Glutathione: The ‘Master Antioxidant’
By Dori Cranmore R.N.
Naturally produced by our bodies, Glutathione is known as the Master Antioxidant because it can help protect your cells from oxidative damage. It is found mostly in the liver, and used by every cell and tissue in our body. Production of Glutathione, (or GSH) in a cell, depends on the availability of glutathione precursors; three amino acids glutathione is made of; glutamate, glycine and cysteine.
The benefits are extensive but there are many ways Glutathione can be depleted from our body which may result in a weakened immune system, a higher susceptibility to cancer and rapid aging process.
Poor diet, toxins, stress, radiation, pollution, medications, aging, uv radiation and trauma can deplete our Glutathione levels. Certain diseases such as Diabetes type II, Parkinson’s disease, Aids, cancer and hepatitis can also deplete the levels.
Glutathione helps scavenge a wide array of free radicals including nitric oxide, which is essential to the health of our clean arteries. It also helps maximize the performance of vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and alpha-lipoic acid. It assists in detoxification, immune enhancement, boosting energy levels, and helps repair damaged cells.
There are 2 forms of glutathione. The reduced glutathione; also called L-glutathione is the most common supplement found in retail stores and there is also a liposomal or oxidized form that is more expensive but formulated for optimal absorption.
Glutathione is mostly taken as an oral capsule or liquid but it is also given intravenously, intramuscularly, topically or as an inhalant ordered through your doctor.
Glutathione testing is not a mainstream practice like cholesterol, however, there has been extensive studies done on the role low glutathione has on health and disease, mainly increased mortality. The blood testing fluctuates during the day because of exposure to toxins. It measures lowest in the mornings.
Other ways to boost and maintain healthy levels of glutathione is by making sure to include certain foods in your diet. Asparagus, almonds, spinach, walnuts, garlic, tomatoes, cucumber, watercress, chives, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, beets, parsley, curcumin and cinnamon are foods that can assist and boost the activity of the enzymes needed to produce more of our own glutathione.
Over 100,000 medical research articles have been written about the importance of Glutathione to our health maintenance. Raising Glutathione levels has been clinically proven to be beneficial for people afflicted with: AIDS, Alzheimer’s, asthma, burns, all cancers, cataracts, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, peripheral artery disease, diseases of liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, and digestive system, flu, fibromyalgia, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, physical trauma, skin disorders, seizures, tumors, and more.
At this time there are no known adverse reactions when taking glutathione supplementation with medications.
Dori Cranmore is a registered nurse and owner of All About Herbs, inc. This information is provided for education only and not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.