Glutathione - The antioxidant you need to know
I highly doubt you need another reminder of just how important antioxidants are to our health, longevity, and all around sparkle, however let me introduce you to my super star of antioxidants because I think this one changes the game.
Glutathione is such a rockstar it makes the other antioxidants, like vitamin C and E, look like the support act.
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is produced naturally in our bodies and is made up of three building blocks:
- amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamine (Glutamine is beautifully covered by Larina in ‘My top 4 supplements to Heal Your Gut – Part 1’).
Glutathione is recycled in the body, but levels can be compromised by increased toxic load, poor dietary choices and environmental exposure to pollutants.
Why it is such a beautiful antioxidant?
Glutathione’s main role is to recycle other antioxidants and aid in removal of free radicals, this helps protects us from disease and cancer, aids detoxification, regeneration and contributes to radiant skin and our overall glow (Enough said! Right?).
In our bodies, free radicals can be produced from metabolic processes and exposure to toxins leading to inflammation and a host of health challenges. In order to prevent these free radicals from causing any damage, the antioxidants (such as vitamin C and E and lipoic acid) pick them up and pass them between themselves to disable their disruptive potential. Then the free radical is ‘cooled off’ and eliminated, and the antioxidants are then recycled - ALL by glutathione. Isn’t that amazing?
What if our body's stores are depleted?
Problems arise when our bodies are placed under too much oxidative stress from the increasing number of free radicals, and glutathione becomes depleted. This has a drastic impact on our body’s ability to detoxify, as well as reducing it's capacity to help support peak mental and physical function!
Increased glutathione levels also reduces muscle damage, recovery time, increases strength and endurance and can alter our metabolism from fat production to muscle development.
Natural ways to increase your Glutathione levels
- Increase sulphur-rich foods: These include garlic, onions, and the cruciferous vegetables, cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflowers and brussel sprouts
- Moderate intensity exercise as this stimulates glutathione
- Vitamin B6 and B12: These methylating nutrients are essential for glutathione production
- Selenium: Brazil nuts, eggs, brown rice, seafood and meat.
- Increase vitamin C and E intake: Assist in recycling glutathione. Eat more fruits and vegetables and almonds to help boost vitamin E levels.
- Milk Thistle: Has been shown to increase glutathione levels and help support detoxification and liver health.
You may also like:
(Revel, F. Gilbert, T. Roche, S. Drai, J. Blond, E. Ecochard, R and Bonnefoy, M. 2015. Influence of Oxidative Stress Biomarkers on Cognitive Decline. Journal of Alzheimers Disease).
(Powers, SK. Ji, LL and Leeuwenburgh C. 1999. Exercise training-induced alterations in skeletal muscle antioxidant capacity: a brief review. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Vol. 31, No. 7, pp. 987-997 < http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/10416560>)