(NaturalHealth365) A stunning two out of three American adults are overweight or obese, putting them at risk for premature aging and life-threatening conditions like, diabetes and heart disease. But, what if an antioxidant could protect you from harm? Would you be interested?
We, at NaturalHealth365, often warn our readers about the dangers of poor lifestyle decisions. But, what gets us most excited is reporting on the health solutions that are available to all of us. Today, is no exception!
Researchers are finding that glutathione – an antioxidant molecule produced by the body – could become a major player in the battle against obesity and chronic disease. In fact, according to a recent study conducted at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, glutathione shows promise in firing up the body’s fat-burning mechanisms and helping to trigger weight loss.
But, we are not all equally rich in this indispensable antioxidant. Supplies of glutathione fall with normal aging, while exposure to environmental toxins and other nutritional deficiencies make matters more challenging – to say the least.
Thankfully, there are natural ways to increase your glutathione levels.
Good antioxidant NEWS: Adding glutathione precursors to the diet triggers healthy fat-burning
Glutathione is synthesized from the amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamate. But, as we age, two of these “building blocks” – cysteine and glycine – decline, causing shortfalls in glutathione production.
In a study published in Aging Cell, researchers found that adding this pair of amino acids to the diets of older adults could help restore their fat-burning status to levels seen in young and healthy people.
In order to conduct the study, the team first lowered glutathione levels in young mice – and confirmed that this reduced their ability to burn fat. The researchers then corrected the glutathione deficiencies of older mice, and found that this caused their ability to burn fat to return to levels seen in young, healthy mice.
The older mice not only lost body weight and body fat, but experienced a corresponding decrease in their risk of type 2 diabetes – again, equal to that of young mice!
More exciting news about glutathione, according to research
In a study involving older participants, the team found that giving older people cysteine and glycine helped to “level the playing field” when it came to weight loss and fat burning.
In other words, two weeks of supplementation increased participants’ natural production of glutathione and allowed them to burn fat just as effectively as their younger counterparts – while causing no toxic or adverse effects.
Warning: Chronic glutathione deficiency impairs mitochondrial fat burning and promotes weight gain
Glutathione plays a vital role in protecting cells against oxidative stress-induced cellular damage. It also helps to detoxify the liver, regulate blood sugar levels and neutralize environmental toxins and medications. In addition, it possesses anti-inflammatory and immune system-boosting effects.
Simply put, it’s not surprising that people with high glutathione levels enjoy better health, more energy and more efficient metabolism.
While increasing glutathione appears to be able to promote weight loss, the “flip” side of the equation is that low glutathione levels contribute to the storage of excess fat.
Glutathione deficiency has other negative effects, as well – including increased oxidative stress. In fact, decreased levels of glutathione are linked with greater risk of cardiovascular disease, autism spectrum disorder and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
Glutathione’s therapeutic powers have come to the attention of researchers.
In a 2015 review published in Current Drug Metabolism, researchers concluded that glutathione could be useful in preventing degenerative diseases. However, they noted its low bioavailability as a limiting factor, and reported that giving glutathione precursors – such as N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) – could help mitigate the problem of low bioavailability.
Finally, glutathione is anti-aging. Dr. Edward Group at Global Health Center praises glutathione as an “important youth-supporting compound.”
Glutathione enhances weight loss by a variety of actions
If all glutathione did was fire up the body’s fat-burning mechanisms, it would still be worthy of study for its role in weight loss. But this versatile substance also features a virtual “toolkit” of anti-obesity properties.
For instance, glutathione helps to flush out toxins that have been released as a byproduct of fat-burning, thereby preventing them from being reabsorbed by the body.
And, by actively promoting liver health, glutathione helps this organ work more efficiently to process fats.
Metabolic syndrome is a linked cluster of unhealthy conditions, including high blood sugar, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. By combating metabolic syndrome, glutathione helps to reduce the risk of high blood sugar that can interfere with weight loss.
Finally, studies have shown that glutathione assists with muscle repair while increasing physical stamina – thereby allowing for more fat-burning physical exercise. This is one powerful antioxidant!
What are the best ways to enhance glutathione production naturally?
In addition to being depleted by normal aging, glutathione levels are threatened by a variety of factors, including exposure to environmental toxins, pesticides, electromagnetic field radiation (EMFs) and pharmaceutical medications.
Stress, infections, injury and poor nutrition can also rob the body of glutathione.
It would be convenient if we could just take a “glutathione pill” to replenish our supplies of this important compound. Unfortunately, most natural health experts maintain that the bioavailability of glutathione is too low for these oral supplements to be effective.
The fact is: you can more effectively boost glutathione by eating specific nutrients that facilitate the synthesis of glutathione in your own body.
As glutathione is composed of sulfur compounds, eating sulfur-rich foods – including onions, garlic and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts – is a good bet for boosting levels.
Cysteine-rich whey protein is a particularly reliable glutathione booster – but it must be bioactive and made from non-denatured proteins in order to be effective.
Dietary supplements including: N-acetyl cysteine, alpha lipoic acid and the antioxidant mineral selenium – can also help spur glutathione production.
And folate, vitamins B6 and B12, and vitamins E and C – superb antioxidants in their own right – round out the list of recommendations for replenishing glutathione.
Of course, check with your integrative physician before adding any supplements to your daily health regimen. And, never forget, regular exercise – 30 minutes a day of vigorous aerobic activity – can help pump up glutathione levels, while helping to maintain healthy weight.
Glutathione, already lauded as the body’s “master antioxidant,” is showing its ability to control weight, increase physical stamina and prevent degenerative disease – but deficiencies may appear as we age.
So, as we age, having adequate levels of this vital antioxidant is far too important a matter to be taken for granted.
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Sources for this article include:
Food & Nutrition
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