Originally published September 28 2009
The Vital Key to Maximum Antioxidant Activity is Glutathione
by Paul Fassa, citizen journalist
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(NaturalNews) What if you were told you weren`t getting enough cellular oxidation or free radical protection, despite consuming all the high antioxidant foods and some of the best antioxidant supplements available? Would you wonder how that could be, or would you simply ignore it? Don`t ignore it, read on. How it could be, according to many health experts, is that your glutathione levels are too low. This is a very common situation with all the oxidation stress our toxic environment provides, along with a little help from our own personal stress.
Why Are Antioxidants Necessary?
Oxidation occurs on a cellular level during the body`s efforts to produce energy and fortify cells metabolizing oxygen. The oxygen atoms or molecules that are not fully absorbed become free radicals, unstable atoms missing an electron, which begin robbing cells of electrons to balance and stabilize themselves. Then the atoms robbed of an electron become free radicals and continue the oxidation process, robbing electrons as needed from other sources.
A chain reaction occurs. This changes the identity and function of those atoms as they combine in unnatural ways, leading to cellular and DNA damage. And eventually, of course myriad health issues and disease will breed freely. It is the downside of oxygen, similar to the way metal becomes rusty with exposure to air. We can`t stop breathing, so there will be some free radicals loose from just that.
Moreover, the air we breathe is loaded with toxins and heavy metals (www.naturalnews.com/026258.html) as well as in many of the foods we eat (www.naturalnews.com/026216.html), and any pharmaceuticals that may have been taken. All of these create more free radicals while burdening our bodies with toxic material. Add this to the immune system`s damage from psychological stress with our modern lifestyle and the madness around us. Well then, it is amazing that many of us are still walking and talking!
But we need as much protection from all this to be able to walk and talk better and longer and stay out of hospitals in the meantime. So whatever can neutralize the free radical oxidation process while eliminating toxins is necessary. Enter antioxidants, including the most overlooked yet most important one of them all: glutathione, the key to maximum oxidation protection and detoxification while creating a strong immune system.
Some Glutathione Details
It has been called the master antioxidant. It is an intracellular antioxidant essential for for maximum antioxidant activity from all other antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, CoQ10, and all the blueberries you can eat. It removes toxins from cells, and protects against radiation.
But there is a catch. Buying anything that says it is glutathione is a waste of pill popping money. The body`s digestive system is very poor at taking glutathione into where it needs to go. Take heart, there are other ways to boost the body`s glutathione, which are disclosed later in this article.
It is the body`s intracellular function to produce glutathione in the liver from three amino acids, cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycene. Enough is needed to catalyze and maintain all the antioxidant`s you consume for your protection. It even acts as insurance to prevent antioxidants from becoming free radicals themselves, regenerating and recycling them. As you get older, your body`s ability to produce glutathione wanes.
Many now consider diminished glutathione production as the root cause of accelerated aging and ailments that are considered "normal" from aging, including Alzheimer`s, inflammatory conditions from allergy to arthritis, asthma, COPD, Parkinson`s Disease, and coronary and autoimmune diseases. DNA damage resulting from free radicals often leads to cancer. This is a very basic foundational scheme that goes awry as we age. If one can enhance internal glutathione production, the empowered immune system will create a bedrock of good health regardless of age.
Glutathione in our bodies can go inactive when it becomes saturated from doing it`s work, but it tends to regenerate itself. Under ideal environmental conditions, 10% of the glutathione remains inactive, or oxidized, while the other 90% is active, or reduced, and continues to balance cell molecules and other antioxidants, as well as remove toxins. This is the function of normal metabolism`s waste removal of free radicals by glutathione. But the barrage of additional toxins from our environment is too much to maintain that 90/10 ratio.
As the active glutathione drops below 90% and allows the inactive to increase beyond 10%, the struggle for optimum health becomes a losing battle. It becomes too difficult to remove toxins naturally. As they build up, the active glutathione diminishes even more. Active or reduced glutathione is also known as GSH, while inactive or oxidized glutathione is known as GSSG. When GSH falls below 70%, darkness descends on one`s health. It`s big trouble time.
How to Increase GSH
Since capsules marked glutathione are virtually worthless because the digestive system won`t take it in, what delivery systems can enhance the body`s ability to create and maintain the proper level of GSH? Well, intravenous glutathione will have immediate results for extreme situations, but cannot contribute to the cycle of circulating GSH. It`s like recharging a car battery with a non functioning alternator. As soon as the battery drains, the car stalls!
Dr. Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., uses a special nebulizer that he created to deliver glutathione to COPD and emphysema patients at his Tacoma, WA clinic. He has obtained excellent results, but it`s doubtful that circulating GSH is maintained. The nebulizer has to be used until the lungs recover sufficiently. For long term protection, it`s necessary to introduce precursors that stimulate the cells to create their own GSH glutathione, as needed internally, via the liver.
So it`s important to feed the body GSH precursors. Of the three amino acids that generate GSH (active glutathione) in the liver, cysteine is considered the most vital link. It has been discovered that cysteine, balanced properly with glutamic acid and glycene, stimulates GSH production. S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM-e), N-acetylcysteine (NAC), and supplements made from unadulterated, whey protein raise cysteine levels. Whey protein products that specialize in boosting the liver`s GHS production have become the most convenient and popular choice.
Whey is a by product of cheese or yogurt processing. Unadulterated means the whey comes with no additives or preservatives. Additionally, the milk sources are non-hormone injected organic fed cows or goats. There are a few whey protein products that promote GSH production with cysteine. The processing of those whey products is delicate and precise; therefore, the products themselves are a bit pricey, ranging from $36 USD to $66 USD for a month`s supply. Usually they are in powder form.
In addition to the supplementation you wind up using, or in lieu of using a supplement, here are some foods that are beneficial toward the GSH, glutathione circulating process. It is important to consume organic foods as the toxins added to conventional foods minimize the GSH levels.
All meats are high in cysteine, but unless you can go truly organic, the hormones and toxins will virtually neutralize GSH. Watermelon, walnuts, avocado, asparagus, broccoli, and tomato are good choices for glutathione enhancement, as are many dark green leafy vegetables. Ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, wheat germ and oat flakes round out this list.
The research and discovery of glutathione`s importance, and the process to manufacture it within the body for proper circulation is relatively recent. Its awareness has straddled both alternative and mainstream medicine. GSH glutathione`s importance as an essential antioxidant is indisputable. The health ramifications for just this one single agent, internally promoted by proper precursors, are comprehensive and encompassing.
Glutathione Complex, article by Dr. Deborah Baker (www.y2khealthhanddetox.com)
Environment > Bills C-420 & the drug class Natural Health Product Regulations
What Is Glutathione? - http://www.wisegeek.com
Pub Med - Glutathione research documents (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed)
Glutathione Benefits - http://www.evolutionhealth.com
About the authorPaul Fassa has managed to survive the Standard American Diet (SAD) and his youthful folly by deprogramming gradually from mainstream health ideology and studying holistic health matters informally with his wife while incorporating them into his lifestyle as a vegetarian.
He also practices Chi-Lel Chi Gong, and he is trained as a polarity therapy practitioner. He is dedicated to warning others of the corruption of food and medicine in our time, and guiding others toward a better direction for health. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com
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