Glutathione is one of the body’s most important and potent antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that reduce harmful oxidative stress and free radicals, which causes ageing, illness and disease.
Glutathione is is an antioxidant produced naturally by the body, when it’s functioning optimally. It is comprised largely of three amino acids: glutamine, glycine, and cysteine.
Glutathione levels in the body may be reduced by a number of factors, including poor nutrition, compromised gut health, environmental toxins, chronic disease, infection and stress. Its levels also decline naturally with age.
It is known as a master antioxidant because Glutathione helps neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress that can damage the body’s cells. Free radicals (toxins) can accumulate in the body from two sources: endogenous toxins including waste products produced by normal cellular metabolism or cell function, and exogenous or external toxins including those from poor quality processed food, air pollution, toxins and endocrine disruptors in grooming and skincare products, environmental toxins like household cleaning products, mould, parasites etc, and heavy metal exposure including consuming food from aluminium cans, mercury in fish and amalgum fillings. (Get those things out your mouth ASAP)
Unlike most antioxidants, which come from plant sources, the human body naturally produces Glutathione in the liver.
In addition to being produced naturally by the body, Glutathione can be given intravenously, topically, or as an inhalant. It’s also available as an oral supplement in capsule and liquid form. However, oral ingestion of Glutathione may not be as effective as intravenous delivery.
Glutathione has become sought after as an effective skin lightener. This is true, it is! Glutathione does indeed convert brown pigment (ethnic skin) to red pigment (caucasian skin) with the resultant effect of lightened skin. However!! ….This process takes place over a long period of time (years) AND Glutathione’s primary role in the body is anti-oxidant. So if the body has a high toxic load, Glutathione will function in its primary role as an anti-oxidant, losing its potential effect on skin lightening.
Maintaining adequate levels of Glutathione: the master antioxidant, is incredibly important for optimal health.
including Glutathione, Vitamin C, Zinc and Selenium. The skin and gut health drip at the DripBar contains 2000mg of Glutathione and 5000mg Vitamin C as well as seven other micronutrients that enhance its effect.
IV drip therapy bypasses the gut, ensuring maximum absorption directly into the vein, boosting Glutathione levels immediately.
Sulphur is an important mineral that occurs naturally in some plant and protein foods.
It’s required for the structure and activity of important proteins and enzymes in the body. Sulfur is required for the synthesis of Glutathione.
Sulfur is found in two amino acids in food: methionine and cysteine. The best vegetarian sources of sulfur include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, watercress and mustard greens.
Allium vegetables, including garlic, shallots and onions, also boost glutathione levels — likely due to their sulfur-containing compounds
Sulfur is important for producing glutathione. Therefore, make sure you’re eating sulfur-rich foods such as allium and cruciferous vegetables.
Strawberries, citrus fruits, papayas, kiwis and bell peppers are all examples of foods rich in vitamin C.
This vitamin has many functions, including working as an antioxidant to protect cells from oxidative damage. It also maintains the body’s supply of other antioxidants, including glutathione.
Researchers have discovered that vitamin C may help increase glutathione levels by attacking free radicals first, thereby sparing glutathione.
They also found that vitamin C helps reprocess glutathione by converting oxidized glutathione back to its active form.
In fact, researchers have found that taking Vitamin C supplements increased glutathione levels in white blood cells in healthy adults.
In one study, adults took 500–1,000 mg of vitamin C daily for 13 weeks, leading to an 18% increase of glutathione in white blood cells.
Vitamin C plays a vital role in maintaining glutathione levels. For this reason, taking vitamin C supplements may help increase glutathione levels in your body.
Some of the best sources of selenium include organic beef, chicken, wild caught low mercury containing fish, brown rice and brazil nuts.
By increasing your intake of selenium, you may help maintain or increase your body’s supply of Glutathione.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for selenium for adults is 55 mcg. This is based on the amount needed to maximize the production of Glutathione.
Selenium is a cofactor for the production of Glutathione. Low mercury wild caught Fish, as well as brazil nuts are all selenium-rich foods that may help increase your levels naturally.
The human body produces Glutathione, but there are also dietary sources. Spinach, avocados, pistachio nuts, asparagus and okra are some of the richest dietary sources.
However, dietary Glutathione is poorly absorbed by the human body. Additionally, cooking and storage conditions can decrease the amount of Glutathione found in food.
Despite having a lower impact on increasing Glutathione levels, Glutathione-rich foods may help decrease oxidative stress.
Dietary Glutathione is not fully absorbed by the body. However, including foods naturally high in glutathione, like avocados, spinach, and okra, may help decrease oxidative stress.
Your body’s production of glutathione depends on certain amino acids.
An amino acid called cysteine is a particularly important amino acid that is involved in glutathione synthesis.
Foods rich in cysteine, such as whey protein, may increase your glutathione supply.
In fact, research strongly supports this claim, as many studies have found that whey protein may increase levels of glutathione and, therefore, reduce oxidative stress.
Whey protein is a good source of cysteine, which helps maintain adequate glutathione production. Therefore, whey protein may help increase your levels.
Milk thistle supplements are another way to boost Glutathione levels naturally.This herbal supplement is extracted from the milk thistle plant, known as Silybum marianum.
Milk Thistle is comprised of three active compounds, collectively known as silymarin. Silymarin is found in high concentrations in milk thistle extract and is well known for its antioxidant properties.
The active ingredient in milk thistle extract is called silymarin. Milk thistle supplements may cause an increase in glutathione levels, likely attributed to silymarin.
Turmeric is a vibrant yellow-orange herb and a popular spice in Indian cuisine.
The herb has been used medicinally in India since ancient times. The medicinal properties of turmeric are likely linked to its main component, curcumin.
The curcumin content is much more concentrated in the extract form of turmeric, compared to the spice.
Researchers conclude that the curcumin found in turmeric may assist in restoring adequate levels of glutathione and improve the activity of Glutathione enzymes.
To experience an increase in glutathione levels, you would need to take turmeric extract, as it would be extremely difficult to consume the same levels of curcumin with turmeric spice.
Curcumin, an important ingredient in turmeric, may increase Glutathione levels. Although flavoring your food with turmeric can be tasty, you need the more concentrated forms of curcumin found in turmeric extract to increase your levels.
A good night’s rest is essential for overall health. Interestingly, long-term lack of sleep can cause oxidative stress and even hormone imbalances .
Furthermore, research has shown that chronic lack of sleep may decrease glutathione levels.
Therefore, making sure you get good, restorative sleep each night may help maintain or boost your levels of this antioxidant.
Chronic lack of sleep can cause a decrease in Glutathione levels. Conversely, getting enough sleep on a regular basis can help increase or maintain your levels.
Regular physical activity has long been recommended by physicians and healthcare providers. It’s no surprise that exercise is good for both your physical and mental health.
Recent research shows that exercise is also helpful in maintaining or increasing antioxidant levels, especially Glutathione.
Completing a combination of both cardio and circuit weight training increases glutathione the most, compared to completing cardio or weight training alone.
However, athletes who overtrain without maintaining adequate nutrition and rest may be at risk of decreased Glutathione production.
Regular physical activity, specifically cardio and weight training, may help increase glutathione levels. However, overtraining without a balanced diet and proper rest can deplete your levels.
It’s no surprise that many adverse health effects are associated with chronic and excessive alcohol intake.
Alcohol decreases Glutathione levels throughout the body, especially in the lungs. People who regularly consume excessive amounts of alcohol can have an 80–90% decrease in lung Glutathione.
BIO: Chantal is a B.Sc.Hons Allied Health with an international diploma in Nutrition and Sports Nutrition. Chantal is a passionate Gut Health advocate & holistic Lifestyle Coach, specialising in the improvement and management of the chronic diseases of lifestyle, the illnesses and diseases associated with dietary excess and their relationship to leaky gut and dysbiosis (imbalance) of the gut microbiome. These conditions include IBS, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight, obesity, acne, eczema, depression, anxiety, auto-immune, hormone imbalance, cognitive decline etc.
Over her 25 year career, Chantal has held various positions within the health and wellness industry – including 10 years as the Executive Head of Vodacom’s corporate wellness & mobile health programs. Chantal is the owner/ founder of the DripBar which offers vitamin and mineral drip therapy in improving micronutrient deficiencies. She is also the founder/owner of a Kombucha brewery which produces the brand of organic green tea ‘booch’ called theFarmacy.
Chantal is a competitive cyclist, a plant strong vegan and mom to two grown up girls.
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