You may or may not have heard about glutathione before. But you have heard of
, right? You can’t watch the evening news any more without hearing that this skin cream or that fruit juice is high in antioxidants.
I just saw a commercial for 7-Up that is being advertised as "7-Up Antioxidant" because it has some Vitamin E in it. Did I hear that right - Vitamin E in 7-Up?
So antioxidants are now mainstream. Why do we need them?
Very simply, you have
going on in your body all the time, and antioxidants fight oxidative stress. The balance between your oxidative stress and antioxidants in your body may be one of the key indicators of your overall health today.
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If antioxidants were so important, wouldn’t you think your body would make it’s own? Well, in fact, it does, and the most powerful antioxidant you have in each of your cells is called “glutathione” (Gloo-ta-thigh-own). It is absolutely essential for good health.
What happens when your body doesn't make its own glutathione? Without it, your liver would fail from accumulation of
your cells would die from oxidative stress, and your
would leave you vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, and disease. And there are now well over 99,000 references to it on
the online resource for medical studies from around the world.
In short, if you didn't have glutathione, you wouldn’t last long. But don’t worry! Help is on the way. Actually, we have lots of it typically when we are younger, but due to stressors in our air, water, food, water, and
in general, as we
our levels typically begin falling in our 40's.
And chances are, if we are younger than that, and suffer from a chronic ailment, we are already deficient in this precious protein. So what can be done to help? First, let's define it.
Glutathione - What Is It?
What exactly is it? Technically speaking, glutathione is a tripeptide, or protein, made up of three amino acids.
Even more specific, it is glutathione sulfhydryl, and it may be abbreviated as GSH.
The essential amino acids needed to produce it in your cells are glutamate, or glutamic acid, glycine, and cysteine. Of these, it is hardest to find available cysteine in our diet.
As a result, cysteine is considered the rate-limiting factor for GSH production in our cells. It is the missing puzzle piece that you need to find if you are going to raise your levels for improved health.
Who first discovered glutathione? It has always been there, in each of your cells, but a man by the name of J. de Rey-Pailhade first discovered it using a microscope to examine the human eyeball in 1888.
He initially named the substance "philothione" (Greek for sulfur loving) based on how it reacted towards sulfur. Later, after further observations were made about its structure between 1921-1941, F. Gowland Hopkins, the "Father of Biochemistry" of Cambridge, England, renamed the substance "glutathione". The term continues in usage to this day.
In the 1980's, Alton Meister and his colleagues at Cornell University began a renaissance with further study on the functional and metabolic aspects of GSH. Since then, glutathione has been the subject of prolific research in its many aspects.
Please click this link for an actual picture of
as it is viewed under an electron microscope at the Florida State University. (this link opens in a new window).
Since it was discovered, for the last 100 hundred years or so, not much more was known about what it did or how to effectively raise it until recently.
In the last few years, there has been an interesting development. Research is being done at an ever increasing rate today. As a result, it is now understood that a healthy eyeball has high levels of GSH, and an eyeball with cataracts is lacking in it.
If you go to
(this opens in a new window) right now, you will find over 100,000 medical studies to date on this amazing substance in each of your cells.
Now that is a lot of information!
Glutathione has hundreds of functions in the body. But for most people, if we are able to remember the 5 main benefits, we will be familiar with about 90% of what GSH does:
For a more thorough explanation of these functions, please click
(this link opens in a new window) and read the section entitled "Glutathione has multiple functions:". You will find it in the 6th paragraph.
For now, we will learn how GSH is first and foremost your body’s own master Antioxidant. What exactly does that mean?
Well, all antioxidants can be classified into two major categories - exogenous and endogenous. Simply put, that means that some are external to our bodies, meaning our body does not make them (exogenous), and others are made by our bodies (endogenous).
Let’s start with external antioxidants, which are necessary for good health, that we must take in through our food or supplements. A few of these are:
Now when it comes to antioxidants made by the body, GSH is The Master because it recycles these other antioxidants.
That means when you take a Vitamin C, and it does its job of neutralizing a free radical, this amazing protein can recharge it by donating a Hydrogen molecule. How exactly does this work?
Well, at any given time, you have millions of free radicals circulating in your body. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Free radicals are oxidized molecules.
For example, the most dangerous and plentiful free radical in your body is an OH molecule. When a water or H-H-O molecule loses a Hydrogen, it is oxidized and becomes O-H. This process happens all day long, whether we realize it or not, and becomes a cascading effect when one cell loses it’s Hydrogen, and steals another one from the cell next to it, causing damage all over your body.
But GSH saves the day. It continually regenerates Hydrogen at the cellular level! So it can donate H back to OH so it can become water again!
So if your cells are high in this protein, then they can continue to assist all of the antioxidants you are taking to do their job more efficiently. So that is a win - win situation ! Your best bet is to make sure you have plenty of antioxidants in your diet, but you absolutely must have glutathione for them all to work properly.
So what happens when your body doesn't make it's own glutathione? Without it, you will cease to exist. With low levels of it, you may suffer from poor health. But with optimized or high levels in your system, you now hold in your hand the key to great health!
So GSH is something you need to have plenty of to win this race for life. It is the most powerful antioxidant that your body makes.
Remember when cholesterol and vitamins were not well known? At the rate research is being conducted on this amazing protein, it is only a matter of time before it also becomes a household word.
I was surprised just this week to pull a box of instant potatoes off the shelf in my pantry to see the word "glutathione" being highlighted as a beneficial ingredient!
The good news is you are hearing about it today, and as you read on, you will discover how this amazing protein can have a significant impact on your overall health today, and for the rest of your life.
Would you like to hear what medical doctors are saying about glutathione? Watch the 9 minute tutorial below that describes what it does, and also learn about a clinically proven glutathione enhancer named Immunocal.
Learn more about what your "New Normal" can be when you raise your glutathione levels with Immunocal like Dr. Gutman has:
Dr. Jimmy Gutman, who is featured in these videos, is the world's most published author on the subject of glutathione. His current bestseller is entitled "Glutathione - Your Key To Health."
Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The UltraMind Solution, also produced an excellent video all about this protective protein and how to raise it. Click on the arrow below to view:
*Update: Dr. Oz did a nationally televised show on the importance of GSH in February of 2011. Click here to view why he feels you need to know about glutathione for your health.
If you are a doctor, researcher, or other health professional, you may appreciate a more scientific, in-depth discussion of how GSH works. GSH is key, but related enzymes working along together form a synergistic effect in the body for maximum benefit. Two key GSH enzymes are glutathione peroxidase and glutathione S-transferase. Cell signaling and pathways, along with these enzymes, are all involved in glutathione doing its job so well in the body. When you raise your GSH, you also raise these related enzymes and enable these pathways and signals to do their job properly.
Dr. Christopher Shade, Ph. D., founded QuickSilver Scientific in 2005 for the purpose of mercury speciation analysis. Note how he breaks down the process for us in this fascinating 5 minute video: