How to Boost Glutathione (The Mother of All Antioxidants) Naturally?


It may be hard to pronounce glutathione (gloota-thigh-own) but if you forget to maintain it at optimum levels, you could be missing out on “The Mother of All Antioxidants,” as Mark Hyman, MD names it. Since every cell in the body produces it, the peptide is highly crucial to maintain a healthy immune system. In fact, a popular 2014 study coins it as a predictor of our lifespan.

“It’s the (body’s) most important antioxidant because it’s within the cell,” says McGill University in Montreal’s former surgery professor Gustavo Bounous, MD.

Technically, glutathione (GSH) is not an essential nutrient because our body can produce it from amino acids L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid, and glycine.

Functions of Glutathione (GSH)

  • Makes drugs more digestible by linking together with them.
  • Acts as a helper molecule for vital enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase.
  • Helps in the critical biogenesis of a third of all human proteins.
  • Reduces harmful natural bleaching agents, peroxides.
  • Helps in the production of a vital component (leukotriene) for inflammatory and hypersensitivity reactions.

People could invite the deficiency of this powerhouse molecule with pre-mature aging, infections, chronic stress, injuries, environmental toxins, and other factors.

Cancer and GSH

“If you look in a hospital situation at people who have cancer, AIDS, or other very serious disease, almost invariably they are depleted in glutathione. The reasons for this are not completely understood, but we do know that glutathione is extremely important for maintaining intracellular health,” says chairman of the department of nutrition at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon—Jeremy Appleton, ND.

GSH is now discovered to be more potent against cancer than before, according to recent investigations. There are studies which attribute increase in cancer and neurological disease due to GSH deficiency.

However, GSH is a double-edged sword which could risk deficient cells to oxidative stress, leading to development of cancer, as per an Italian research by the Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of General Pathology (Genoa).

GSH can resist chemotherapeutic drugs and protect tumor cells in bone marrow, breast, colon, larynx, and lung cancers, as mentioned in a 2004 study published in the journal Cell Biochemistry and Function.

Natural Foods to Boost GSH

Particularly for its role of preventing and managing diseases, you should be looking to boost your GSH levels, besides its natural benefits. Below are some important foods you would want to start eating, however GSH is also available in supplement form.

Cruciferous Vegetables: Include these cancer-fighting, sulfur-rich foods in your natural diet: arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage. When your sulfur amino acid intake suffers, the GSH concentrations in your liver and lungs collapse.

Folate Foods: They are the best way to maintain methylation ingredients, which are “the most critical to keep the body producing glutathione,” according to Dr. Hyman. Garbanzo beans, pinto beans, lentils, spinach, asparagus are top foods rich in folate.

Selenium Foods: Selenium supports the body to produce GSH and also functions as a strong antioxidant. Stock your kitchen with Brazil nuts, yellow fin tuna, halibut (cooked), sardines (canned), grass-fed beef.

Vitamin C & E Foods: Vitamin C increases GSH levels in red blood cells and lymphocytes and Vitamin E protects GSH enzymes and works with GSH as a vital antioxidant. Eat oranges, red peppers, kale, strawberries, grapefruit for Vitamin C and almonds, sweet potato, avocado, wheat germ, sunflower seeds for Vitamin E.

Beef Liver: It’s recommended to only eat high-quality grass-fed beef liver for an effective way to improve your selenium and glutathione production.

Dr. Victor Marchione
Dr. Victor Marchione received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and continued on to do his Medical Degree at the University of Messina. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for more than 20 years.

He is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and the NBC Today Show. As well as being on the Advisory Board for Bel Marra Health, he is also the editor of the Health eTalk newsletter.