Everyone has heard of antioxidants, and the majority understand they are integral to enhancing and maintaining optimal health and immune function. What most people still don’t know, is the importance of the body’s most powerful antioxidant; Glutathione. Referred to as “The Body’s Master Antioxidant”.
What Is Glutathione?
Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant found in virtually every living cell on the planet. That’s right, it isn’t unique to humans, it is also found in plants and animals. Vital for the health and function of each individual cell and the organism as a whole.
GSH acts as a magnet, traveling throughout the body and gathering up all the toxins and heavy metals found in our cells. It ushers these harmful toxins out of the body and continues its cycle throughout the body.
Measuring active Glutathione levels (GSH) and oxidized Glutathione levels (GSSG) is a direct way to measure overall cellular toxicity levels. If the ratio between oxidized and active Glutathione is healthy, the cells are being detoxified effectively. If there is an abundance of oxidized Glutathione, it means the body cannot cope with the immense toxic load and is falling behind.
Unlike other antioxidants, Glutathione is capable of recycling itself once it is used up. Converting itself back into its active form through the methylation process. It can also help to recycle and optimize the function of other antioxidants like Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
What Impacts Glutathione Levels?
Many things can influence the amount of active Glutathione in the body. The number one risk factor for low GSH levels is age.
- Glutathione levels deplete naturally throughout the aging process. Leaving older individuals with an impaired immune function and reduced ability to effectively detox.
- Environmental factors also impact GSH levels. Increasing the toxic load and rapidly using up GSH stores.
- Air pollution is one of these environmental factors. Pollutants found in car and industrial exhaust contaminate the air we breath and increase the toxic load put on the body.
- Toxins found in food and water are also responsible for depleting GSH levels. These can range from heavy metal contamination, GMO’s, steroids, antibiotics and highly processed diets.
- Pharmaceutical medications can also deplete GSH levels significantly. Many pharmaceutical drugs are processed in the liver, causing an immense strain on the body’s natural detoxification process and rapidly using up GSH stores.
- Lifestyle can also impact the body’s GSH levels. Inactive individuals often have depleted GSH levels and are more vulnerable to infection and illness.
- Illnesses and infections reduce active GSH levels significantly. The one thing that is synonymous with any illness or infection, is depleted GSH. This is because it is rapidly used up in order to fight the infection or illness.
How You Can Naturally Enhance GSH Levels
There are a number of things you can do in order to improve your Glutathione stores.
- Eating sulfur rich foods is a great way to boost the body’s natural GSH synthesis.
- A quality undenatured whey protein is another way to provide the building blocks for the body’s natural production of GSH.
- Supplementing with L-Glutathione will directly enhance GSH levels in the body.
- Supplementing with Glutathione precursors will provide the body with the necessary components to synthesize GSH naturally. These GSH boosting precursors include: N Acetyl-L-Cysteine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Milk Thistle Extract, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium and Magnesium.
- Exercise can help to boost Glutathione production. The body will naturally boost GSH production to help combat the increase in Free Radical formation during physical activities.
Benefits of Glutathione
The benefits of high Glutathione levels range far and wide, impacting virtually every bodily system and function.
- Fortified immune response and function. Helping to fight off infection before it has a chance to gain a foothold.
- Anti-Inflammatory benefits of GSH are integral to the prevention of disease. Chronic inflammation is one of the biggest risk factors for the manifestation of virtually every known disease.
- Liver health is one of the most commonly known benefits of increased Glutathione levels. Decreasing the toxic load put on the liver allows it to perform better and repair itself naturally.
- Skin health and appearance is also greatly affected by Glutathione. Increasing antioxidant activity helps to fight the aging process, leaving skin looking and feeling years younger.
- Improving cognitive health and function is one of the most important functions of Glutathione. Helping to prevent and repair the oxidative damage brought on through the accumulation of heavy metals and toxins.
The Master Antioxidant
Glutathione is slowly gaining traction in the health supplement world. With tens of thousands of medical studies done on Glutathione, health professionals and mainstream media sources are finally clueing in on the remarkable benefits of this antioxidant.
Expect Glutathione to become the next “Big Thing” in both health and fitness supplements. Far from a flash in the pan like so many miracle drugs, the effects of Glutathione are easily quantifiable and realized.
Author: Jeffrey Sutton contributes to numerous online health sites and publications. Having spent years specializing in natural health supplements with an emphasis on Glutathione, Jeffrey recently formulated the Glutathione enhancing supplement GSH Gold.