What is Glutathione?

Posted by Adrian Goad on 02/21/2015

Glutathione is a key cellular component, known as the body’s most powerful antioxidant. It is a tri-peptide constructed from three amino acids through a special enzymatic process and appears in all cells and tissues.


Glutathione is a tri-peptide (very small protein), which means it is made from three specific amino acids: Glycine, Glutamic Acid, and the all-important Cysteine. Glutathione is the general term used to describe Glutathione Sulfhydryl (GSH).

Glutathione is produced within the cell from these three amino acids. Of these three, Cysteine is the most important because its availability is what determines how much Glutathione your body can produce. Unfortunately, a quality source of naturally occurring Cysteine is absent or deficient in many diets. In fact, one scientist has proposed the idea that aging is largely due to a simple deficiency of this one key amino acid – Cysteine.

When the body experiences a deficiency of Cysteine, your cells cannot produce adequate levels of Glutathione. This causes a greater degree of cellular oxidation, a decline in health, accelerated aging, accumulation of toxins, and less protection from disease.

The main function of glutathione is to protect the cell and mitochondria from oxidative and peroxidative damage. Meaning glutathione isn’t just an endogenous antioxidant; it is also an essential factor in energy utilization. Indeed, mitochondrial dysfunction, muscle weakness, fatigue and aging are linked to glutathione deficiency. And low glutathione levels are linked to energy deficiency (low ATP). Evidently, the main mechanism that triggers glutathione synthesis in the body is cellular energy. High cellular levels of energy molecules (ATPs) promote glutathione synthesis. This is one major reason why exercise is so beneficial in boosting glutathione and overall health.

To put it simply, Glutathione performs three major roles in the body:

Antioxidant:

Glutathione is clearly understood to be the most powerful antioxidant known to the human body. Thus, it is commonly referred to as “The Master Antioxidant”.

In fact, the effectiveness of other well-known antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Lipoic Acid, and Selenium depends on the presence of Glutathione. All of these antioxidants work synergistically together with Glutathione at center stage. Ultimately, it is Glutathione that neutralizes the free radicals and allows the other antioxidants to be recycled back onto the battleground.

Detoxifier:

The Glutathione enzyme system helps eliminate numerous toxins from the body including pollutants, heavy metals like mercury and lead, carcinogens, radiation damage, and drug metabolites.

Glutathione’s highest concentration is in the liver, the body’s primary detoxification organ. Studies have shown that low levels of Glutathione lead to poor liver function. When the liver suffers, the entire body suffers from an increased toxin load.

Immune System Enhancer:

Glutathione plays a central role in the proper function of our immune cells, especially in the production of white blood cells. The immune system uses a variety of immune cells to ward off pathogens and other threats. The growth and activity of these cells depends on the availability of Glutathione.

When your body has sufficient levels of Glutathione, it will fight off illness better than if your levels are deficient.

Summary:

Clearly, Glutathione is perhaps one of the most important components of overall health yet discovered. When our levels of Glutathione are sufficient or elevated, we are better able to prevent illness, disease, and many of the degenerative processes of aging.

When our Glutathione levels are deficient, we become much more vulnerable to pathogens, toxins, cellular damage, carcinogens (cancer causing agents), radiation, and virtually every other threat known.

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