Not to be confused with gluten or glutamate, glutathione is a powerful antioxidant and supplement that is generated in each cell of the body. Like all tripeptides that occur naturally, it is made up of a unique combination of amino acids. Specific to glutathione is that it is able to be produced in the liver, which is not true of the majority of antioxidants.
So, the question is, what does this antioxidant accomplish and why is it important? Let’s take a look.
Glutathione has many generative and regulatory functions in the body, including:
- making DNA
- bolstering immune function
- forming sperm
- breaking down free radicals (unhealthy and unstable particles)
- helping certain enzymes function
- amplifying vitamins C and E
- attenuating mercury absorption
- supporting liver and gallbladder health
- assisting in cell death
GLUTATHIONE USES & BENEFITS
1. GLUTATHIONE COMBATS FREE RADICALS
Not unlike an engine, the body uses reserves of fuel in order to produce energy to move, breathe, and eat. As with an engine, however, this process “off-gasses” a byproduct called “free radicals”, which, like a motor’s exhaust, are potentially harmful.
Free radicals are unstable elementary particles that steal electrons from cellular molecules when they come into contact with them. This theft of electrons from cellular molecules is known as oxidative damage, and some research indicates that an individual’s DNA may incur upwards of 10,000 oxidative hits every day. These oxidative hits may cause issues, including rapid aging and increased susceptibility to various diseases and cancers.
2. GLUTATHIONE BOOSTS BRAIN HEALTH
As we age, neurodegeneration begins to occur more and more frequently, often in the form of forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating. While these developments are quite natural and normal in moderation, there are certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which accelerate neurodegenerative activity to dangerous and potentially fatal levels. These diseases are more common in brains that exhibit increased oxidative stress and low levels of glutathione.
3. GLUTATHIONE PROVIDES IMMUNE SUPPORT
Often playing second fiddle in the orchestra of compounds that fortify our immune system, glutathione truly deserves better. Research shows that active glutathione primes and energizes white blood cells, the body’s frontline defense against infection and disease. Glutathione-enhanced T cells have been shown to be more effective in combating against and controlling both bacterial and viral pathogens.
What’s more, glutathione is known to be able to reverse immune suppressions and deregulations that result from chronic and incurable illnesses such as:
- Lyme’s Disease
4.GLUTATHIONE ENHANCES ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
While perhaps not as objectively critical as it’s other benefits, a glutathione supplement can help increase athletic performance if ingested prior to a workout routine or physical activity. It does this by regulating lactic acid (which in high levels can result in fatigue and irregular blood pressure fluctuations), and boosting nitric oxide production, which is a molecule that improves blood flow and oxygen delivery, two mechanisms that are central for improved energy output. Glutathione also helps in exercise recovery to prevent muscle fatigue and soreness.