Glutathione is considered the body’s “quarterback” of antioxidants. It’s been considered the most important antioxidant your body naturally creates - similar to coenzyme Q10 and alpha lipoic acid.
It does this using just 3 amino acids - cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid.
Some of the glutathione benefits include preventing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, helps to keep your energy levels up, and aids in recovery and immunity. To get the full benefits of glutathione, it’s best to get at least100mg per day.
If you’re active and/or are over the age of 50, you should consider taking more. Reason being is your body doesn’t make as much glutathione as you get older (similar to coenzyme Q10). When you’re active, you’re usually breaking muscle down and it gets stronger when it recovers. One of the glutathione benefits is it helps with recovery (including injury).
As mentioned earlier, glutathione is created in your body using the amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid. Also a little selenium helps, too.
Of these 3 amino acids, cysteine is the most important one to make sure your getting enough of. The reason is because we don’t get enough of it from our diet plus it contains sulfur. Your body cannot store that much sulfur so we have to get it from food.
A little later we’ll go over the best food sources with high amounts of cysteine. Along with foods high in glutathione. But first, let’s go over some of the glutathione benefits.
The Benefits of Glutathione
The benefits of glutathione include:
- Aids in preventing various brain disorders (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s) and brain injury. This is because of the genetic link these 2 disorders have and the role glutathione’s amino acids play in DNA and cellular function. One quote from a study indicates…
“many neurological and psychiatric disease processes are characterized by... abnormalities in glutathione metabolism and antioxidant defenses."
- Prevention of various forms of cancer. Studies have also shown glutathione can aid in an improved response to chemotherapy.
- Decreases the effects of aging while increasing longevity. A group of leading researchers on aging found that those with 20% greater amounts of glutathione levels experience about a third less rate of arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease and other illnesses that come with older age.
Here are a few other lesser known glutathione benefits...
- Cell protectant. Glutathione is a primary protectant of skin, lens, cornea, and retina against radiation damage. Other notable antioxidants include Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
- Allergies. Glutathione, especially cysteine, improves the body’s non-specific immune responses, producing more T4 white blood cells. They also help to protect the lungs.
- Delaying muscular fatigue, enhancing recovery and increasing your energy
- Fighting off HIV/AIDS. HIV causes your immune system to be weak. And glutathione can protect the immune system from oxidative stress caused by HIV.
Now that we understand the benefits of glutathione, let’s discuss the best food sources to find it.
Earlier we discussed that cysteine is the “x-factor” in making glutathione because of the sulfur that’s needed.
The single best food sources are high protein foods since they contain the amino acids needed to make glutathione. You have a couple choices when it come food sources. You can eat foods that are high in glutathione or foods that have cysteine. And both of these are found in plant sources and animals sources.
And just for you I’ve created a list of foods that are high in glutathione and foods that are high in cysteine.
To get the full glutathione benefits, you should be having at least 100-200mg per day. This can be difficult to get from food alone so supplementing with glutathione is a good idea. Glutathione supplements are extremely safe.
With supplements, your stomach acid can break it down before your body can absorb it all. Be sure to take them with a meal or with aloe juice to get maximum absorption.