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Why glutathione is one of the best antioxidants

13th February 2019 Print

In recent years, glutathione has been one of the buzzwords in the online community. There has been an undeniable rise in the number of supplements boosting to improve glutathione levels in the body. 

Often, when you read about glutathione, you will also see that it is often referred to as master antioxidant. In fact, one article from Healthline refers to it as one of the most important and potent antioxidants. Why is such the case? Is there a reason to believe so? What benefits can it provide the body? How can you boost glutathione levels in the body? Read on and learn from the valuable insights we will be sharing. 

What is Glutathione? 

Before we start, let us first have a quick look at what exactly glutathione is. To be technical, it is made by the body using three important amino acids – glycine, glutamine, and cysteine. Out of these building blocks, the most significant is cysteine, an amino acid containing sulfur. While glutathione is mostly produced by the body, you can also get it from the foods that you are eating, and even from a number of dietary supplements. 

It has a number of important functions that allow it to support the healthy function of the body. Some of these benefits include making DNA, helping ensure the functions of certain enzymes, regeneration of Vitamins C and E, and getting mercury out of the brain, among other things. 

Why It is Called Master Antioxidant

The main reason why glutathione has gained this title is the fact that it can regenerate itself in the liver right after the free radicals have filled up. They are known for the reduction of oxidative stress in the body. The latter can be compared to rust that forms in the body. The formation will be faster as you age and become unhealthy. You can effectively combat this problem with the help of glutathione. 

Perhaps, the secret for the effectiveness of glutathione, especially as an antioxidant, can be attributed to the presence of sulfur chemical groups. It is a sticky and smelly molecule that will grab and get rid of the toxic elements that are possibly present in your body. This is where toxins and free radicals stick to be eradicated. 

To be more specific, the next part will list down some of the best ways by which glutathione can benefit the body, which are the reasons why it is considered by medical professionals as one of the best antioxidants: 

- It protects DNA damage while providing optimal immunity. 

- It provides cells with the protection that they need from free radicals. 

- It increases the production of energy. 

- It protects the liver by reducing cell damage. Fatty liver disease is a common health problem amongst people who misuse alcohol. With this, glutathione can help. In one study, people who have been given glutathione through IV showed reduced liver damage. 

Aside from antioxidant activity, there are other benefits that can be yielded from glutathione, including prevention of cancer progression, improvement of insulin sensitivity, reduction of symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, reduction of ulcerative colitis damage, treatment of autism spectrum disorders, reduction of respiratory disease symptoms, and improvement of mobility for those with peripheral artery disease. 

How to Increase Glutathione 

Now that we have established the reasons why glutathione is one of the most potent antioxidants, below, we will list down some of the best ways to have more glutathione in the body to yield its maximum benefits. 

- Eats foods rich in sulfur, which is a compound necessary in the production of glutathione. You can find it from a number of dietary proteins, including poultry, beef, and fish. If you are a vegetarian, you can also get sulfur from cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, watercress, and kale, among others. 

- Take more Vitamin C, which can naturally be done by eating kiwi, papaya, citrus, strawberry, and bell peppers. This vitamin will be crucial in the conversion of oxidized glutathione to its active form. 

- You should also eat foods rich in selenium. It is another essential mineral that is necessary for glutathione activity. You can get selenium from organ meats, chicken, cottage cheese, and fish. 

- The levels of glutathione in the body can also be triggered by exercise, so it is recommended that you keep on moving. However, you should avoid exercises that are too aggressive as they can cut glutathione levels. Cardio and circuit weight training are some of the best exercises that you might want to incorporate into your workout routine. 

- Supplementing with whey protein, especially for those who work out, will also be a good idea since it has the amino acids that will be necessary for the body to produce glutathione. 

- There are also some lifestyle changes that can be effective in boosting the glutathione levels in the body. One of the most important is to make sure that you are getting enough sleep. If you lack sleep, the ability of the body to naturally produce glutathione can be affected. 

- Take supplements. In one study published at the European Journal of Nutrition, it has been concluded that those who take glutathione supplements over a period of six months showed increased glutathione levels in their bodies. 

Depletion of Glutathione in the Body 

Before we end this post, let’s also quickly look at some of the reasons why your glutathione levels might be low. Among others, one of the most common culprits is chronic stress. Also, as you age, it is expected that glutathione levels will deplete. The same thing an also be said if you do not eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. Alcohol use, smoking cigarettes, and environmental toxins can also be blamed on why they are at low levels. 

Wrap Up 

From the things that have been mentioned above, it is pretty clear by now why glutathione is dubbed as a master antioxidant. It prevents oxidative stress and fights free radicals. With this, aside from taking glutathione supplements, consider the other ways to increase its levels in the body, such as through a healthy diet!