In the world of wellness there is a little-known secret that has been quietly working behind the scenes, Meet GLUTATHIONE! The unsung champion of your body’s defence system. This mighty molecule plays a pivotal role in keeping you healthy and resilient against immunity stress.
Whilst a balanced diet and lifestyle should provide most of the nutrients needed for a strong immune system, there are times when you may need to turn to supplementation to support your body.
Glutathione is a substance made from the amino acids glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid
Commonly recognised as the ‘Master Antioxidant’; it is a peptide that consists of three key amino acids. These amino acids are cysteine, glutamic acids and glycine. The bulk of this process is produced by your liver. Glutathione acts as an antioxidant, a free radical scavenger and a detoxifying agent by decreasing oxidative stress1. And not only that, but it also helps fight infection, helps clear the liver of unwanted toxins and has anti-aging properties1. Researchers believe it's a predictor of how long we will live! Science highlights that we naturally produce 50% less glutathione by the age of 651. Thus, evidence highlights that glutathione is an antioxidant that may extend lifespan, by boosting immunity, improving strength and reducing the risk for age-related diseases2.
As glutathione is found naturally within every cell of the body, it is not considered an essential nutrient. However, we use glutathione reserves every single day, every time we encounter environmental toxins, stress or illness1. Glutathione supplementation can be helpful to support vital functions.
If you wanted to boost your glutathione levels naturally you would be required to increase your intake of 3 different amino acids. To enhance synthesis of glutathione, you should supplement: cysteine (NAC), glutamate (glutamine) & glycine. These are the precursors to enable glutathione production at a cellular level. It might sound like a lot, but by building your glutathione levels, your immunity will be at its best.
Glutathione is hard at work in every cell of your body. Your body needs increasing levels of glutathione as you age, but your ability to produce the powerful antioxidant diminishes over time. Supplements like cysteine, glutamine and glycine, can help you keep your levels high enough to reap all the glutathione benefits the powerhouse compound has to offer (Middleton, 2023)2.
Studies have highlighted the significance glutathione has on the body. Scientists believe that it is the powerhouse of your defence system. Building and maintaining high levels of glutathione is essential when looking at fighting illnesses, viruses, cancerous cells and more (Bogdan Popa, 2019)3.
Glutathione is crucial to proper immune system function; the powerful compound supports the cells that ultimately keep a person healthy. Glutathione supports normal cytokine levels (helps transmit/communicate information to other cells for proper immune responses), supports mast cells (line the respiratory system), supports lymphocytes (white blood cells), and prevents oxidative stress to immune cells. Supporting glutathione levels by supplementation is recommended to all for long term optimal health (LivOn Labs, 2022)4.
How to avoid glutathione depletion?
With age the natural production of glutathione decreases, it also decreases external circumstances such as4:
- Excess body fat
- Insufficient sleep
- Certain medication, specifically those containing acetaminophen
In order to product high levels of glutathione, make sure your diet includes4:
It is important to remember that building your immunity is a gradual process, it cannot and will not happen overnight. It is essential to adopt healthy and conscious habits as a part of your lifestyle for long-term benefits. Reading studies and consulting with a healthcare professional for personalised advice is highly recommended, as every individual body is different.
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Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified healthcare provider before changing your supplement, training or nutritional strategy. Supplementation should not be attempted by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone on prescription medication or children under the age of 15 unless advised by your qualified health care provider.
1Vitality (2022) Glutathione and NAC: What roles do they play?, Vitality. Available at: https://www.vitalitynaturalwellness.com/post/glutathione-and-nac-what-roles-do-they-play#:~:text=Glutathione%20is%20the%20master%20antioxidant,when%20they%20are%20taken%20separately. (Accessed: 03 June 2023).
2Middleton, T. (2023) 14 benefits of glutathione including how it can boost your workout, Hone Health. Available at: https://honehealth.com/edge/health/glutathione-benefits/#:~:text=Glutathione%20is%20an%20antioxidant%20that,radicals%2C%20which%20cause%20oxidative%20stress. (Accessed: 11 June 2023).
3Bogdan Popa, M.D. (2019) Glutathione: 14 benefits of the master antioxidant [plus diet and supplements], Core Med Science. Available at: https://coremedscience.com/blogs/wellness/glutathione-3a-14-benefits-of-the-master-antioxidant-plus-diet-26-supplements (Accessed: 11 June 2023).
4LivOn Labs (2022) Glutathione and the immune system, LivOn Labs. Available at: https://www.livonlabs.com/blog/glutathione-and-the-immune-system/ (Accessed: 11 June 2023).