Glutathione (“gloota-thigh-own”) was discovered in 1888, and is readily understood in Asia and other countries. Yet it is virtually unknown here in the United States.
Because of marketing efforts, people are much more familiar with the benefits of A, C and E and their important role as antioxidants.
But as it turns out, our bodies manufacture the most important antioxidant of all—and that antioxidant is glutathione. In fact, we literally cannot survive without this miraculous compound.
Glutathione, known as GSH, is a unique tripeptide, synthesized in the body from the amino acids glycine, L-glutamic acid and L-cysteine. It is a sulfur-based molecule that is present in every cell, tissue and organ.
Experts are just beginning to understand glutathione’s powerful role in the body. They are discovering that glutathione levels decline with age—falling by as much as 50% by the time you are 70. And there is a corresponding decline in health and survival rates.
A leading biomarker for health and aging
Researchers now correlate higher levels of glutathione with less illness and increased longevity. According to Jean Carper, author of Stop Aging Now!, “you must get your glutathione up if you want to keep your youth and live longer.” That’s because glutathione:
- Protects cells from oxidative and peroxidative damage
- Detoxifies the liver from environmental pollutants and drugs
- Enhances immune system function by boosting disease-fighting lymphocytes
- Regulates DNA biosynthesis and cell growth
Most people’s glutathione levels are too low
It doesn’t take much to deplete your glutathione levels. Prescription drugs, poor nutrition, stress, environmental toxins – and aging itself – all rob the body of this vital antioxidant.
Just about anything that “stresses” your body or mind will place a demand on glutathione. A healthy person’s body is able to keep up with the demands for glutathione by recycling used glutathione molecules and by making new ones as needed.
However if a person’s body cannot keep up, either because of extra high demands, aging or a shortage of the nutritional elements needed for GSH synthesis, the levels of glutathione in the cells can go too low. That can short-circuit your immune system, leaving you with fewer defenses when sickness strikes.
Low glutathione levels also leads to poor liver function, and result in large quantities of wastes build up and circulate through the body like a toxic storage dump. There they continually damage individual cells and organs.
The GSH shortage adversely affects other systems and organs, such as the lungs, nervous system, eyes and intestinal tract. In fact, some experts have linked as many as 74 medical disorders to glutathione deficiency – including accelerated aging, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Increasing your glutathione levels
If you want to live a long, full, and active life, increasing your glutathione levels is an excellent starting point—there is no medicine more basic that the body needs to defend itself from all manner of attacks.
GSH should be manufactured inside the cells. Therefore supplemental glutathione is not as effective as having a ready pool of constituents to make glutathione when and where it’s needed. The only way to do this is to supply your body with the raw materials it needs to produce GSH naturally.
Cysteine is the scarcest of the 3 amino acids. So one of the best glutatione-increasing strategies is to eat foods rich in cysteine (a sulfurous amino-acid).
Consume foods rich in proteins and amino acids
Eggs, raw milk, whey protein and bone broth soup are also good sources of the raw materials needed to make glutathione. Eggs and whey are also rich in sulfur, which gives glutathione much of its detoxifying prowess. (Onions and garlic are also high in sulfur.) If you buy whey protein, make sure it is undenatured.
Eat your cruciferous veggies
Cyanohydroxybutene (CHB), a substance found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, seems to stimulate glutathione production in your body.
Supplement with a high-quality glutathione precursor complex
Scientifically, the best way to boost glutathione levels is to take a supplement called GSH-3 Cell Defense, which provides three clinically studied ingredients required for glutathione optimization.
Its nutrients work together to not only increase glutathione—but to recycle used GSH in the body for maximum glutathione function. You can purchase GSH-3 here.
And, of course, you should eat organic produce and meats, filter your water, and limit your exposure to tobacco smoke, alcohol, drugs and toxins in cleaners, personal care and beauty products.
Minimizing your toxic burden will help safeguard your body’s ability to produce glutathione, while also reducing excess demand on your glutathione reserves.