Dr Bollmann, Skin Care Specialist, Anti-Aging Expert
Glutathione (GSH) is an important antioxidant in plants, animals, fungi, and some bacteria and archaea, preventing damage to important cellular components caused by reactive oxygen species such as free radicals and peroxides.
Glutathione is also the most critical and integral part of your detoxification system. All the toxins stick onto glutathione, which then carries them into the bile and the stool -- and out of your body. The good news is that your body produces its own glutathione. The bad news is that poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all deplete your glutathione.
It also helps us reach peak mental and physical function. Research has shown that raised glutathione levels decrease muscle damage, reduce recovery time, increase strength and endurance and shift metabolism from fat production to muscle development.
In addition, sedentary animals fed glutathione experience significant increases in mitochondrial DNA levels and a marker of mitochondria in skeletal muscle (PGC-1alpha) as well. In their study involving 8 healthy men, assigned to undergo exercise tests with or without glutathione supplementation (1 gm/day for 2 weeks).
Those men who received glutathione displayed lower lactate levels and decreased fatigue measures, as compared to the non-supplemented subjects. The study authors submit that: “glutathione supplementation improved lipid metabolism and acidification in skeletal muscles during exercise, leading to less muscle fatigue.”
It is critical for immune function and controlling inflammation, one of the main causes of aging. It is the master detoxifier and the body's main antioxidant, protecting our cells and making our energy metabolism run well.
And the good news is that you can do many things to increase this natural and critical molecule in your body. You can eat glutathione-boosting foods. You can exercise. And you can take glutathione-boosting supplements.
Glutathione is critical for one simple reason: It recycles antioxidants. Dealing with free radicals is like handing off a hot potato. They get passed around from vitamin C to vitamin E to lipoic acid and then finally to glutathione which cools off the free radicals and recycles other antioxidants. After this happens, the body can "reduce" or regenerate another protective glutathione molecule and we are back in business.
However, problems occur when we are overwhelmed with too much oxidative stress or too many toxins. Then the glutathione becomes depleted and we can no longer protect ourselves against free radicals, infections, or cancer and we can't get rid of toxins. This leads to further sickness and soon we are in the downward spiral of chronic illness.