In the health world, there are a lot of buzzwords, but have you heard of glutathione? Although this may be a new word to you, it is a major part of your overall health and is working in every cell of your body. Some of your health problems may be able to be solved or future ones may be prevented by keeping your glutathione levels high. Keep reading to learn all about this powerhouse peptide.
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a peptide that consists of three different amino acids, cycteine, glyciene, and glutamine, that play an essential role in the how the body functions. It is naturally produced by every cell in the human body. Glutathione is responsible for detoxification, aiding the efficiency of the immune system, and other functions of the body.
How Does Glutathione Work?
The power of detoxification that glutathione possesses is due to the sulfur chemical groups that it contains. Sulfur is able to trap the toxic and potentially dangerous things in the body, such as free radicals and toxins. When these toxins are trapped, they are carried out of the body through your bile or stool. This is what makes glutathione such a great detoxifier and essential to every cell.
As more and more toxins are released into our environment and put into our food or personal products, they are also being taken into our bodies. This means that extra detoxification is necessary to deal with these rising levels of pollutants.
When there are too many toxins entering the body, the detoxifying process of recycling glutathione is disrupted. Many of us are lacking adequate GSTM1 function to deal with these high levels. GSTM1 is one of the main genes that produces enzymes which allows the body to create and recycle glutathione.
Experts have found that a number of people are deficient or depleted in glutathione for a number of other reasons as well. These reasons include premature aging, genetically modified food such as artificial sweeteners, chronic stress, and abuse of antibiotics.
Glutathione essentially recycles antioxidants. Lower levels of glutathione causes our bodies to be less suitable to protect itself against free radicals, infections, and serious diseases such as cancer. Too many toxins in your system causes glutathione production to slow, which in turn means your body cannot eliminate as much of the toxins causing levels to rise even higher. This is why having high levels of glutathione is crucial to your immune system.
Mental and physical health may also be helped by this miracle detoxifier. Those with raised glutathione levels were seen to have increased strength and endurance. There was also evidence of decreased muscle damage and reduced recovery time after injury. Fat production was able to metabolize to promote muscle development as well.
Glutathione has many health benefits but is particularly helpful for those that have certain health conditions.
Decreased Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress refers to an imbalance of the amount of toxins compared to your body’s ability to remove them. As we discussed above, glutathione is able to help the body fight free radicals and other toxins to restore that balance. Decreasing oxidative stress on your body helps to protect you from possible infection and disease, including cancer.
Reduce Impact of Uncontrolled Diabetes
Those with diabetes that is not properly controlled may benefit from the effects of increased glutathione. Long-term high blood sugar has been related to depleted amounts of glutathione. By increasing amounts in some patients, a reduced amount of oxidative stress and the risk of tissue damage was reduced.
Help in Treating Autoimmune Diseases
Those with autoimmune diseases often suffer from chronic inflammation, which can increase oxidative stress. Autoimmune diseases can attack the mitochondria in certain cells. Glutathione helps to decrease this stress to protect the mitochondria by removing free radicals. Therefore, those with autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease or lupus, would benefit from increasing their glutathione levels.
Respiratory Disease Management
A medication known as NAC, or N- acetylcysteine is an inhalant used to reduce asthma attacks and cystic fibrosis. NAC is actually a byproduct of glutathione. It works for asthma by boosting glutathione, reducing inflammation, and thinning bronchial mucus. It can also be used to treat neurological disorders.
Insulin Resistance Improvement
Glutathione has been found to be associated with insulin resistance and weight management. It was determined that the lower the glutathione levels an individual had, the less fat the individual burned. This meant that more fat was stored in the body. When glutathione levels were increased in individuals diets who were insulin resistant, fat burning was improved.
Researchers believe that glutathione levels may have something to do with age and health status. For example, a study showed that the highest glutathione levels were found in healthy young people. Low levels were found in healthy elderly adults, with lower results for sick elderly adults. The lowest glutathione levels were of those that were hospitalized elderly. It has also been observed that those who are sick in the hospital with serious diseases, such as HIV/AIDs or cancer, have depleted glutathione levels.
Glutathione and Cancer
The most exciting studies being done about glutathione is how it affects cancer cells. There have been studies done that show promise of this peptide possibly being able to fight this terrible disease. In 2004 it was presented in research that when glutathione levels are increased in a tumor, they are able to protect other cells. Another study was performed by an Italian researcher that found cells with glutathione deficiency may be more vulnerable to oxidative stress. This could lead them to possible cancer development. There is still more research that needs to be done, but it is something that many scientists and doctors are looking into for the future.
How to Increase Your Glutathione Levels
There are a couple ways you can increase your glutathione levels, such as adding a variety of different foods to your diet. These include sulfur rich foods, such as broccoli, cauliflower, or collard greens. Also look for foods rich in vitamins B6, B9, B12, C, E, and Biotin.
By far the best food for you to increase your glutathione levels is grass-fed beef liver. This is full selenium, a powerful antioxidant that is essential for glutathione production. The liver is where nutrition is concentrated, making it far more bioavailable than some other of glutathione supplication, such as pills.
You may also add whey protein or milk thistle to your daily routine as these have been shown to increase your levels as well.
One of the best ways to increase your glutathione levels overall is to take it intravenously. This is a better solution if your diet is not the best, since supplements are usually not well absorbed.
Do you think you may need to get your glutathione levels checked? Or are you just ready to take charge of your health in general? Give our office a call, we would be happy to make you an appointment.