January 14 2021
Glutathione, also known as GSH, is one of the most important antioxidants found in our body. It is produced by the liver as well as neurons in the central nervous system. It comprises three amino acids namely L-cysteine, glycine, and L-glutamate. Some most important functions of glutathione are its involvement in DNA synthesis and repair, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, metabolism of toxins and carcinogens, amino acid transport, immune system function, prevention of oxidative damage cell, and enzyme activation. However, factors such as poor nutrition, environmental toxins, stress, as well as progressing age cause a decline in glutathione levels in our body.
However, factors such as poor nutrition, environmental toxins, stress, as well as progressing age cause a decline in glutathione levels in our body. Many researchers claimed glutathione as an ideal supplement that provides a variety of health benefits.
Some of the most important health benefits of glutathione are: -
- Reduces oxidative stress Imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body's ability to fight them off, generally result in oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a precursor to many dangerous diseases such as diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Glutathione functions by decreasing oxidative stress, thereby reducing the impact of diseases. An article in the Journal of Science and Therapy stated that increased glutathione levels not only increase antioxidant levels but also provide resistance to oxidative stress in cells.
- Improved psoriasis A small study stated that whey protein containing glutathione significantly improved psoriasis when given orally. However, more research is needed regarding this topic.
- Reduced cell damage in fatty liver disease Cell death mainly occurs in the liver due to deficiency of antioxidants. This finally leads to fatty liver disease in alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic persons. In alcoholic and non-alcoholic chronic fatty liver disease, glutathione has shown improved protein, enzyme, and bilirubin levels in the blood of individuals. A study supported glutathione's effectiveness in people with fatty liver disease when administered intravenously.
- Improved insulin levels A study conducted by Baylor School of Medicine researchers indicated that low glutathione levels were responsible for less fat burning as well as high rates of fat-storing in the body. The study further stated that when glutathione levels were increased in our body through our diet, improved insulin resistance and fat burning characteristics were noticed.
- Increased mobility in people with peripheral artery disease A study conducted stated that glutathione was responsible for improved circulation in people with peripheral artery disease and aided them to walk pain-free for longer diseases.
- Reduced symptoms in Parkinson's patients A case report suggested that glutathione aided in improving symptoms as well as the quality of life in people with Parkinson's disease.
- Helps fight autoimmune diseases A study showed glutathione's effectiveness in reducing oxidative stress by stimulating as well as reducing the body's immunological response. Reduction in oxidative stress help reduces disease conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and lupus.
- Reduction in oxidative damage in children with autism A clinical trial in Medical Science Monitor stated that lower levels of glutathione were responsible for higher levels of oxidative damage in children with autism. Further research even showed that due to the above condition, increased susceptibility to neurological damage was noticed in children with autism from substances like mercury.
- Reduced impact of uncontrolled diabetes Reduced amount of glutathione is often associated with long term high blood sugar levels. A study confirmed that glutathione levels were significantly increased after adding cysteine and glycine as dietary supplements. The study further stated that an increase in glutathione also reduced oxidative stress as well as damage in people with uncontrolled diabetes, despite them having high sugar levels.
- Reduced symptoms related to respiratory diseases N-acetylcysteine, a byproduct of glutathione, is often used to treat conditions like asthma and cystic fibrosis. It functions by making the mucus thin and less paste-like when used as an inhalant. Moreover, it also reduces inflammation.
- Improved heart health Glutathione is believed to prevent heart diseases as well as heart attacks by neutralizing the lipid oxidation process. Most heart diseases are often related to the deposition of LDH, also known as bad cholesterol, inside blood vessels which ultimately leads to plaque formation. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. Glutathione with the help of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase functions by eliminating lipid peroxides, hydrogen peroxides, free radicals, superoxide's, and peroxynitrites thus eventually stopping lipid oxidation and wreak havoc in our system. In this way, glutathione prevents various heart conditions including heart attack. A study conducted on 643 coronary angiography patients in Germany further confirmed that a lower level of glutathione was responsible for the majority of people who died of heart attacks.
- Improved skin health Glutathione is believed to cure conditions like acne, wrinkles, dryness, eczema, and puff eyes. Glutathione functions by decreasing melanin in our skin by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin formation. It also decreased wrinkles and increased skin elasticity. Many multiple studies also confirmed glutathione's effectiveness as a skin lightening agent.
- Improved detoxification Glutathione is believed to play an important role in our body's detoxification system. Glutathione functions by neutralizing the toxins and ultimately eliminating them from our system. Without glutathione, our body is unable to eliminate and neutralize harmful toxins in our system.
- Improved ulcerative colitis Oxidative stress is also responsible for inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative stress. Researchers have found out that N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a precursor for L-cysteine, significantly increases glutathione levels in the body, thus eradicating oxidative stress as well as reducing inflammation in the injured colon.
Best food sources of L-carnitine
So after carefully analyzing all the health benefits of glutathione, it is certain that we should be including it in our diet. Generally, sulfur rich foods like cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, allium vegetables, such as garlic and onions, eggs, nuts legumes, and lastly lean proteins, such as fish, and chicken have good glutathione content and should be included in our diet.
These days glutathione supplements are readily available online or at various platforms such as food stores, drug stores, and stores specializing in dietary supplements. In some cases, glutathione is also administered as an IV dosage form by healthcare professionals to treat chronic conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetes, and even side effect related to chemotherapy, hemodialysis treatment, and bypass surgery.
Example of a popular L-carnitine supplement
Alvizia's ALENGLOW NUTRACEUTICAL KIT
This product contains a combination of L-glutathione, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Grape Seed Extract, as well as Vitamin C and E. It has a lot of health benefits mostly due to glutathione, which is the master antioxidant here.