Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant and has been a hot topic in health and wellness circles lately. But what is it? What does it do? Do I need it? How do I get it?
Glutathione is the "key" or "master" antioxidant. It is made of 3 amino acids and is crucial for reducing oxidative stress that is correlated to chronic disease and aging.
Antioxidants can slow and sometimes prevent cellular damage due to an imbalance of free radicals. Damage at the cellular level is linked to chronic disease and aging. Free radicals are imbalanced atoms or molecules in your body left over from other processes. They are an electron short and looking to swipe one from anywhere they can. Antioxidants give up an electron so the free radical doesn't damage your cells to stabilize itself. Glutathione is called the master antioxidant because not only does it help stabilize free radicals but it also boosts the effectiveness of other antioxidants such as vitamin C. It even helps recycle them so they can be used again and again. Glutathione also binds directly to mercury, and helps rid the body of other environmental toxins.
I've got good news, unlike other antioxidants, your body actually makes it's own glutathione. Big surprise, it's made in your liver, you know the organ that is responsible for detox. Eating foods that support glutathione synthesis can elevate levels in your body. Some foods, like avocados and spinach are naturally high in absorbable glutathione but you can boost your production by consuming the building blocks. This means eating foods rich in minerals like sulfur (broccoli) & selenium (Brazil nuts), B-6 (salmon), B-9 (kale) & B-12 (eggs) while avoiding highly processed foods and toxins such as alcohol and smoking. Research has also shown that regular exercises increases glutathione levels.
In conclusion, I think nearly everyone could benefit from increasing their antioxidant levels. By eating a diet that supports glutathione production while incorporating regular exercise and limiting exposure to toxins you can greatly increase your quality of life and longevity.