Glutathione Benefits for the Overall Health of the Body

admin | April 22, 2015 | Health Food Supplement

Glutathione is a combination of three amino acids or simple building blocks of protein – glycine, glutamic acid, and cysteine. It is naturally produced by the body, similar to alpha lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10, and can be found in every cell. Glutathione functions as a vital antioxidant in the body. One of the most well-known glutathione benefits is that it is very useful in fighting free radicals or molecules that could harm the cells in the body.

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Glutathione is important in a lot of chemical reactions in the body. It helps the body detoxify and flush out harmful drug residues, pollutants, and chemicals, even some chemicals that the body naturally creates.

The amount of glutathione in the body seems to decrease as a person gets older, probably because the body couldn’t produce as much. Lower levels of glutathione could be linked to a person’s poor health. Some health issues like HIV/AIDS, cancer, hepatitis, Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes could also cause lower levels of glutathione.glutathionebenefits

Other glutathione benefits include the prevention or treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It also helps the body have high energy levels, boosts immunity, and speeds up recovery from a disease.

A person who is active or over 50 years old must consider taking a glutathione supplement regularly. That is because the body does not produce as much glutathione as it ages. If a person is active, the muscle usually gets worn down. Glutathione helps the muscles recover faster and get stronger.

Among the three amino acids found in glutathione, the body has to make sure it gets enough cysteine. Aside from the fact that a person’s diet doesn’t have enough of it, it also has sulfur. The human body could not store a lot of sulfur so it has to be obtained from food or supplement.

Aside from taking glutathione orally, glutathione injection is also available to help prevent anaemia in kidney patients who undergo haemodialysis treatment.

The common glutathione benefits include the following:

  1. Prevents several kinds of cancer – studies have shown that glutathione could help improve a cancer patient’s response to chemotherapy. It can also be effective to protect the body against the harmful effects of certain cancer treatments such as radiation.

  1. Lessens the effects of aging and helps in longevity – without the protection of antioxidants, the cells in the body may die at a faster rate. This can lead to various diseases, including cancer. Glutathione helps in protecting the cells from oxidative damage, preventing them from dying quickly.

  1. Prevents brain injury and many brain illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – the amino acids in glutathione play an important role in cellular and DNA function. It also has a genetic link to these two brain illnesses. A study shows that a lot of psychiatric and neurological illness processes are characterized by irregularities in antioxidant defences and glutathione metabolism.

  1. Helps the muscles – glutathione can improve muscle recovery, delay muscular fatigue, and increase the body’s energy.

  1. Protect the cells – glutathione can protect the skin, cornea, retina, and lens from damage caused by radiation.

  1. Improves response to allergies – glutathione, specifically its cysteine content, can enhance non-specific immune responses of the body and creates more T4 white blood cells. Glutathione is also helpful in protecting the lungs.

  1. Helps in keeping Vitamins C and E in their active form– this would allow these vitamins to continually act as potent antioxidants.

  1. Fights off symptoms of HIV/AIDS – a person who has HIV can have a weak immune system. Taking glutathione supplements could protect the immune system against oxidative stress caused by HIV.

Glutathione during Pregnancy

Just like folic acid and Vitamin C, glutathione is an antioxidant and whether pregnant or not, antioxidants are good for the body. Pregnant women are advised to take prenatal vitamins to keep the baby in their womb as healthy as possible.

Specialists actually advise women to take glutathione during pregnancy because of the following reasons:

  • Glutathione protects the mother and the child against the harmful effects of free radicals and oxidative stress

  • Chemicals that cause birth defects are detoxified by glutathione into less toxic forms

  • The placenta is where the baby obtains its food for development. Before the pollutants come in contact with the developing baby in the placenta, glutathione detoxifies these pollutants.

  • Glutathione in the cells helps in creating higher energy levels which are necessary for women who carry another human being

A lot of birth defects and complications during pregnancy are caused by oxidative stress. Chemical exposure, poor nutrition, and smoking all play a part in this.

Various free radicals are actually produced in the body of a woman during pregnancy. It would be highly recommended for a pregnant woman to take prenatal vitamins and antioxidants to fight them. In the prevention of birth defects, glutathione acts as folic acid.

Glutathione Food Sources

Foods that have higher protein levels are the best sources of glutathione foods because they have the amino acids necessary to produce glutathione. Foods that contain cysteine or foods that have high levels of glutathione can be eaten. These are found in animal sources and plant sources.

Foods that are high in glutathione include the following:

Animal sources:

  • Eggs

  • Whey protein

  • Meat

  • Milk

Plant sources:

  • Avocado

  • Cabbage

  • Kale

  • Asparagus

  • Broccoli

  • Spinach

  • Fish oil

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Cauliflower

  • Strawberries

  • Grapefruit

  • Watermelon

Foods that are high in cysteine include the following:

Animal Sources:

  • Chicken

  • Pork

  • Turkey

  • Eggs

  • Sausage

  • Whey protein

  • Yogurt

  • Cottage cheese

  • Ricotta cheese

  • Duck

  • Milk

Plant Sources:

  • Broccoli

  • Brussels sprout

  • Garlic

  • Granola

  • Oats

  • Onions

  • Red peppers

  • Sprouted lentils

  • Wheat germ

Risks of Taking Glutathione

Lower level of zinc is one of the glutathione side effects if the supplement is taken for a long period of time. Asthma attacks in those who have asthma can also be triggered if glutathione is taken by inhaling it. A possible symptom of this is wheezing.

A person sensitive to glutathione should avoid taking it. Even if it comes from natural sources, a doctor’s advice is needed before taking any supplements. The doctor could help in finding out any possible side effects or interactions with other medications.

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