Do you feel like you have been ill more times this year than ever before? Do you see signs of aging appearing long before they should? Do you struggle with mental health issues like depression? Do you feel tired and stressed all the time?
If so, then you may be dealing with a lower amount of glutathione in your body.
What Is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a super compound made by the body that has many powerful benefits. However, these benefits diminish when you encounter daily stressors, injuries and other medical issues. Instead of being able to fight off diseases and infections affecting the body, it becomes powerless.
The good news is that glutathione can be restored.
Glutathione is a tripeptide, an antioxidant produced in cells that is made up of glutamine, glycine, and cysteine. It is produced in the liver.
When our bodies can produce ample amounts of glutathione, it defends against free radicals, harmful chemicals and toxins, and inflammation. As we age, and the more stressors we encounter, glutathione decreases in the body.
This decrease means your body does not experience the full potential of this compound and you are not receiving the benefits your body deserves. It means your body is not able to properly get rid of toxins. When this happens, you become more susceptible to autoimmune diseases and even cancer.
Benefits of Glutathione
Glutathione’s benefits are so powerful it has been associated with slowing the aging process. It has been said to take harmful substances, break them down and make them harmless. Some examples of substances that become harmless include carcinogens, heavy metals, pollutants, herbicides and smoke.
Glutathione fights oxidative stress, reduces inflammation, and fights against depression. Glutathione helps relieve irritable bowel syndrome, improves memory and has even been shown to help ease the symptoms of autism.
Furthermore, glutathione is associated with fighting diseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, mental illness and Huntingdon’s disease. In addition, some reports state it can help reverse damage to the liver and kidneys that may come from diabetes, or alcohol abuse.
More importantly, glutathione can give you more energy, which can lead to people participating in higher levels of exercise. And because it fights illnesses, you can expect to have fewer absences at work and other activities.
Glutathione as an Antioxidant
Some say glutathione is the most important antioxidant.
Antioxidants reduce the oxidation of other molecules in the body. Meaning, they delay or prevent cell damage. They are found in fruits and vegetables.
Different antioxidants aid various parts of the body. An example is flavonoids, which benefit the heart. Other examples include beta carotene, selenium, lutein and vitamins A and E.
Glutathione is also an antioxidant, but it benefits many parts of the body.It is also great for detoxifying the body.
Glutathione and Detoxification
Glutathione plays a crucial role in helping the liver detox, specifically phase II detoxification. This is when the molecules that need to be removed from the body are metabolized. Glutathione finds toxins and attaches to them to help them break down faster.
It locks on to the negative chemicals in your body and prevents them from further damaging parts of the body. In fact, glutathione can then take the hazardous materials and break them down even further, so they can be expelled from the body, hence, detoxifying the body.
How Glutathione Gets Depleted
There are both internal and external factors that deplete glutathione. Internally, glutathione is needed by more and more body parts and functions. The supply is not able to keep up with the demand.
Protecting the body from oxidative stress, repairing DNA and recycling vitamins is requiring glutathione to be spread too thin, and often depleting its efficiency.
Externally, glutathione is depleted by medications, even simple forms of acetaminophen. Other substances like paint remover, fuels, heavy metals such as copper or lead, pesticides and herbicides. In addition, substances like food preservatives, artificial sweeteners and food dyes destroy glutathione.
Man-made chemicals, from formaldehyde to mothballs break down glutathione in the body. All chemicals used in cleaning, as well as medical x-rays and environmental pollutants, can be harmful. If there are warnings on the bottle, it is likely a chemical that will deplete this wonder compound.
Ways to Increase Glutathione
Glutathione is a protein. This makes it hard for some to absorb, especially those with higher stress levels, or who are living in toxic environments. But you can take steps to increase the amount of glutathione for use in your body.
Fruits, vegetables and meats are great providers of glutathione. Raw fruits and vegetables are the best sources. Once you begin cooking fruits or vegetables, you begin depleting the levels of glutathione available.
Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, onions and beets are excellent examples of foods high in glutathione. Dairy, cereal and breads are some of the worst sources.
It would be hard for anyone to eat enough fruits and vegetables in a day to meet the glutathione demand our bodies desire. Fortunately, there are alternative options for increasing glutathione.
Doing what you can to decrease the number of toxins you take in is essential. You may not even recognize the number of common things we do each day that can be harmful.
Making minor changes such as using a high-quality water filter for drinking and bathing, open the windows to let fresh air in, and using glass instead of plastic, can make a dramatic difference in protecting glutathione production.
Manage your stress levels through meditation, yoga and exercise. Eat healthier, avoiding a lot of sugary foods and drinks. Buy organic, non-GMO foods to avoid hormones and antibiotics added by producers.
Glutathione can be inhaled, injected, and even taken as a supplement. Supplement forms seem to be the most popular and can be readily available.
If you feel you may be low in glutathione, work with a healthcare provider who considers your whole body and lifestyle when developing a treatment plan to increase glutathione. Together, you can come up with a solution to help you get back to living a healthy, happy life.