Glutathione: Protector of Your Cells (+ 11 Ways to Raise It)

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione or GHS is the most powerful antioxidant within our bodies, and many people have never even heard of it.

Glutathione is commonly referred to as the primary detoxifier of the cell and your body’s master antioxidant.

There has been a lot of talk about antioxidants in the health industry over the years. I am sure you have heard about the importance of them. Things like blueberries, cacao, acai and of course, the almighty resveratrol (which many of us have used as an excuse for an extra glass of red wine).

These are all great sources of antioxidants but none of them even come close to GHS.

They are all examples of external antioxidants, also known as exogenous. While GHS, is an internal or endogenous antioxidant, meaning it is made inside the body.

It is produced in the liver, where it is most concentrated. It is also found in high concentrations in the kidneys, heart, eyes and brain and has many important functions within your body.

Benefits of Glutathione in Your Body:

  • Increases energy
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Slows down the aging process
  • Reduces muscle and joint inflammation and pain
  • Detoxifies the liver and all the body’s cells
  • Is a powerful chelator of heavy metals
  • Improves mental focus and clarity
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Reduces the effects of stress
  • Improves skin
  • Enhances athletic performance and recovery
The bad news...

Glutathione is depleted by:

  • Excessive exercise
  • Infections
  • Chronic stress
  • Injuries
  • Environmental toxins
  • Overuse of antibiotics
  • Ageing (quickly declines after age of 50)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemicals in food eg. artificial sweeteners, preservatives

Glutathione deficiency has been linked to over 75 major illnesses including:

  • Heart disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic infections
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Diabetes
  • Autism
  • Alzheimers Disease 
  • Liver Disease
  • Arthritis 
  • Kidney problems 
  • Asthma and more...

Glutathione is a combination of three simple building blocks of amino acids...cysteine, glutamine and glycine.

Normally GHS is recycled in your body and is critical for recycling other antioxidants. However, when your body becomes overwhelmed with oxidative stress and too many toxins, problems begin to occur!

When GHS levels become depleted. Your body can no longer protect itself against free radical damage. Infections and toxins become difficult to remove. This can lead to further sickness and eventually the downward spiral of chronic illness.

Glutathione and Genetics

It is worth mentioning that there is a genetic component to GHS metabolism. For this reason it becomes vital for certain individuals to look after their GHS levels.

With my clients, I test the genes involved with glutathione metabolism.

These are the genes involved in producing enzymes that allow the body to create and recycle glutathione. One of the main genes involved in GHS metabolism (GSTT1), is actually absent in about 38% of the population according to this recent study (1).

This has become of particular interest to me as low levels can lead to so many health issues. Including digestive disorders, liver disease, and chronic inflammation.

As mentioned, this can lead to a toxic burden within the body, which can build up over time.

After looking at my own gene test I discovered that I am missing this essential gene. Therefore, my body does not effectively produce enough glutathione! Now that I know this, I am able to help my body with its GHS production with the right foods and nutrients.

Amanda Ledwith
Naturopath

If you would like to find out about your own glutathione metabolism. Click the button below to learn more about our Genomic Wellness Testing.

So How Can You Raise Your Body’s Essential Glutathione?

There are many foods and nutrients that will naturally help your body to boost it’s own Glutathione production:

  1. Whey protein (grass-fed cold processed non-denatured) 
  2. Curcumin from turmeric
  3. Sulphur rich foods – broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radish, bok choy, watercress, mustard greens.
  4. Milk Thistle (Liver herb)
  5. Folate Foods – chickpeas, lentils, liver, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, beetroots.
  6. Selenium Foods – brazil nuts, Yellow Fin Tuna, sardines, grass-fed beef, turkey, free range chicken, egg, spinach.
  7. Vitamin C Foods – capsicum, dark leafy greens, kiwifruit, berries, citrus fruits (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit), tomatoes, papaya.
  8. Vitamin E Foods – almonds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, olive oil.
  9. N-acetyl cysteine
  10. A-Lipoic Acid
  11. Selenium

Can I get all the glutathione I need through diet?

I will always recommend supplementing through dietary sources as much as possible. Due to the natural decline of GHS levels, increasing oxidative stress and the overload of toxins, it is hard to replace the body’s supplies through diet alone.

The problem with many glutathione supplements on the market is that they are mostly destroyed by the stomach acid and are not effectively absorb through your cell walls, which is where glutathione is needed… inside your cells!

Conclusion

Would you like to improve your health, optimize your performance and live a healthy, vital life?
Taking care of your Glutathione levels becomes crucial to any health protocol.

To learn more about my favourite Glutathione product and the most effective way to raise your levels click the button below.

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