What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant naturally produced by the liver in human cells. Comprised mostly from three amino acids (i.e., cysteine, glutamine, and glycine), it is the most important nutrient that the body can produce. Glutathione strengthens the immune system, prevents cellular damage, fights inflammation, detoxifies the body, increases energy levels, and slows aging.
As the “Mother of Antioxidants,” glutathione is a great protector. It is the only antioxidant that is capable of working with enzymes. Specifically, the enzyme glutathione peroxidase works with glutathione to prevent membranes from becoming oxidized or imbalanced. Glutathione also helps activate other well-known antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E.
Whenever oxidative stress wears on the body, such as occurs in people who have autoimmune symptoms, medical researchers and health professionals will describe it as a having a glutathione deficiency.
What are the Signs of a Glutathione Deficiency?
The importance of glutathione in maintaining healthy cell function cannot be overestimated. Low serum levels correlate to a host of symptoms and disorders. A glutathione deficiency is observed in nearly all sick people, no matter the age. It is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, diabetes, and so many other diseases.
If your body has been abused by toxins, your glutathione levels will be depleted which can have a wide range of symptoms. If you’re not feeling well and are unable reboot naturally, your cellular function is probably weak. This may occur in anyone at any age, but it seems to occur more frequently as the body ages.
How to Reduce Toxins that Deplete Glutathione Levels?
There are several toxins that can deplete glutathione levels. Therefore, it’s recommended to avoid these substances as much as possible. They are as follows.
- Pharmaceutical drugs (i.e., pills, injections, and chemotherapy)
- Over-the counter drugs (i.e., acetaminophen like Tylenol & non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen)
- Radiation (i.e., x-Rays & computer tomography)
- Ultraviolet radiation abuse
- Public water contaminants (i.e., chlorine, fluorine compounds, trihalomethanes, hormones, nitrates, and pesticides)
- Pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides
- Benzopyrenes (i.e., tobacco smoke & fuel exhaust)
- Formaldehydes & Styrenes (i.e., photcopiers & print toners)
- Housewares (i.e., plastic containers, non-stick pan coatings, and tin cans)
- Alcohol drinks
Lifestyle factors also affect glutathione levels. These include a poor diet, little activity or strenuous exercise, sleep deficiency, and high stress.
How Do I Increase Glutathione to Reduce Autoimmune Symptoms?
Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as taking appropriate supplements, are the most important things you can do to ward off a glutathione deficiency. Moderate exercise, restorative sleep, and stress management are also very helpful.
Foods to Boost Glutathione
To eat a nutrient-rich diet, be sure to include the following. Though there is some controversy in the nutrition world about whether meats should be certified organic or grass-fed, I highly recommend it. Personally, I believe that what you eat is what you are. If an animal is raised on genetically modified crops that have been sprayed with poisonous –cides, then why would we even consider putting that into our bodies? The purer the food, the better for boosting glutathione, removing autoimmune symptoms, and restoring health.
- Certified organic, grass-fed/finished beef
- Certified organic, pasture-raised chicken and turkey
- Certified organic, pasture-raised eggs
- Wild-caught, cold-water fish
- Wild-caught seafood
- Certified organic vegetables and fruits
- Grass-fed butter & cheese (i.e., Kerrygold)
Supplements to Boost Glutathione
If you’ve really been suffering from autoimmune symptoms, then you may want to include a few supplements to boost your glutathione levels. Following are few to consider.
If you haven’t been feeling your best physically and exhibiting autoimmune symptoms on a consistent basis, you most likely have low glutathione. You may ask your doctor to order lab work to help you determine if you do indeed have a glutathione deficiency. You may also include a wholesome diet, beneficial supplements, and other lifestyle recommendations made in this article.