Many of you know that my greatest concern when we take medication is what appears to happen to our body’s glutathione levels. Yes, there’s a time and place for medicine, I’m referring though to the potentially unnecessary use, of prescriptive drugs.
Glutathione is the MOTHER of all antioxidants. An antioxidant is a substance that removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism, that is to say, it fights the bad guys within the body and plays a primary role in the protection of all cells from daily metabolic stress, and toxic chemicals. Glutathione is critical for one simple reason -it recycles antioxidants.
Many experts refer to glut (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own”) as, “the most important molecule we need to stay healthy and prevent aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more, and necessary to treat everything from autism to Alzheimer’s disease.”1 Yet most of us, have never heard of it.
Glutathione is involved in detoxification, binding to toxins (heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides) and transforming them into a form that can be excreted by the body via urine or bile. Free radicals get passed amongst antioxidants including Vitamin C, Vitamin E and lipoic acid and then finally to glutathione which cools off the free radicals and recycles other antioxidants.
Without glutathione we are vulnerable to oxidative stress the keystone to many disorders associated with inflammation, leading to allergies and chronic disease. Glutathione is also the maestro of the immune system. Without glutathione, our liver gets overloaded and damaged, rendering it unable to do its job of detoxification.
The secret of glutathione is the sulfur (SH) chemical groups it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule and bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins like mercury and other heavy metals.
Clearly, it’s vital to healthy living and fortunately, our body produces glutathione. Normally glutathione is recycled in the body — except when the toxic load becomes too great. Which explains why many of us are in such trouble.
There are over 80,000 toxic industrial chemicals found in our environment today and our livers struggle to keep up. The British medical journal, the Lancet, found the highest glutathione levels in healthy young people, lower levels in healthy elderly, lower still in sick elderly and the lowest of all in the hospitalized elderly.2
Here’s a list of certain lifestyle factors that deplete our body of glutathione.
- Toxins from poor diet
- Acetone, cleaning solvents, & paint removers
- Heavy metals (mercury, lead, cad.mium, copper, etc.)
- X-rays UV radiation and electromagnetic fields
- Lack of Sleep
Dr. Mark Hyman, Medical Director at Cleveland Clinics Centre for Functional Medicine says that3,
“In treating chronically ill patients with Functional Medicine for more than 10 years, I have discovered that glutathione deficiency is found in nearly all very ill patients. These include people with chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, cancer, chronic infections, autoimmune disease, diabetes, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, asthma, kidney problems, liver disease and more.
At first, I thought that this was just a coincidental finding, but over the years I have come to realize that our ability to produce and maintain a high level of glutathione is critical to recovery from nearly all chronic illness — and to preventing disease and maintaining optimal health and performance.”
Glutathione is the ultimate health-supportive champ – and it’s the one we want in our corner.
Here’s what else we know:4
- Glutathione is the single most powerful antioxidant your body produces and recycles it is also the most critical and integral part of your detoxification system.
- Toxins stick onto glutathione, which then carries them into the bile and the stool — and out of your body.
- Neutralizes and clears heavy metals and toxins from the body.
- Protects your DNA from damage and maintains optimal immunity.
- Protects against free radicals, tamps down inflammation and helps fend off heart disease, cancer, neurological decline, dementia and many more of the debilitating diseases we fear most.
- Keeps your mitochondria pumping out energy helping with peak mental and physical function.
- Research has shown that raised glutathione levels decrease muscle damage, reduce recovery time, increase strength and endurance and shift metabolism from fat production to muscle development.
- Delivers powerful anti-aging benefits. In fact, low glutathione levels have been linked to every major aging process in the human body, so by fighting back with glutathione, you can help keep your energy levels higher, for longer.
The next important point is where do we find glutathione and how can we boost our intake or reserves?
Check out our blog “How To Boost The Mother of All Antioxidants!” to learn more!
Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani
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