It was a few years ago that the “master antioxidant,” glutathione entered the wellness scene and took over the spotlight due to its wonderful benefits including being one of the most potent immune system and energy booster. Companies have taken advantage of glutathione’s popularity by manufacturing their respective formulas of the perfect glutathione supplements; all of which come packaged in clinical-looking bottles filled with its many positive health benefits. However these advantages are discussed in dizzyingly-complex jargon, making it extremely difficult for consumers to learn the very essence and genuine benefits of glutathione supplementation.
For health enthusiasts looking for more wholesome, all-natural sources of glutathione, there are numerous food sources inherently packed with this master antioxidant. In this article, we will discuss everything that you need to know about glutathione-its role in promoting optimum health and ways to keep glutathione levels at its peak levels simply by consumption of wholesome foods and leading a healthier lifestyle.
An Overview on Glutathione
Glutathione is compound found in every cell of the body. Its primary function is to act as an antioxidant that fights off the proliferation of free radicals thus preventing cell damage. Glutathione is a simple molecule made up of three protein building blocks or amino acids, namely cysteine, glycine, and glutamine. Although it is true that nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals function as antioxidants too, glutathione’s action is very different in that it is intracellular in nature and can be produced by a health and well-nourished body. Glutathione in ideal levels also facilitate the utilization of other antioxidants such as selenium, carotenoids, and Vitamins C & E.
Aside from the antioxidant function of glutathione, it also assumes other important biochemical functions such as efficient energy utilization, proper immune system activity, detoxification, and disease prevention to name a few. The natural production of glutathione is however easily disrupted, making it easy for stores to become easily depleted as a result of unhealthy diet, stress, certain medications, bacterial and viral infections, radiation, and toxins. With all these in mind, it becomes imperative to maintain healthy glutathione levels.
Glutathione Supplementation- Does it work?
Now that we have established the importance of glutathione, it becomes crystal clear that we need to supplement our diets with it. The simplest way to do so is by taking glutathione supplements. Incorporating supplements into our diet however does not guarantee a boost in energy and its other health benefits. Although convenient, supplementation does not guarantee optimum results, as evidenced by numerous studies pointing to the facts that glutathione supplements perform poorly when tested for its absorption rate. It is true that researchers have found more promising results with intravenous supplementation, this method is obviously less convenient due to its invasive nature, high cost, and inaccessibility to the average individual.
Yet another concern with glutathione supplementation is the fact that introducing absurdly high amounts of glutathione on a regular basis disrupts our body’s natural production of glutathione. Typically the body reacts this way to synthetic supplementation of glutathione- the body stops its production of glutathione with the false perception that it already has optimum stores available. In the long run, this mis-signaling can lead an individual to suffer from dependency on glutathione supplements as the body has finally stopped its production altogether.
So how can we boost glutathione levels naturally?
While pharmaceutical companies are relentless in coming up with the perfect, artificial glutathione formulation, you can take advantage of the many ways to boost your natural glutathione levels.
Supplementing the body with wholesome, all-natural nutrients and implementation of regular exercise, you can successfully maintain perfect harmony and balance, which in turn increases the natural production of glutathione.
- Consuming a wide array of fresh, organic produce in our daily diet is extremely helpful in delivering much-needed nutrients for glutathione production. For instance, sulfur-rich veggies such as onion, garlic, tomatoes, squash, and cruciferous vegetables are nutritious. Make sure to prepare them properly. Overcooking veggies significantly reduces the glutathione content down to 60%, whilst canning veggies obliterates glutathione levels completely.
- Nondenatured, native whey protein is packed with a wide range of naturally-occurring glutathione base ingredients such as lactoferrin, covalent bonded cysteine, immunoglobulins, and active peptides.
Bear in mind that no whey protein supplements are created equal, which means that you need to pick whey that comes from grass-fed cows, cold-processed, and without artificial sweeteners and additives. These ingredients are known to have deleterious effects on glutathione’s extremely delicate boosting building blocks.
- Glutathione production is highly dependent on the presence of adenosine triphosphate- the molecule responsible for the supply of energy to cells. Kick start your energy system by starting your day with a healthy dose of exercise. Make sure not to overdo your workout as strenuous physical activity results in muscular damage that produces more free radicals. Instead of pushing yourself to the limit, try to adhere to a healthy fitness regime whilst finding the right type of exercises that work for you. Take adequate amounts of rest and recovery in between to stimulate the production of natural glutathione. The practice of rebounding is an effective technique of boosting cell metabolism, while at the same time reducing the risk for injury.
- Fresh dairy products and eggs boost glutathione production. Sadly, this benefit is lost during the process of pasteurization. Processing these food sources at high temperatures depletes the useful proteins, cofactors, and cultures necessary for glutathione production. Pick raw eggs and milk from free-range chickens from your local farm.
- Alpha lipoic acid, a substance abundant in red meats and organ meats from grass-fed animals has been found to aid in glutathione regeneration. It also helps sustain the activity of Vitamins C & E in the body. If you are unsure of incorporating organ meats into your diet, you may try desiccated liver- a product that has been found to be helpful in reaping all the healthy benefits exclusively found in organ meats.
- The Indian spice, turmeric contains curcumin- an active compound that is widely popular for its healing properties. In addition to its antioxidative and antiseptic qualities, studies reveal that curcumin is beneficial in boosting glutathione metabolism. Integrate the use of curcumin in your diet by additing it to stews, soups, and salad dressings. You may also try integrating curcumin supplements as part of your wellness regime. Make sure to pick high-quality, fresh turmeric that is properly grounded and free of additives.
- Aside from implementing ways to boos glutathione production, it is also important to actively find ways to minimize the causative factors leading to its depletion. Long-term, low-level stress if one of the primary causes why natural glutathione levels gets easily depleted. In essence, the human body was never designed to tolerate high
levels of cortisol and adrenaline release over a long period o time. Make sure to find ways to reduce your stress levels. Mindfulness, yoga, and spending time outdoors are effective ways of keeping the glutathione levels in check. Stress management is not only best to maintain ideal glutathione levels in cells, but is also helpful in facilitating faster healing.