asparagus glutathione

Glutathione is a cellular antioxidant and detoxifying system that includes: reduced glutathione (GSH), glutathione reductase (GSR), glutathione S-transferase (GST), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px).

It is considered by many experts to be the most important molecule for longevity and disease prevention.

And despite the fact that there are 90,000 medical articles about it – your doctor probably doesn’t know what this special molecule does.

Glutathione: Your Body’s Master Antioxidant & Detoxifier

Known as the body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier, this vital compound plays a number of important roles in the body.

In addition to performing the critical task of neutralizing free radicals, glutathione also:

  • Dissolves toxic substances (including xenoestrogens like bisphenol-a)
  • Guards against DNA damage to cell membranes and repairs damaged DNA
  • Adheres to cancer-causing substances and helps clear them from the body
  • Has an important role in immune function
  • Helps to recycle antioxidants – including vitamin C and vitamin E – back to their active state
  • Enhances insulin secretion in people with impaired glucose tolerance.

Why Glutathione Gets Depleted

tylenol depletes glutathione

Acetaminophen is notorious for depleting glutathione levels.

Unfortunately, glutathione is easily depleted – leaving you susceptible to toxicity, oxidation, infections, rapid aging and chronic disease, including cancer.

Here are the key factors that deplete this vital molecule:

  • An unhealthy diet
  • Pollution
  • Toxins
  • Medications
  • Stress and trauma
  • Aging
  • Infections
  • Radiation

In addition, there are specific genes involved that allow the body to make and recycle glutathione (including GSTM1, GSTP1 and others). Unfortunately, many people have impaired function in these genes, leaving them susceptible to toxicity and disease.

How to Boost Glutathione

In order to reap the benefits of this health guardian, your body requires three precursors—cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid. The most important of these is cysteine, as it is quickly depleted in the body.

Learn about the foods, nutrients and supplements you should be consuming to boost glutathione.

Glutathione - Found in:

Avocados, Tomatoes, Asparagus, Strawberries, Watermelon, Whey,
Knight JA The biochemistry of aging Adv Clin Chem 2000;35:1-62, Chen TS, Richie JP, Nagasawa HT, Lang CA Glutathione monoethyl ester protects against glutathione deficiencies due to aging and acetaminophen in miceMech Ageing Dev 2000 Dec 1;120(1-3):127-39.Anderson ME, Luo JL. Glutathione therapy: from prodrugs to genes. Semin Liver Dis. 1998; 18:415-424.Paolisso G, Giugliano D, Pizza G, et al. Glutathione infusion potentiates glucose-induced insulin secretion in aged patients with impaired glucose tolerance. Diabetes Care. 1992; 15:1-7. De Rosa SC, Zaretsky MD, Dubs JG, Roederer M, Anderson M, Green A, Mitra D, Watanabe N, Nakamura H, Tjioe I, Deresinski SC, Moore WA, Ela SW, Parks D, Herzenberg LA, Herzenberg LA. N-acetylcysteine replenishes glutathione in HIV infection. Eur J Clin Invest. 2000 Oct;30(10):915-. Nuttall S, Martin U, Sinclair A, Kendall M. 1998. Glutathione: in sickness and in health. The Lancet 351(9103):645-646

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

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