August 21 2021
Glutathione is one of the most significant antioxidants that can be found in the body and hence it is also known as ‘ the master oxidant’. The characteristic feature of glutathione is that it can promote the activity of other antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E along with alpha-lipoic acid. Glutathione is a tripeptide that is constituted by three amino acids which are cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid.
Glutathione is mainly found in two forms which are reduced glutathione which is the active form and oxidized glutathione which is the inactive form. The main function of glutathione is the protection of mitochondria thereby ensuring that the cells can produce energy that is required for carrying out various body functions by guarding the mitochondria against damage from the various heavy metals, toxins, and free radicals that are produced from the processing of the many metabolic reactions that take place in the body.
With advancing age, the depletion of glutathione reserves occurs in the body. Other factors that can be effective in causing the deficiency of glutathione in the body include various environmental and medical factors. Some of them include exposure to toxins like chemicals that occur as a result of pollution, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, exposure to cadmium, chronic stress, excessive intake of alcohol, smoking, imbalanced diet intake, and the side effects of some medications such as Tylenol.
Some of the commonly occurring conditions of glutathione deficiency are autoimmune deficiency syndrome ( AIDS/HIV), macular degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, hepatitis, congestive pulmonary disorder (COPD), liver disease, sickle cell anaemia, cystic fibrosis, stroke, heart disease, and infertility. The health benefits associated with glutathione are because of its following actions:
Antioxidants such as glutathione can prevent the body from getting damaged due to destructive the action of the free radicals which cause premature aging of the cells of the body. Free radicals are essentially extremely reactive byproducts of oxygen that are deprived of an electron which on coming close to a normal body cell damage them and destroy the DNA. Glutathione exhibits the property of an antioxidant by binding to these oxidative compounds thereby preventing damage to the cell membranes, DNA and thus ensures that the process of energy production is carried out efficiently. Glutathione can effectively neutralize a wide variety of oxidants such as superoxide, nitric oxide, carbon radicals, hydroperoxides, peroxynitrites, and lipid peroxides.
Glutathione plays a vital role in carrying out the process of detoxification in the body. Detoxification involves the incomplete processing of all toxins in the mitochondria by proteins known as cytochromes in phase 1. In Phase 2 of the detoxification process, these incompletely processed toxins are further degraded by enzymes that use the activity of glutathione for this process. Phase 3 involves the elimination of these toxins from the body by the action of kidneys in the form of urine and liver in the form of bile. This whole process of detoxification is rendered ineffective in the deficiency of glutathione.
Glutathione for skin
Glutathione is beneficial in improving the skin by helping in reducing various skin conditions such as acne, wrinkles, dryness, eczema, and puffy eyes and for retaining youthful skin. The mechanism of action of glutathione is by decreasing the levels of the darkening pigment known as melanin in the skin and also increases the elasticity of the skin thereby reducing wrinkles. Glutathione works on the inhibition of the enzyme called tyrosinase which in turn blocks the production of melanin. Studies show that supplementing with glutathione such as Alvizia Alenglow glutathione supplement capsules are effective in skin whitening as glutathione enables the skin cells to regenerate thereby causing restoration of skin health.
Glutathione and brain health
The process of shrinking of the brain refers to the condition when with advances in age, forgetfulness and decreased ability to concentrate starts to occur which is due to neurodegeneration where the neurons in the brain get damaged. This process has been proven to be reversible by supplementing with glutathione. Studies show that in brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, rapid neurological degeneration occurs which is mainly caused as a result of high levels of oxidative stress which damages the brain. In such conditions, glutathione is beneficial in reducing the rate of damage to the brain tissue.
Glutathione and heart health
Because of its property to neutralize the lipid oxidation process, glutathione is extremely beneficial in preventing heart attack and other associated cardiovascular diseases. By triggering the enzyme known as glutathione peroxidase, glutathione inhibits the activity of superoxides, free radicals, hydrogen peroxides, lipid peroxides, and peroxynitrites which promote oxidation of lipids and cause plaque formation and eventually rupture, leading to various cardiovascular diseases. Thus glutathione has been found to benefit in decreasing the risk of developing heart disease.
Glutathione prevents inflammation
Inflammation is the causative factor in various disease conditions such as diabetes, and heart disease. Sometimes injuries like trauma, infection, toxins, and allergies can also trigger an inflammatory response. Various environmental factors such as an imbalanced diet, stress, and other lifestyle disturbances also cause inflammation which becomes harmful for the body. In such cases, glutathione acts by protecting the body as it controls the situation when to increase inflammation and when the need arises to decrease inflammation by stimulating the white blood cells in generating immune responses. Thus glutathione is essential for reducing the inflammation levels in the body and also it restores the immune system by balancing it.
Glutathione and athletic performance
Research shows that intake of glutathione supplements have been found to have beneficial effects in boosting athletic performance as pre-workout supplements. The action of glutathione during strenuous activity is associated with lowering the lactic acid levels in the blood and decreasing the fatigue experienced. Another mechanism of action of glutathione is to reduce the blood pressure, muscle aches, drop in body temperature, and respiratory rate. Glutathione has also been known to improve the blood flow to the muscles thereby improving the exercise output.