There are so many health products on the market that promise to “turn back the wheels of time.” From herbal teas to skincare products, the quest for youth and good health is highly sought after. What if I told you, your body already contains the element it needs for optimal health and longevity? It’s called glutathione.
This natural and indispensable molecule is found in every cell in the human body. In fact, there’s not a living organism on Earth that doesn’t have glutathione in its cells. It’s an extremely powerful antioxidant that protects and heals your body from a lot of damage.
So what’s the stitch? Unfortunately, our lifestyle and diet often depletes glutathione levels.
That’s why in this complete guide to glutathione you’ll learn exactly what it is, what glutathione does to the body, what depletes glutathione levels, signs you have low glutathione, and how you can increase your levels of glutathione. Keep reading to become a glutathione expert!
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a tripeptide, or very small protein, found in extremely high levels in your body’s cells. It’s composed of three amino acids: glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid. This molecule plays a huge role in our body and has been called the “Master” antioxidant.
Glutathione boosts the utilization and recycling of other antioxidants, namely Vitamins C and E, as well as alpha lipoic acid and CoQ10.
Two types of glutathione exist, an active form (reduced glutathione) and an inactive form (oxidized glutathione). The active form of glutathione works to detoxify the cell of harmful oxidants, or “free radicals.” In doing so, it turns into the inactive form of glutathione. An enzyme called glutathione reductase then recycles it back into the active form.
Glutathione protects the mitochondria, the part of the cell that creates energy. You may find it interesting that there is as much glutathione in the cell as there is glucose, potassium, and cholesterol!
We can’t live without these substances, and considering there is just as much glutathione in the cell, it’s not hard to infer the importance of this molecule.
What Glutathione Does In The Body
That was a lot of science, so you want to know what exactly glutathione does in the body? It has many key roles in your health and well-being. Glutathione is an important player in many basic cellular functions.
For example, glutathione is responsible for cell signaling, enzyme function, gene expression, and cell differentiation and proliferation.
In short, the antioxidant properties of glutathione support these functions:
- Aging defense
- Antioxidant protection
- Energy production
These are all critical bodily functions which is why low levels of glutathione can have far-reaching implications.
What Depletes Your Glutathione Levels?
Glutathione depletion makes you susceptible to oxidative stress and inflammation. If you don’t have enough glutathione your mitochondria become oxidized. The free radical damage caused by oxidation then triggers your immune system to clean up the damage, which results in inflammation.
Both oxidative stress and inflammation are markers of accelerated aging and chronic illness. In fact, oxidative stress is the root cause of almost every chronic illness like:
- Heart attack
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Increased susceptibility to infections disease
Natural aging, the environment, and certain health situations can increase the demand for glutathione in your body leading to inadequate amounts and a state of depleted glutathione levels.
Other lifestyle factors that lead to low levels of glutathione.
Signs You Have Low Levels of Glutathione
The more free radicals you have in your body the more glutathione your body has to use to remove them – thus leading to low levels of glutathione. What signs should you look for that indicate you have low levels of glutathione?
Symptoms you will likely experience include regularly feeling tired or fatigued, a hard time getting quality sleep, persistent brain fog, low immunity, and high susceptibility to illness.
What Foods Are High In Glutathione?
Thankfully, while your body does produce glutathione on an as-needed basis, you can also get it through the food you eat. This is especially important since mycotoxins are a huge factor in the suppression of glutathione production.
Don’t forget, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to pursue optimal health. A well-rounded diet focused on a variety of fruits and veggies, high-quality protein, and healthy fats are the best way to get glutathione from food.
Type of Glutathione Supplements
What about those situations when you need a boost of glutathione? Maybe you’ve been dealing with chronic fatigue for years and need more support than a simple diet change. Or, maybe you’re recovering from mold toxicity or another type of chronic illness. In this case, you may want to consider a glutathione supplement.
There are three types of glutathione supplements: pills, injections, or inhalation.
An oral glutathione supplement:
You can take a daily dose of liposomal glutathione like the one found here. This is a simple and effective way to make sure you are constantly replenishing your levels of glutathione. Including glutathione daily into your supplement routine will help you maintain optimal health.
A glutathione injection or IV treatment:
Glutathione can be administered through intramuscular injection or through intravenous vitamin infusion therapy like the IV glutathione we provide in our Detox IV. This bypasses the digestive system and provides higher concentrations of glutathione directly to your cells.
One final way to increase your levels of glutathione is through aerosolized or nebulized glutathione. This method is particularly helpful for respiratory disorders and repairing the respiratory tract.
Work With an Integrative and Functional Medicine Provider
As always, realize that the day-to-day choices you make about your health are more important than any single supplement. You can’t supplement your way out of an unhealthy diet or poor sleep habits.
However, there’s no denying glutathione is a powerful tool to help optimize your health. If you’re interested in getting an edge over your health or learning which glutathione supplement is best for you, contact us to work with an integrative team.