What are the Health Benefits of Glutathione? Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant produced in cells. It’s made up of three amino acids: glutamate, cysteine, and glycine. Its primary function is to protect the cells from harmful free radicals that may cause damage.
Glutathione is also needed for different chemical processes in the body. Although glutathione can be produced naturally by the body, its production declines with age, hence the need to supplement. Glutathione supplements are available in capsules and in liquid form. There are also topical, inhalant, and intravenous preparations. You may also choose to obtain glutathione naturally from foods.
Health Benefits of Glutathione
1. It protects against oxidative stress
As an antioxidant, glutathione helps neutralize free radicals that may cause damage and disease formation. Besides, it’s abundantly available in every cell, thus providing maximum protection against oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the formation of free radicals in the body and the body’s antioxidant ability to detoxify them or repair the damage caused.
Free radicals are produced by the cells during normal metabolic processes. Likewise, the cells produce antioxidants to neutralize them.
However, certain conditions such as poor diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors such as pollution and exposure to radiation may increase free radicals in the body.
Uncontrolled levels of oxidative stress may lead to inflammation, accelerate aging and facilitate the development of chronic conditions.
Health conditions linked to oxidative stress include
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Male infertility
- Cardiovascular conditions like stroke, heart disease, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure
- Inflammatory disorders like arthritis
2. It may improve insulin resistance
Usually, the food you eat gets broken down in digestion to release glucose into the blood. Insulin is then secreted to help carry glucose from the blood into the cells, where it’s used for energy. However, too much glucose in the blood and too much insulin production may cause the cells to become less sensitive to insulin. This may lead to insulin resistance, weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. How to increase insulin sensitivity naturally.
According to research, people suffering from insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes have low glutathione levels, and supplementation has been shown to help increase insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake into the cells.
In another study, glutathione deficiency was highly associated with the onset of diabetes.
Further research shows that improving glutathione levels in glutathione deficiency may help improve cellular fat burning and insulin resistance in old age.
3. Glutathione reduces cell damage in liver disease
Liver conditions such as hepatitis, alcoholic and nonalcoholic liver disease are associated with liver cell damage. The antioxidant properties of glutathione may help protect the cells against such damage.
In one study, they found that oral administration of 300 milligrams of glutathione over four months in addition to lifestyle changes improved nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
In another study, high doses of intravenous glutathione resulted in reduced malondialdehyde levels, a marker of liver cell damage. Glutathione was also shown to improve bilirubin, enzymes, and protein levels in individuals with fatty liver disease.
4. It may reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition of the central nervous system that affects movement. It’s characterized by stiffness, shaking, and difficulty with balance, walking, and coordination. Currently, Parkinson’s has no cure, but there are treatment options for individuals affected.
There is some evidence to suggest that glutathione may be beneficial for people with Parkinson’s disease. Some studies have found that people with Parkinson’s disease have lower levels of glutathione in their bodies. Supplementation with glutathione may help to reduce symptoms of the disease.
One study showed that intravenous glutathione might help improve rigidity and tremors.
In another study, maintaining high levels of glutathione may help improve the symptoms.
There is also some evidence to suggest that glutathione may be beneficial for other conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and heart disease. However, more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits.
5. May reduce the damage caused by ulcerative colitis
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage. It has been shown to reduce the severity of ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. Glutathione may also help repair the lining of the gut, which can be damaged by ulcerative colitis.
Glutathione is thought to work by reducing inflammation and helping to repair the lining of the colon. In one research, people with ulcerative colitis who were given glutathione supplements had less inflammation and fewer ulcers than those who did not receive the supplements.
If you have ulcerative colitis, talk to your doctor about whether glutathione supplements might be right for you.
6. May help in the treatment of autism in children
Studies show that autistic children have high levels of oxidative damage with low glutathione in their brain cells compared to children without autism.
There is some evidence that glutathione may help in the treatment of autism in children. A small study found that children with autism who were given glutathione supplements had improved symptoms, including less aggression and self-injury, and better social skills and communication.
Though more research is needed to ascertain the effects of glutathione in symptoms of children with autism, glutathione supplementation, either orally or intravenously, may help lower the effects of autism.
7. Glutathione may healthily improve autoimmune conditions
An autoimmune condition occurs when your immune system can’t distinguish between intruding pathogens and your own cells. This causes your body to attack itself mistakenly. Common autoimmune disorders include rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, and celiac disease.
Since autoimmune conditions are associated with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, glutathione may help reduce oxidation and reduce inflammation by stimulating or inhibiting immunological responses.
8. May improve psoriasis
If you suffer from psoriasis, you know that it’s more than just a cosmetic issue. The red, scaly patches can be painful and itchy, and they can also lead to embarrassment and low self-esteem. There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are treatments that can help to control the symptoms. One treatment that may be effective is glutathione.
Glutathione is an antioxidant that is produced naturally by the body. It helps to protect cells from damage and plays a role in many different bodily processes. Some research has suggested that glutathione may help to improve psoriasis symptoms.
One study found that people with psoriasis who were given glutathione injections had a significant improvement in their symptoms. They had less itching, redness, and scaling than those who did not receive glutathione injections.
Another study looked at the use of a cream containing glutathione in people with psoriasis. The cream was applied to the skin twice daily for eight weeks. People who used the cream had a significant improvement in their symptoms, including less itching, redness, and scaling.
9. Improves skin health
When it comes to skin health, glutathione is often hailed as a miracle compound. That’s because it can help improve the skin in a number of ways.
For starters, glutathione can help protect the skin from damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This is important because UV radiation is one of the main causes of premature aging and skin cancer.
Glutathione can also help improve the appearance of the skin. It does this by helping to reduce wrinkles and age spots. In addition, glutathione can help to even out the skin tone and make the skin look more radiant.
Finally, glutathione can help to boost the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that helps to keep the skin looking firm and youthful. As we get older, the body produces less and less collagen. The end result wrinkles and sagging skin. Glutathione helps to keep the skin looking young by helping to keep collagen production at a healthy level.
10. Strengthens the immune system
Glutathione is an important antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage. It also plays a role in detoxifying the body and helping to remove harmful toxins. Supplementing with glutathione can help to increase levels and improve overall health.
There are many health benefits associated with glutathione, including its ability to boost the immune system. Glutathione has been shown to increase the production of white blood cells and help fight off infection. It can also help to protect against oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.
Glutathione can also produce a stronger immune response to foreign invaders and fight off bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances.
11. Improves the quality of sleep
Sleep is important for overall health, and quality sleep is especially important for people who are trying to improve their health. One way to improve the quality of your sleep is to take glutathione supplements. Glutathione is an amino acid that helps to regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Taking glutathione supplements can help you get better quality sleep by helping you to fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer.
12. Protects the heart
A major benefit of glutathione is its ability to protect heart health. Taking glutathione can reduce your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol, thereby reducing your risk for heart disease. Research has even shown that glutathione can help prevent the hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) by keeping cell walls strong and elastic. This means that it may also be able to keep blood vessels from becoming blocked or narrowed, which could potentially lead to a heart attack or stroke. Other research suggests that glutathione might also be able to protect against damage caused by free radicals in people with atherosclerosis.
13. Improves eyesight
Glutathione is critical for maintaining good eyesight. High levels can reduce your risk of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. A study found that people with higher blood glutathione levels were less likely to develop cataracts or glaucoma, while those with lower levels were at increased risk.
Another study found that taking glutathione supplements reduced eye pressure in people with normal-tension glaucoma. It’s thought that these effects are due to glutathione’s ability to protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, which have been linked to age-related vision loss.
Factors Contributing to Low Glutathione levels Today
Excessive Protein Consumption
Consuming too much protein can lead to excess ammonia production, which can then be converted into urea, eventually leaving you with a condition called hyperammonemia. Hyperammonemia inhibits your body’s ability to make glutathione. In severe cases, hyperammonemia has been known to cause brain damage and even death.
Iron deficiency is linked to low glutathione levels, as are many other health conditions. An iron deficiency can lead to health issues such as fatigue, stress, and reduced immunity. The most common symptoms of an iron deficiency include pale skin and low energy levels. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it might be time to ask your doctor for a blood test. Eating more iron-rich foods is another option that can help increase your body’s stores of iron.
Caffeine inhibits an enzyme that is essential to producing glutathione. The more you drink caffeine, the less glutathione your body will produce, thereby depleting your levels of it. If you want to raise your glutathione levels naturally, cut out all caffeine as well as alcohol and processed foods. See Dangers Of Energy Drinks.
Drinking water with fresh lemon can also help raise it. While some may find it difficult to keep off caffeine, try limiting your intake to not more than one cup a day. Doing so will enable your body to start making healthy amounts of glutathione again.
Any infection causes your body to produce more free radicals. The number of infections you’ve had and their severity can directly impact how much glutathione you’re producing. So, if you haven’t been taking care of yourself or have several chronic health conditions, that could be why you are low in glutathione.
If you have any chronic illness or are recovering from surgery or injury, be sure to talk with your doctor about ways you can support healthy glutathione production during recovery.
Environmental pollution and toxins
The impact of environmental pollution and toxins on our glutathione levels is huge. Increased exposure to things like heavy metals, pesticides, plasticizers, and even air pollution can have adverse effects on your glutathione production. These compounds bind with vital minerals that are required for optimum glutathione function.
If you’re exposed to these pollutants regularly, it’s important to take steps to remove them from your life as much as possible. One great way to do so is by drinking plenty of water and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables – both excellent detoxifiers!
Stress and anxiety can lead to a deficiency in glutathione. When we feel stressed, our body produces cortisol. High levels of cortisol can mean low levels of glutathione and an increased risk for health problems like infections and chronic disease. Consider stress management as one possible factor contributing to your glutathione deficiency.
Genetically modified foods
The term “genetically modified foods” (GMFs) refers to foods that have been created by altering the genes of existing food. The first GMF was created in 1994, and since then, the use of GMFs has grown rapidly.
There are many concerns about the safety of GMFs. Some people believe that eating GMFs can lead to health problems, such as allergies and cancer. And although more research is needed to confirm most of these claims, it’s good to stick to eating foods in their natural form.
That being said, genetically modified foods have been shown to lower glutathione production in the body.
When you are injured, your body quickly uses up its stores of glutathione in order to repair the damage. This can lead to low levels of glutathione, which can then lead to further health problems.
Excessive use of antibiotics
There are many factors that can contribute to low glutathione levels in the body. One of the most significant is the overuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, but they can also kill the helpful bacteria that live in the gut. This can lead to an imbalance in the gut flora, and can cause inflammation and other problems. In addition, antibiotics can deplete the body’s stores of glutathione.
Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s natural production of glutathione, leading to lower levels of this important antioxidant. If you are concerned about your glutathione levels, it is best to avoid artificial sweeteners and consume only natural, unrefined sugars.
Radiation therapy, especially for cancer patients
Radiation therapy is a common treatment for cancer patients, and it can have a profound effect on the body. One of the most important things that radiation therapy does is to destroy cancer cells. But, in the process of destroying cancer cells, radiation therapy can also damage healthy cells and reduce their ability to produce glutathione. This can lead to low glutathione levels in the body, which can have a number of negative effects.
There are a few things that you can do to protect yourself from the harmful effects of radiation therapy. First, make sure to get plenty of antioxidants in your diet. These will help to protect your cells from damage and keep your glutathione levels up. Second, consider taking supplements that support glutathione production. N-acetylcysteine and alpha-lipoic acid are two examples of supplements that can help to boost glutathione levels.
As we age, our bodies produce less and less glutathione. This decrease in production can be due to a number of factors, including a decrease in the activity of enzymes needed for glutathione production, a decline in the level of nutrients needed for glutathione production, and damage to cells and tissues that impairs their ability to produce glutathione.
All of these factors can contribute to low glutathione levels and may help explain why older people are more susceptible to age-related conditions.
One major factor is the use of drugs. Drugs can deplete the body’s supply of glutathione, and they can also interfere with the body’s ability to produce it. Drugs that are known to deplete glutathione levels include acetaminophen, alcohol, aspirin, and corticosteroids.
One of the major factors contributing to low glutathione levels is cancer. Cancer cells produce large amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can deplete glutathione levels. In addition, cancer cells often have impaired methylation pathways, which can further reduce glutathione levels. Treatment with certain chemotherapy drugs can also reduce glutathione levels.
How to Naturally Improve Your Glutathione Levels
- Consider taking milk thistle
- Eat sulfur-rich foods including cruciferous vegetables like arugula, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, radish, turnip, mustard greens, collard greens, and watercress.
- Eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, and leafy greens
- Consume vitamin E rich foods like almonds, spinach, avocado, olive oil, sweet potato, and sunflower seeds
- Include selenium-rich foods in your diet, such as brazil nuts and spinach
- Exercise regularly
- Try turmeric extract
- Avoid alcohol
- Get adequate sleep
- Include methylation nutrients such as B6, B9, B12, and biotin – best sources include legumes such as lentils, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, and chickpeas, asparagus, avocado, spinach, beets, and broccoli
Glutathione is an all-powerful antioxidant present in all your body cells.
It performs essential functions such as providing antioxidant defense, improving insulin resistance, improving autoimmune conditions, reducing the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, improving liver health, and promoting the treatment of autism and Parkinson’s.
Different factors such as stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, too much alcohol consumption, environmental toxins, aging, and prolonged use of particular medication may significantly lower your glutathione levels.
To improve glutathione levels, ensure you’re on a glutathione enhancing diet rich in sulfur-containing foods, folate, selenium, and vitamins C and E. General lifestyle changes such as controlling stress, adequate sleep, exercising, and avoiding alcohol may also play a role.
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