Ever heard of glutathione?
“Glutathione is a very simple molecule that is produced naturally all the time in your body. It is a combination of three amino acids -- cysteine, glycine and glutamine. The secret of its power is the sulfur (SH) chemical groups it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule. It acts like fly paper and all the bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins like mercury and other heavy metals. Normally glutathione is recycled in the body -- except when the toxic load becomes too great. And that explains why we are in such trouble.” (Dr. Mark Hyman, Huffington Post 04/10)
Glutathione is the first line of protection against environmental chemicals and toxins. If glutathione levels are low, then the body will not be able to rid itself of the toxins. Stress, lack of sleep, illness, injury and an overload of toxins can reduce glutathione levels.
Why is Glutathione so great?
1. Glutathione protects against oxidative stress of the immune system and allows new cells to attack germs and viruses.
2. Glutathione is the gatekeeper to the cell enabling antioxidants to come into the cell and be synthesized.
3. Glutathione is a detoxifier of the cell; grabbing on to and getting rid of toxins such as arsenic and mercury as well as riding the body of free radicals. A great video demonstrating this is given by Dr. Oz and can be watched here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFg7TYSn9zk
4. Glutathione is the only antioxidant that has the ability to recycle itself. No other antioxidant does this.
5. Glutathione protects the nucleus and DNA of a cell.
6. Gluthathione takes amino acids from outside the cell and transports the amino acid inside the cell.
Raising glutathione levels, especially in people who have cancer and other serious conditions, helps some people stabilize or even reverse their conditions. It may also enhance physical performance, mental acuteness, mood, and energy.
How can we increase our glutathione levels?
1. “The overall top food for maximizing your glutathione is high quality whey protein. It must be cold pressed whey protein derived from grass fed cows, and free of hormones, chemicals and sugar. Quality whey provides all the key amino acids for glutathione production (cysteine, glycine and glutamate) and contains a unique cysteine residue (glutamylcysteine) that is highly bioactive in its affinity for converting to glutathione. Glutamylcysteine is a bonded cysteine molecule (cysteine plus glutamate) that naturally occurs in Bovine Serum Albumin – a fragile immune component of the whey. This unique cysteine is exclusive to whey and rarely appears in other protein foods – which makes whey protein the best glutathione-promoting food source.” (Dr. Mercola April 2010).
2. Glutathione supplements are another way to increase glutathione in the body. I have not read any studies as to the efficacy of their use. Some argue that taking a glutathione supplement is a waste of money and time because the stomach acids destroy the glutathione.
3. Supplements in the form of a “precursor” may stimulate the body’s ability to produce glutathione. The body needs 3 precursors to produce glutathione: N-Acetyl Cysteine (derived from L-Cysteine), Glycine and Glutamate. While glycine and glutamate are abundantly found in foods such as broccoli, avocado, garlic, asparagus, tomatoes and spinach, N-Acetyl Cysteine is not. A precursor supplement focuses on giving the body enough N-Acetyl Cysteine.
4. A physician can administer glutathione intravenously. In the Dr. Oz video above, Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale Preventative Research Center, spoke about using the intravenous method with a patient who has Parkinson’s.
Glutathione, with all of its abilities to heal and purify, truly is the body’s own Super Hero.