Glutathione Antioxidant for Cell Life and Vitality

By Dr. Linda J. Dobberstein, DC, Board Certified in Clinical Nutrition

December 7, 2020

Glutathione Antioxidant for Cell Life and Vitality
Numerous types of antioxidants are used by our bodies for a multitude of things. They range from vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, selenium, zinc, curcumin, PQQ, pterostilbene, resveratrol, to many others. There is one antioxidant that is more of an antioxidant system because its actions are so complex and vast. This “granddaddy of antioxidants” is glutathione.

Glutathione is likely the most researched antioxidant nutrient. At the time of this writing, there are over 156,000 peer-reviewed research articles on this substance in the National Library of Medicine. Other antioxidants commonly have 15,000 - 50,000 research articles per nutrient. The first paper on glutathione was written in 1923, whereas now thousands of peer-reviewed articles are published every year.

Glutathione provides potent, complex cellular support due to its molecular shape, concentration levels within cells, and its high electron-donating capacity. It is considered the leader of all antioxidants and is found in all cells.

Sufficient tissue stores of glutathione keep your body protected and running smoothly in all facets. Thousands of studies have demonstrated that depleted glutathione levels lend to breakdowns and adverse health challenges. Without adequate glutathione, your body becomes like a car that has not been taken care of.

Glutathione and You

The highest amounts of glutathione are found in the liver, followed by the immune system, and other tissues. Immune system regulation, defense and modulation and many other roles are directly impacted by glutathione.

The liver depends upon glutathione to do its job in protection and detoxification of environmental toxins and endocrine disrupting compounds like pesticides, herbicides, plastics, heavy metals, medications, and internal metabolic waste. The liver and immune system cannot function without glutathione, as it is essential for overall survival and function. Glutathione is so important to cell life and vitality that when cells are depleted of adequate glutathione, they progressively breakdown from free radicals and eventually die.

Glutathione antioxidant activity spans across all organ systems and affects every cell. Here is a brief list. (You can learn more by clicking on the high-lighted text.)

Adrenal glands 
Anti-aging, Apoptosis, Autophagy, Cell Repair 
• Bones 
Blood sugar, insulin function 
• Brain and nerve protection 
• Cell protector from toxins
Dental health 
• Ears, nose, throat
Energy production and exercise
Eyes, lens, retina, cornea
Gastrointestinal system 
• Inflammation modulation  
Kidneys and detoxification
• Metabolic and cell-cycle functions 
Methylation and reproduction 
Mitochondrial protection and function
Radiation and UV exposure
• Red blood cells 
Respiratory system
• Skin 
• Thyroid 

Glutathione Requires and Helps Synergistic Nutrients

Glutathione is made up of three amino acids – cysteine, glutamine, and glycine. For many years, we have recommended taking n-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) to help your body make glutathione. NAC is in our Daily Protector and Daily Detoxify supplements. Cysteine is in Activator Plus and Daily Protein.

Several other nutrients help recycle or support glutathione production. These include vitamin B12, folate, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), betaine, magnesium, selenium, lipoic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, milk thistle, green tea, whey protein, and other antioxidants. Glutathione also helps recycle these nutrients as they work synergistically together.

Dietary Concerns

Plant-based diets, low protein diets, keto-diets, or extended fasting may contribute to inadequate levels of one or more of the three amino acids that make up glutathione. Other nutrients that recycle and support glutathione may also be at inadequate levels to keep up with demands on these diets.

Evidence demonstrates that while a plant-based diet may provide a higher intake of certain antioxidants, lower levels of glutathione were found in vegetarians and veganscompared to lacto-ovo-vegetarians and omnivores. Individuals with poor protein digestion from lack of stomach acid or insufficient pancreatic enzymes may experience low glutathione levels. Lab tests are available to measure your glutathione levels.

Dietary Support

Dietary glutathione intake from food is considered minimal due to diminished bioavailability and absorption. However, glutathione is made by the liver with the amino acids cysteine, glycine, and glutamine and other vitamins mentioned above.

Foods that support glutathione production include fresh meat, asparagus, avocado, spinach, green beans, papaya, and cucumber. Green squash, mango, red pepper, strawberries, tomato and yellow squash, cereals and dairy products etc. provide less glutathione support. Oftentimes additional specific antioxidant intake is required to replenish depleted tissue stores, especially during increased demands.

Glutathione Breakthrough: S-Acetyl-Glutathione

Traditional oral use of glutathione has been met with challenges. Oral reduce glutathione has poor absorption and is broken down in the digestive tract before it can be used. However, recent advances in nutritional science have found ways to mitigate these concerns. A form of glutathione called S-acetyl-glutathione by-passes the difficulties of traditional oral glutathione and allows for rapid absorption and is able to get into tissues.

We are excited to now offer this highly absorbable form of S-acetyl-glutathione in our product line. It has enhanced bioavailability and increased stability. It is lactose-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher, and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Basic supplemental dose may range from 200 - 500 mg per day. Higher doses of 500 -1000 mg per day may be used when under significant challenges.

Glutathione works synergistically with other antioxidants and formulations such as Daily Protector Eye & ImmuneDaily Detoxify, and Activator Plus. It is important to keep optimal concentrations of glutathione as your liver, immune system, and all other tissues depend upon it.

We have more challenges to our health from chemicals, toxins, xenobiotics, immune dysregulation and infections, and chronic gut inflammation than ever before. Billions of pounds of pesticides/herbicides and other chemicals are widely used across the globe on food and cotton crops, environmental weed control, etc.. No longer can we blindly go on about our lives.

In order for your immune system, liver, and body in general to handle these challenges, you must have adequate glutathione levels. Everyone must be diligent in nutrient fortification and protection against the chemical soup, immune challenges and other stressors that we face daily. It is vitally important. Take charge of your health!

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