Low glutathione levels increase risk of disease
(NaturalHealth365) Currently 80,000 toxic chemicals and heavy metals lurk in our water, air and food supply – including, electromagnetic pollution which bombards us on all sides. In addition to these toxic exposures, most people suffer from nutritional deficiencies, like low levels of glutathione – which increase the risk of chronic disease.
Generally speaking, our body is designed to produce disease-fighting substances like glutathione to protect us from harm. Unfortunately, many people suffer from dangerously low levels of health-protective nutrients – which should NOT be ignored.
What is glutathione and what does it do for us?
Glutathione, a nutrient vital to health, is a mixture of three amino acids: glycine, glutamine, and cysteine. It exists in every cell – with particularly large amounts in the liver – and is endogenous, meaning it is created naturally within the body.
Glutathione is the body’s most important antioxidant, protecting cells from damage, amplifying the immune system and assisting with DNA repair. It also helps shift metabolism from fat production to muscle growth.
How does glutathione work to support health and thwart disease?
Probably glutathione’s most important function is the role it plays in binding to, and neutralizing, dangerous free radicals — which otherwise can create the oxidative stress that destroys tissue and sets the stage for disease.
The body handles free radicals by recycling them. Like a master juggler, it passes them down a protective chain that extends from vitamin C to vitamin E to lipoic acid to glutathione – which then carries them into the bile and the stool.
Did you know? The liver is the most important detoxifying organ in the body. When the liver can’t effectively neutralize and dispose of toxins, they accumulate in the body. Two essential nutrients for healthy liver function are milk thistle and glutathione. These two ingredients - plus much more – are now available in an advanced liver support formula. Click here to learn more.
At optimal health, the system efficiently recycles and re-uses glutathione. But when high levels of toxicity exist, this precious antioxidant isn’t properly recycled – and problems begin.
High glutathione levels are vital in preventing serious disease
Unfortunately, a rogue’s gallery of culprits is waiting to rob you of your supply of glutathione. Common threats to glutathione levels include environmental toxins and pollution, pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medications, poor diet, trauma, infection and stress.
Keep in mind, glutathione naturally declines with age – in some cases falling so low that the body is left with only about half the glutathione it needs to maintain health.
So, it’s not surprising that depleted glutathione levels set the body up for a cascade of damaging conditions. Without sufficient glutathione to fight free radicals, you are at risk for cell destruction from oxidative stress, heart problems, infections and cancer – to name just a few.
How a nutrient deficiency can trigger a heart attack
In a study of 636 patients with suspected coronary artery disease published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that those with low glutathione levels were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those with healthy levels of the antioxidant.
Dr. Mark Hyman, the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, notes that virtually all patients with chronic degenerative disease – whether it be cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or arthritis – have glutathione deficiencies.
To be clear: low levels of glutathione are virtually universal among patients with chronic serious disease – a disturbing link, and one which points to the necessity of producing enough of this indispensable antioxidant.
Low glutathione levels in the brain increase the risk of dementia
A recent study of brain chemicals in Alzheimer’s patients confirmed they had greatly reduced glutathione levels in the hippocampus, the section of the brain responsible for learning and memory – and one of the first regions affected by the disease.
The frontal cortices, typically affected later in the development of Alzheimer’s, also showed drops in glutathione as the disease progressed. However, the decreases weren’t yet seen in the cortices of patients with only the mild cognitive impairment that precedes Alzheimer’s.
This intriguing research demonstrated that glutathione levels can reflect and even foreshadow the development of the disease, serving as a valuable biomarker and predictor.
How do I raise natural stores of glutathione?
Although you should ideally obtain about 250 milligrams a day of glutathione from diet, most people consume closer to 35 milligrams – a dismally low amount, and insufficient for optimal health.
Natural health experts advise against visiting a health food store for “glutathione in a bottle,” warning that most brands are poorly absorbed by the body in this low-quality form and would provide little benefit.
A better strategy is to eat natural, organic foods that contain glutathione – or the amino acids your body needs to make it. Foods rich in glutathione include melons, grapefruit and peaches. Glutathione is also found in leafy greens such as spinach.
Cruciferous vegetables – such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale – and members of the allium family – including garlic, onions, leeks and chives – are rich sources of sulfur-containing compounds, important in the production of cysteine.
Another great food to boost cysteine production is a high-quality whey protein, made from denatured proteins from non-pasteurized and non-industrially-processed milk. The NaturalHealth365 Store offers the finest quality goat whey protein on the market.
And don’t forget to eat foods rich in antioxidant vitamin C – such as citrus fruits, red bell peppers and strawberries. These can assist in the recycling of glutathione in the body.
Get a glutathione-boosting assist from high quality supplements
Supplements can help your body produce and optimize more glutathione.
N-acetyl-cysteine, or NAC, is a glutathione precursor supplement. Derived from cysteine, NAC combats allergies, cognitive and memory deficits, and Parkinson’s disease. In a study published in European Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2000, researchers found that NAC significantly replenished stores of glutathione in patients with HIV.
Alpha-lipoic acid, another powerful endogenous antioxidant, increases glutathione production in the body, as does the sleep hormone melatonin – which stimulates production of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase.
Other supplements that can help increase glutathione are milk thistle and the mineral selenium.
Vitamins that don’t actively contribute to making glutathione — but help optimize and recycle it in the body – include the antioxidant vitamins C and E, folic acid, vitamin B-12 and vitamin B-6.
As always, discuss supplementation with a trusted naturopathic doctor, who can help tailor a regimen that is right for you.
Editor’s note: The NaturalHealth365 Store offers the finest quality, liposomal glutathione on the market – which has demonstrated over 100 times more efficiency for intracellular delivery than IV-based glutathione. Click here to order today.
Food & Nutrition
Natural Health 365
Natural Health 365 is a premium source of trending and popular health-related news, science, testimony & research articles on the most up to date and relevant natural health information. The Food & Nutrition articles found herein are meant to inform and advise our site visitors on eating healthy, nutritious foods and safely using supplements and vitamins to achieve optimal health.
Join thousands of daily visitors staying informed and involved on Natural Health 365! We seek out scientific solutions with proven results and it is our mission to keep you informed! Articles range in topic from the cancer fighting qualities of Olive Oil, to the remarkably high concentration of anti-oxidants found in blueberries, to how to make your own almond milk, to a nutritional comparison of organic vs conventional produce, to an analysis of the health benefits of tree nuts. You can find all of the Food News Articles here
Read Some of Our Most Popular Articles
Artichokes, Olive Oil, Almond Milk, Blueberries
More Food & Nutrition Articles
Fresh Organic Produce Fights Cancer, Susan G. Komen on Organic Foods, Hemp Seeds for Inflammation, Pau D’Arco For Improved Immunity
In addition to exploring health benefits of certain foods, vitamins and supplements, we also aim to connect healthy eating and balanced consumption of dietary supplements to long-lasting health and adding healthy, happy years to your life. For example, did you know that eating Granny Smith Apples on a regular basis can reduce your chance of building up unhealthy gut yeast? Or that ingesting ground hemp seeds can significantly reduce inflammation throughout the body? Perhaps you didn’t know that Fresh Organic Produce has been found to have higher concentrations of key, cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and vitamins than conventional produce? You can find all of that information and more right here on Natural Health 365.
We’d love to know what you’re thinking! Please join the conversation on Facebook, post comments here on the website and feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Please use and share the articles you find here with your friends, family and peers.