Glutathione in Foods
Eating foods rich in glutathione may support health and immune function. Glutathione is a detoxifying antioxidant, and one of the most powerful anticancer agents in the human body. While most people can produce their own glutathione under normal circumstances, glutathione levels are significantly reduced during times of illness, stress, toxicity, drug therapy, immune suppression and healing.
“We literally cannot survive without this miraculous antioxidant”
Dr. Earl Mindell, What You Should Know about the Super Antioxidant Miracle
Glutathione can be increased in the body through a number of ways, but the safest and easiest method is through a nutritional diet. Foods containing glutathione and glutathione-stimulating chemicals have a beneficial effect on a person’s antioxidant status, and are far safer than pharmaceutical medications.
What is glutathione?
Glutathione is a type of chemical known as a “thiol” — a sulphur-based compound known for having a strong odor. While most thiols, such as those in garlic or in the smell of a skunk, are manufactured for their smell, glutathione has a much wider range of use in protecting, regulating and maintain the health of human cells.
The human body manufactures glutathione from three key ingredients — the amino acids glutamate, cysteine, and glycine.
Without adequate levels of these amino acids in the diet, it is possible to become deficient in glutathione. However, it is also possible to acquire ready-made and absorbable glutathione directly from foods containing glutathione.
What does glutathione do?
Glutathione is not just an antioxidant. According to the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, glutathione is required for the normal regulation of several important “events” within the body. These events include:
- gene expression
- free radical neutralization
- immune function
- blood sugar balance
- cytokine production (for inflammation)
- prostaglandin regulation (for inflammation)
- protein synthesis
- DNA synthesis
- gene expression
- cell growth
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Glutathione is present in most cells of the human body, but it is especially important in the liver cells and epithelial tissues of the skin for protecting against cancer-causing toxins. Studies have linked low blood levels of glutathione to an increased risk of oral cancer, ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, heart disease, liver disease, age-related cognitive decline and low survival rates in AIDS patients.
Evidently glutathione is needed by humans to prevent disease. It’s ability to aid in the detoxification of carcinogenic chemicals is important. However, without adequate glutathione food sources and amino acid precursors, the body may not be able to make enough.
“Your life depends on glutathione. Without it, your cells would disintegrate from unrestrained oxidation, your body would have little resistance to bacteria, viruses and cancer, and your liver would shrivel up from the eventual accumulation of toxins.”
Glutathione: Essential Health AID – Antioxidant. Immune Booster. Detoxifier, Dr. Jimmy Gutman, MD, FACEP
Dr.Oz talks about the importance of eating foods rich in glutathione.
Glutathione levels can be increased via a number of methods, some of which are supported by more evidence than others.
The first way of increasing glutathione is to simply take care of your health, both physical and mental. Researchers from the University of Louisville in the U.S.A. confirmed that women in top physical and mental health had significantly more glutathione than the rest of the female population. Anyone experiencing stress, increased weight gain, or illness will be under more oxidative stress, and have less circulating glutathione as a result.