Glutathione

“Glutathione is truly one of the wonders of Nature.  It’s multifunctional and indispensable to health, longevity and even life itself.”

(Dr. Marcus Laux, Special Report Supplement to Naturally Well Today)

The Glutathione Peptide

GLUTATHIONE IS A PEPTIDE
A peptide is a naturally occurring protein. Glutathione (GSH) is a very small tripeptide composed of three amino acids: glycine, glutamine and cysteine. It is made by every cell in your body. Our diagram shows a glutathione molecule; the yellow sphere represents a sulfur atom which explains why GSH has a sulfuric aroma. It may make glutathione smell a little like rotten eggs, but sulfur plays a major role in glutathione’s antioxidant and detoxification functions.

A GREAT DETOXIFIER
Your liver harbors the most concentrated source of glutathione because it is the organ of detoxification. Your body uses glutathione to protect you from pollution, radiation, drugs, carcinogenic chemicals and heavy metals. Modern living even exposes us to toxins in our water and food. Dealing with this onslaught is especially difficult for people with certain neurological conditions such as autism, because they have difficulty ridding their bodies of toxins.

THE MOST IMPORTANT ANTIOXIDANT
Oxidative stress in the outside world is the chemistry that causes things to rust. Inside your body, oxidative stress causes damage to the proteins that keep the cells and their membranes running. Glutathione protects your cells against free radicals that cause oxidative stress.

Free radicals, formed when oxygen interacts with molecules, must be neutralized or they will cause cells to “rust”, meaning they will die or perform poorly. Studies have shown that oxidative stress increases with aging, and over time, free radicals can lead to degenerative diseases: heart disease, memory problems, cancer, diabetes, arthritis.

Glutathione is considered the most important antioxidant because it is the only antioxidant capable of working with enzymes. One enzyme, glutathione peroxidase, works with glutathione to prevent membranes from being “rusted” or oxidized. Glutathione also helps activate the better-known antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E.

WHAT STUDIES HAVE SHOWN
Over 90,000 scientific articles have described the impact of glutathione. Alcoholics have low glutathione and so do people with Alzheimer’s disease. Children with autism are predisposed to low glutathione so they can’t detoxify normally. Glutathione is suggested as a promising treatment to combat the oxidative stress found in HIV infected people. Long-lived women have high levels of glutathione, and people with Parkinson’s disease benefit from treatment with glutathione. And this is just the beginning. Our Reference section will tell you more about studies done using glutathione.

As one researcher put it, “Glutathione deficiency contributes to oxidative stress, which plays a key role in aging and the pathogenesis of many diseases (including seizure, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, HIV, AIDS, cancer, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes). New knowledge of the nutritional regulation of GSH metabolism is critical for the development of effective strategies to improve health and to treat these diseases.” PMID: 14988435

ONE IMPORTANT STUDY
Research is showing that LDL cholesterol, the ‘bad’ cholesterol, is bad because it can become rancid or oxidized. This is known as oxidized LDL. OxLDL is now known as the trigger for the process that causes atherosclerosis. A study using human blood (in-vitro) in the test tube has shown that our liposomal glutathione can slow or prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. It is important to note that this work has not been confirmed in a large study, but these findings are encouraging and demonstrate the antioxidant function of our liposomal glutathione. The abstract is here: PMID: 17588583