty liver disease increase their protein, enzyme, and bilirubin levels in their blood.
Another strategy is to eat other antioxidants to decrease oxidative stress. Glutathione contains sulfur molecules, which may be why foods high in sulfur help to boost its natural production in the body. These foods include:
- Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy
- Allium vegetables, such as garlic and onions
- Lean protein, such as fish, and chicken
Other foods and herbs that help to naturally boost glutathione levels include:
- Milk thistle
- Guso seaweed
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that the body produces and utilises on a daily basis. Low levels have been linked to a variety of medical issues by researchers. There are no dangers associated with a diet high in glutathione-boosting foods.
Supplements, on the other hand, may not be appropriate for everyone. To find out if glutathione is suitable for you, talk to your doctor. Possible negative effects include stomach cramps, bloating, rash, difficulty breathing. They may also conflict with other prescription medications. Consult a doctor before beginning glutathione supplementation to ensure that it is both safe and effective. What is proven for everyone is getting enough sleep on a regular basis, this has been shown to increase natural levels.
Skin Brightening Myth and POPs
The role of systemic glutathione as a skin-whitening agent is not successful enough, according to an evidence-based critical assessment of multiple studies, because it was only beneficial in select places. Furthermore, if glutathione administration is discontinued, skin color returns to its natural level, making long-term benefits unsustainable.
**Persistant Organic Polluants: Because of their propensity for long-range transport, persistence in the environment, tendency to bio-magnify and bio-accumulate in ecosystems, and major detrimental impacts on human health and the environment, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are substances of worldwide concern. But glutathione studies show a positive relationship in reduciing POP effects.
Humans are exposed to these chemicals in a variety of ways, the most common being through the food we consume, but also through the air we breathe, whether outside, inside, or at work. POPs have been introduced to many goods in our everyday lives to improve product features, such as flame retardants or surfactants. As a result, POPs may be found in quantifiable proportions almost worldwide
POPs bio-magnify and bioaccumulate in organisms as they go up the food chain. POPs are found in the greatest amounts in creatures at the top of the food chain. As a result, POPs can be discovered in the human body at low amounts. Increased cancer risk, reproductive diseases, immune system change, neurobehavioral impairment, endocrine disruption, genotoxicity, and increased birth abnormalities can all result from human exposure to POPs, even at low levels in some compounds and circumstances.
Low levels of glutathione is associated with: AIDS/HIV, chronic exposure to chemical toxins and alcohol, cadmium exposure, macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders. GSH depletion has been linked to a variety of illnesses and functional decline as people age. Higher glutathione levels were linked to better physical health, fewer diseases, and higher self-rated health in a representative survey of community-dwelling older people.
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that’s made in the body’s cells. Its levels decrease as a result of aging, stress, and toxin exposure. Boosting glutathione may provide many health benefits, including reduction of oxidative stress. Also its combative effect against POP’s is an incredible benefit that should not be overlooked.
Written by Kiana St. Onge