Author: Kurt LaCapruccia, D.S.S. (Diploma in Dietary Supplement Science)
Published: October 1, 2018
Recognized as the “Master Detoxifier” by Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., health and medical communities are beginning to stress the importance of Glutathione in our body (1). Pronounced “Glue-tuh-thigh-own,” this champion molecule is the “Mother of all Antioxidants”. The body both creates Glutathione itself but can also absorb Glutathione through food and/or supplements.
Glutathione reviews and authoritative scientific articles prove the importance of Glutathione in our body and have been shown to improve symptoms for multiple different diseases including arthritis, autism, Parkinson’s, Lyme disease and cancer (1). As a matter of fact, Glutathione is essential for optimal health and vigor in the body.
If you were to go longer than 24 hours without in-taking GSH either through food or supplementation, your liver would begin to steal amino acids from muscle proteins to manufacture it. But even with its multitude of benefits, there are still many internal and external reasons why people do not experience the full spectrum of Glutathione benefits. These are usually do to deficiency. Some reasons for GSH deficiency include:
- Low-nutrient, High GMO Diets (ex. Junk Food, Sugar)
- Aging (most common, the body depletes 10% per decade after age 20)
- Chronic stress and fatigue
- Build Up of Toxins and Heavy Metals within the body (Ex. Mercury, Lead, Copper)
- Anxiety and Depression
- Strenuous exercise
- Diets low in Cruciferous Foods (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Radishes)
- Artificial Sweeteners containing Aspartame
- Drugs, Cigarettes and Alcohol
- Environmental Pollution and Chemicals (ex. chemicals in grass, free radicals)
- Injuries, burns or trauma
What is Glutathione?
So precisely what is Glutathione good for and what does Glutathione do? GSH Glutathione (shortened GSH) is one of the most powerful antioxidants the body makes from these three amino acids: Glutamine, Cysteine and Glycine (1).
Gustavo Bounous, MD, labels GSH as “the most important antioxidant produced by the body because it is within the cell.” High levels of Glutathione must be present and maintained in order to sustain a healthy immune system (2). Although the body can create its own Glutathione using the three amino acids, the growing toxicity of our environment rationalizes using supplements or foods high in Glutathione to maintain a healthy immune system (3).
Every cell in the body produces GSH to protect and detoxify itself from xenobiotic toxins and free radicals in the environment (4). Every year, new chemicals are added to our environment from lawn fertilizers to the pesticides used in the growing of our food supplies. Without Glutathione antioxidant benefits, our bodies are left wide open for free radicals to damage our cells. Which, when left untreated, and spiral downward into a multitude of different potential diseases and or problems. This is why it is so crucial to understand the importance of Glutathione in our body and supplement ourselves with quality supplements and foods high in Glutathione.
Glutathione Benefits: What Does Glutathione Do in the Body?
What does Glutathione do for you? This is a question we commonly receive from individuals who are beginning to supplement. GSH is involved in the following body processes:
- Tissue building and repair
- Making proteins in the body
- Strengthening the immune system
- GSH is found in nearly every living cell in our bodies. Some of the highest concentrations are located in organs such as the liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, and the lens and cornea of the eye.
- This very powerful antioxidant prevents the formation of free radicals and renders existing free radicals ineffective.
- Aids in the production of white blood cells which affects our immune system. Therefore, GSH is one of the most potent anti-viral agents known.
- Out of all the anti-cancer agents the body manufactures, GSH is the strongest.
- Glutathione has the ability to return oxidized Vitamin C and Vitamin E back to their original unoxidized state.
- The liver utilizes glutathione to detoxify acetaminophen, benzpyrene, formaldehyde, and many other toxins and carcinogens.
- The brain requires GSH for normal, healthy function.
- It maintains the congruity and purity of the red blood cells.
- As we age, glutathione begins to diminish. By increasing GSH levels, the aging process can be slowed and cellular differentiation can take place.
- GSH assists in creating nucleic acid and repairing DNA. It is also a required antioxidant to protect all our proteins.
Symptoms of Glutathione Deficiency
What are the symptoms of Glutathione deficiency? The medical literature reports Glutathione deficiency is equally distributed between men and women (5). There are three categories of Glutathione deficinecy dependent on individual cases: mild, moderate and severe deficiencies. Symptoms of Glutathione deficiency include:
- Excessive buildup of acid
- Pale Skin Color
- Shortness of Breath
When to Take Glutathione
Levels of Glutathione deplete naturally when we age, are overburdened with stress, consume unhealthy processed foods, or get infections when we are exposed to high levels of pollution (6). If you work or live in an environment with higher levels of pollution (whether this be living in Los Angeles or in an area with second hand smoke) GSH should be a staple in your supplement regimen. Foods high in Glutathione such as broccoli, beef, chicken, Brazil nuts, and cottage cheese can boost levels of Glutathione in your body.
Two environmental pollutants rarely mentioned in the depletion of GSH is radiation, mold and mildew (7). Radiation destroys cells (whether it be from the sun or the tanning salon) hence why Glutathione should be included in the supplement regimen of individuals who are regularly exposed to radiation (8). Pilots, X-ray technicians and flight attendants specifically are individuals who should be actively concerned about their levels of Glutathione as they are exposed daily to degrees of radiation. For these types of occupations, and other occupations similar to them, Glutathione dosages (either through supplement or food) should be increased and actively monitored.
Mold is another environmental pollutant of which is rarely included in Glutathione reports. Environments with heavy rain produce higher levels of mold. These environments will decrease levels of Glutathione.
10 Natural Natural Ways to Increase Glutathione in 2018
We all need Glutathione. Male or female, big or small, everyone needs GSH to function properly and maintain a high level of health and fitness.
Here at DR Vitamins, we know the importance of GSH and want to help you replenish and build your levels of Glutathione so you can feel your best and be your best. And not just for you personally, but for your friends and family as well. The more people who know about GSH and what it does for the body, the more it can improve the health of society as a whole! Here are the top 10 ways how you can take Glutathione effectively in 2018.
These Top 10 Ways will help to naturally raise your Glutathione levels.
1. Whey Protein
In order for the body to make GSH, it needs cysteine to synthesize the molecule. Whey Protein boosts levels of Glutathione by boosting cysteine (9). Whey protein has a number of health benefits in addition to boosting Glutathione levels.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine states Whey Protein can decrease hunger, increase metabolism, serve as a powerful antioxidant, aid in muscle recovery, protect the immune system from infection and fortify the immune system. Whey protein is also a great way to get the amount of protein your body needs to recover from workouts and build muscle effectively.
But remember, not all Whey Protein is made equally. DR Vitamin Solutions sources Life Extension Whey Protein Isolate because it uses a low temperature micro filtration technique to offer the highest amount of bio available protein. This process preserves the highest amount of nutrients, therefore giving us one of the highest quality Whey Protein’s on the market. We also recommend using Whey Protein as a meal replacement because it promotes the feeling of fullness without having to eat unwanted carbohydrates and fats.
2. Sulfur Foods
Sulfur foods are foods high in Glutathione (10). Where Whey Protein only boosts cysteine, foods high in sulfur boost both cysteine and methioine (10). You can supplement your body with methoine through protein sources such as fish, chicken and beef. If you subscribe to a Vegan or Vegetarian dietary discipline, you can boost methoine levels through cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and kale.
There are vast benefits of incorporating cruciferous vegetables into your dietary regimen. It has been well established that cruceriferous vegetables are rich in sulfur and can play a vital role in fighting cancer. Vegetables such broccoli and kale should be staples in any healthy diet. Although supplements have concentrated levels of Glutathione, food can also serve as the best Glutathione supplement.
The Glutathione dosage levels may be lower, but the body will easily and readily absorb cysteine and methoine through these sources. We recommend steaming vegetables so the essential minerals are not destroyed in the cooking process. If you do not have the time or resources to steam your vegetables, you can supplement these vegetables with Raw Protein from Garden of Life.
3. Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle is one of the best Glutathione supplements because it contains the herbal supplement Silymarin. This herbal supplement is proven to be an effective antioxidant which both protects and detoxifies the kidneys. Both of these benefits naturally increase levels of Glutathione. It has also been shown to protect the liver in the presence of increased alchohol levels.
Quicksilver Scientific Milk Thistle is an effective supplement because it is one of the few that utilizes liposomal technology to deliver the highest bio availability of Silymarin.
Suppositories deliver the highest amount of GSH per recommended dosage. Suppositories also make it extremely easy for the body to absorb bioavailable nutrients. In addition to this, Vitamin C may actually spare the glutathione in the body by attacking the free radicals before the gsh does. This means that not only will suppositories give you a potent dosage of glutathione, but the GSH that’s absorbed will be maintain its integrity for longer periods of time.
I do believe the suppository method is the best and the best time to take the glutathione is before bedtime as overnight detoxification is the best. Activated charcoal should be taken 1 to 2 hours before bed. High overnight melatonin levels trigger extra production of glutathione. Bile production spikes overnight, the kidneys are more active and even the motility of the gastrointestinal tract is enhanced as we sleep.
Selenium is an essential mineral in the body and is actually a cofactor of GSH. This means that in order for glutathione activity to function properly, selenium needs to be readily available. Some of the most selenium rich foods include brazil nuts, beef, chicken, organ meats, and fish (halibut and tuna). Selenium has also been widely tested and has been proven to aid in the healing and management of diseases of the nervous system as well as many types of cancers because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties.
6. Raw milk & Eggs
Fresh raw milk & eggs promote GSH production because they are both great sources of healthy fats. Much like the whey mentioned earlier, eating milk and eggs raw avoids the heating process (pasteurization) which eliminates the majority of the benefits. When consuming raw products such as milk and eggs, it is of the utmost importance that you source locally and know the quality of the products you’re getting. Consuming raw milk and eggs from a trustworthy farm can help minimize some of the health risks associated with consuming raw food products.
Turmeric is another excellent substance for increasing the natural GSH production in your body. Turmeric contains curcumin which is known for it’s anti-inflammatory and healing qualities. Included naturally in many Indian-inspired dishes, turmeric can also be added to most soups and stews to not only improve health, but flavor as well. Turmeric can also be purchased in capsule form. The benefits are most effective when the turmeric is organically ground and prepared and packaged properly.
8. Stress reduction
Stress reduction is one of the non food-related methods of increasing the natural production of GSH in the body. Although many people talk about stress reduction, they often don’t talk about the fact that the skill of stress reduction is a lot like building bigger muscles. Meaning, you can’t go to the gym once and expect bigger muscles. In the same way, although you can get instant stress relief from mindfulness or meditation practices, training yourself to fully “let go” can be developed over time. And you can get better at managing your stress the more you practice. Although stress in itself isn’t bad, and is a strong motivating force for many people, it becomes a problem when it does not come and go, but stays. Low-grade stress is a major contributing factor in a lot of long-term, chronic diseases. Supplements such as GABA can play a role in reducing stress.
9. Sleeping and Exercise
ATP is one of the things GSH is dependent on for normally functioning production. Physical exercise from 30 minutes to an hour (either weights or cardio) is a great way to boost the ATP in your body, and with it, the production of more GSH. Exercise also gets rid of damaged cells in your body, preparing the body to create healthier cells to replace them. The production of the stronger, healthier cells as well as the production of the majority of the body’s hormones and GSH will take place when you sleep. This is why getting a solid 7-9 hours of sleep every night is vital for health, wellness, and longevity.
10. Avoid Smoking and Drinking
Drinking and smoking not only effect the body’s glutathione production and hormone production, but it also effects neurotransmitter production as well (11). This means that along with your body producing less glutathione, you’ll also be feeling a low-grade agitation and or anxiety running in the background. Although occasional drinking and smoking won’t effect glutathione production long-term, chronic smoking and drinking can impair the body’s ability to produce GSH effectively.
Although there is limited scientific evidence on glutathione whitening effects, many people have claimed that they’ve experienced very obvious and beneficial effects from using GSH as a skin whitening supplement (12). The basic theory is that hyperpigmentation is a result from an access of free radicals in the body, causing the skin to have a darker-than-usual appearance. Because of glutathione’s ability to manage free radicals, glutathione whitening treatments have been used to give the skin not only a lighter appearance, but a healthier glow as well. Although there’s no way of telling if it will work for you beforehand, the best way to find out is to begin a GSH supplementation regiment that’s safe (following recommended dosages) and then use your own reason and logic to analyze the effects.
Glutathione Benefits for Skin
The primary glutathione benefits for the skin include those involved with the fighting, fixing, and management of free radicals on the skin. One of the biggest contributors to aging skin is the increased amount of free radicals over time. Because glutathione is a powerful antioxidant, supplementing will naturally reduce inflammation and give the skin a more healthy, youthful looking glow. Because acne is one of the common side effects of uncontrolled free radicals, consuming healthy amounts of GSH can have beneficial effects on acne as well.
The benefits for skin also give you added protection from the inside out, protecting your skin from damage done by the sun’s radiation. Although using skin supplements containing antioxidants can be beneficial for your skin, the biggest benefits come when you begin a regiment that involves regularly consuming these antioxidants though foods or healthy, recommended supplementation.
Liposomal Uses and Benefits
A Liposome is essentially a fatty acid that mimics the body’s cell structure. Liposomes are beneficial for the body because they allow substances to be absorbed by the body in a new way. Sometimes, the usual ways of absorption (fat soluble or water soluble) prove to be more difficult for the absorption process.
Liposomal glutathione is a reduced version of normal compound. Optimal liposomal glutathione uses a specific type of liposomal delivery system to make sure that the molecule isn’t harmed or lost in the digestive tract. The liposomal GSH and the sublingual which are the tablets that melt under the tongue and absorb through the tissues.
How to take Liquid Glutathione Effectively
The recommended dosages of liposomal glutathione is 4ml by mouth on an empty stomach. And in the case of concentrated antioxidants, more is not necessarily better. Ingesting an excess of concentrated antioxidants can be harmful if done incorrectly. That is why it’s best to stick with recommended dosages and consult an expert if you feel you’d benefit from a higher one. The main pro of taking GSH in liquid form is that the liquid glutathione benefits are more easily felt because of their quick absorption rate. But because of it’s concentration and purity, it has a very potent taste. Suppositories are also just as safe and yield higher levels of Glutathione.
The taste can be combated by mixing the liquid glutathione with a small amount of water or juice. Women who are pregnant (and young children) should contact their doctor before beginning a liquid glutathione regiment. Vitamin C and GSH complement each other very well. I strongly suggest both products as they work great together and help with detox, cell health and the immune system.
S-acetyl Glutathione is an alternative to liquid GSH and is a much cheaper than a standard IV treatment. It also doesn’t come with the potent smell and taste of using liquid droplets or a concentrated extract. Much like liquid gsh, S-acetyl GSH is a more absorbable and stable version of GSH.
S-acetyl glutathione, aside from being able to travel through the body maintaining complete wholeness and integrity, has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. This is what separates high-quality supplements from normal food. Food that contains GSH will not allow the GSH to cross the blood-brain barrier on its own.
This allows the supplement to reduce oxidative stress in the brain directly and not through brain-body osmosis. Another benefit of S-acetyl glutathione is its versatility and ability to work with people who have either high levels of metal toxicity or signs of magnesium deficiency. When these types of people consume regular GSH, the effects are sometimes not felt as strongly because of their body’s deviations from the healthy ratio of nutrients.
Glutathione for Lyme Disease
Many people suffering from long-term Lyme disease have been able to find relief through glutathione’s liver detoxification benefits. The problem with using antibiotics to kill off Lyme bacteria is that although they kill off the bad bacteria, they kill the good bacteria as well. And once the good bacteria is eliminated, the immune system is compromised. Put simply, the antibiotics don’t aid in the healing and recovery of the immune system, which is why GSH is so beneficial for many Lyme disease sufferers.
Because most of the limiting amino acids used to synthesize GSH are being used by the bad bacteria, many people suffering from Lyme disease find that their body may have issues surrounding GSH production. Lyme disease may also cause the sufferer to possess a faulty GSH gene which may increase their risk of damage due to free radicals, making GSH supplementation an important part of a healthy regiment.
GSH is an extremely important antioxidant for overall health. Becoming aware of your body’s Glutathione levels and monitoring them effectively can be vital to your health and overall sense of well-being. If you suspect that your Glutathione levels are low, GSH supplementation is a great way to eliminate symptoms of Glutathione deficiency and restore one of the body’s most importance antioxidants.
The foods and supplements covered in this article are effective sources to boost your GSH levels. Ten of the best ways to naturally raise your levels of Glutathione include:
1. Incorporate Whey Protein into your diet
2. Add Sulfur Foods (especially Broccoli)
3. Milk Thistle
4. Suppositories (the best way to get the most GSH)
6. Raw Milk and Eggs
8. Stress Reduction (think Yoga)
9. Sleep and Exercise
10. Avoid Smoking and Drinking
Thank you for taking the time to read How to Boost Glutathione; 10 Natural Ways to Increase Glutathione Levels.
Your success is our passion. If you have any questions or contributions, please contact us via email or phone-call. We are constantly looking for new information to promote wellness – and hearing from you would make our day! Feel free to reach out to our free Health and Wellness Consultation headed by our Certified Health Consultant, Kurt LaCapruccia, D.S.S. (Diploma in Dietary Supplement Science).
Live Vibrantly! – DR Vitamin Solutions