What is Glutathione? It is the major antioxidant in the body that is created by the body and it is essential for having a strong immune system. It controls oxidation and helps to detoxify the body. The more glutathione you have the healthier you will be, the longer you will live and the less disease you will suffer from and the quicker you will recover from disease.
How is it created in the body? Glutathione is synthesised in the liver from a combination of amino acids, glutamine, cysteine and glycine and exists in every cell. Amino acids are comprised from sulphur, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen. It protects cells from oxidative stress, free radicals and stress, protects fat from oxidation, controls inflammation, helps to produce proteins and also helps to promote the function of T-cells which fight disease. It is a fantastic chelator meaning it binds to toxins and escorts them out of the body. Glutathione modulates cell activity and protects the mitochondria, the energy production of the body. People who have diseases will find that their glutathione levels are low. You need glutathione to prevent and recover from chronic disease and it also helps in apoptosis (programmed cell death).
Symptoms of low glutathione are acidosis when there is too much acid in the body, aneamia, frequent infections and problems caused by problems in the brain such as seizures, loss of co-ordination and brain confusion.
What drains your levels of glutathione? Many everyday things challenge our levels of glutathione such as pharmaceutical drugs, inflammation, infections, injury, exposure to toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, wireless radiation, genetically modified organisms. Paracetamol is particularly toxic to glutathione
How to increase it? As we age glutathione levels tend to decrease but we can counteract that by providing the body with the nutrients and raw materials that it needs.
Cruciferous vegetables and alliums are a good place to start because they contain sulphur. The sulphurofane in the onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and bok choi restore blood and glutathione levels in the cell.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to increase glutathione levels because it takes some of the pressure off glutathione by attacking free radicals first. Peppers, citrus, papaya, strawberry, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage and raw sauerkraut are examples of foods rich in vitamin C.
Vitamin E works to protect enzymes that in turn protects glutathione levels. Good examples of foods rich in vitamin E are avocados, chard, spinach, almonds.
Selenium is another major antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals that are produced as part of the bodies metabolism. Soil that contains adequate selenium levels will pass that on to the plants that grow in it. Sometimes when the soil is deficient in selenium that creates low selenium in the food. Best sources of selenium are brazil nuts, mushrooms, sunflower seeds and beans.
Some foods boost levels of glutathione but when cooked the glutathione is degraded and when it goes through the GI tract it is not well absorbed. Avocado, okra, asparagus and spinach are some of the foods that boost glutathione and they are more effective when eaten raw.
Milk thisle protects the liver and helps to repair and rejuvenate the liver. Protecting the liver will help it to do its many jobs, producing glutathione being one of them.
Turmeric with its active ingredient curcumin is an antioxidant that can also help the glutathione do its job.
Methylation nutrients are crucial for keeping the body producing glutathione. We are talking the vitamins B12, B6, B9 biotin
N-acetylcistene is a precursor to glutathione and it has recently been proven highly efficient at treating neurocognitive issues like addiction, compulsive behaviors, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Sleep is also extremely important in maintaining your glutathione levels because you need the renewal and repair of all your cells. Exercise also increases glutathione and it id best to get minimum 20 minutes every day. The more intense the better.