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July 18, 2022 8 min read

Glutathione isn't a trendy nutrition buzzword. You typically won’t hear fitness influencers or online nutritionists throw it around, initiate Twitter discussions about it, or even include glutathione products in their daily vlogs. But, despite the lack of PR on social media, glutathione is THE body’s master antioxidant, and shouldn’t be underrated. Those of us in the know were pretty excited when we came across The Glutathione Revolution - a literal glutathione Bible (feel free to quote us on this one). The book is a deep dive into this essential antioxidant, but also accessible if you’re not a medical professional of any kind. 

Keep reading if you want the scoop, as well as a few spoilers :) 

Glutathione - The Master Antioxidant

Glutathione , known as the master antioxidant, is described in the book The Glutathione Revolution as "the disease-fighting, age-slowing, energy-enhancing, and beautifying antioxidant" [ 1 ] present in every single cell of the body.

This tripeptide, consisting of three crucial amino acids, cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine , can be produced in the human body - more specifically, in the cytosol. There are actually three processes that result in new glutathione in the body: glutathione synthesis, regeneration of oxidized GSSG to reduced GSH, and recycling of cysteine from conjugated glutathione. [ 2 ]

When it comes to the roles of glutathione in our general health and well-being, there are so many that we could hardly name them all.  As the ultimate, most powerful antioxidant in the body, glutathione is able to neutralize a variety of damaging oxidants. What's more, a study conducted by J. Pizzorno reveals that glutathione recycles vitamins E and C in the body, protecting the cells from oxidative damage . [ 2 ]

A decrease in both mitochondrial and cellular levels of glutathione has been associated with a number of chronic conditions , including immune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, as well as pulmonary diseases such as asthma. [ 2 ]

Furthermore, low glutathione levels seem to play a rather critical role when it comes to premature aging , as well as chronic age-related conditions such as macular degeneration [ 2 ], which is precisely one of the main tenets of The Glutathione Revolution book.

The GSH status has even been associated with the activity of telomeres , protective caps at the end of DNA strands which have been recognized as rather accurate indicators of one's biological age. [ 2 ]

Glutathione is also known as a detoxifying powerhouse that supports liver function and helps combat oxidative stress caused by free radicals in the body. [ 3 ]

However, while glutathione supports the liver processes, excessive activity of phase I liver detoxification depletes the natural glutathione in the body. There are many other factors that affect the natural glutathione levels in the body, including stress, pollution, and poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking and drinking. [ 3 ]

For these reasons, it is necessary to replenish the lost glutathione through better dietary choices (more vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat) and by adding high-quality Liposomal Glutathione supplementation . It’s also important to note that Vitamin C promotes glutathione synthesis.

The Glutathione Revolution: An Overview

The perfect introduction to glutathione for anyone who has or hasn’t heard of it is undoubtedly The Glutathione Revolution, written by Dr. Nayan Patel. His widely recognized work on glutathione has received ample praise from the medical community and beyond. Dr. Nayan Patel graduated from California State University where he studied mechanical engineering and chemistry. Specializing in biochemistry and anti-aging science, Dr. Patel has been in the pharmacy industry for 22 years. He is also an internationally recognized glutathione expert, and The Glutathione Revolution represents a collection of his findings on the master antioxidant. 

In the words of Sandeep Gupta, the chief founder and director of Nutraworks , " The Glutathione Revolution unleashes the secret of being healthier, looking younger, and adopting a healthy lifestyle". [ 1 ] The sole purpose of Dr. Patel's glutathione research, which is the basis for the book, was not only to highlight the importance of glutathione in preventing and fighting disease , but also to show just how underrated this important antioxidant is.

As stated above, glutathione isn't particularly popular among health enthusiasts and fitness gurus, despite its unprecedented role in the immune system's fight against environmental stressors and toxins. However, The Glutathione Revolution encourages individuals to consider making glutathione supplementation a daily priority. In the words of the author, if you're willing to be your own health advocate [ 1 ], this book will equip you with all the necessary tools for optimizing your glutathione levels .

The Glutathione Revolution recognizes glutathione , also known as glutathione sulfhydryl (or simply GSH) as one of the most fascinating nutrients and most powerful antioxidants found naturally in our bodies. What makes it so beneficial is that it protects cells and  DNA against molecular damage, which is crucial for the prevention of premature aging and numerous diseases. [ 1 ]

Glutathione, which is largely available in the liver, plays a significant role as a natural detoxifier. The glutathione concentrated in the liver aids the body in removing toxins and potentially hazardous substances. It has also been found to assist the cells in fighting off viruses and bacteria, while also playing a rather important role in the production of healthy cells. [ 1 ]

The #1 Enemy: Free Radicals

When it comes to the actual structure of glutathione , Dr. Patel recognizes it as a protein. Glutathione belongs in the antioxidant group of proteins, composed of amino acids.

Glutathione is composed of three amino acids; glycine, glutamic acid, and cysteine, which allow for protein synthesis to happen. However, the production of these amino acids in our bodies naturally declines as we age. This is where dietary sources and supplementation come into play. [ 1 ]

So, what depletes glutathione in the body, apart from aging alone? Let’s talk free radicals.  When it comes to glutathione, free radicals are the #1 enemy, so let’s examine where they come from?

You may be surprised to learn that these damaging molecules actually come from our own body, or better said, the chemical reactions that occur in our bodies . As oxygen molecules get converted to energy, they may lose an electron (or more), which makes them unstable and a threat to other molecules in the body. [ 1 ] Once this unstable, highly reactive molecule encounters a stable molecule, it will steal off its electrons and continue doing so, damaging them in the process.

Of course, there are also environmental and lifestyle factors at play. Free radical movement in the body is also influenced by exposure to pesticides, pharmaceuticals, harmful additives found in the food we eat, excessive sun exposure, as well as environmental pollutants such as smog.

Free radicals still have a role to play in the body, however an excess depletes glutathione levels and leads to oxidative stress , Dr. Patel concludes. [ 1 ]

Oxidative stress has been related to numerous health concerns and conditions, including diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular issues, as well as aging skin. Telomeres (the protective caps at the end of DNA strands) also become damaged, which is another factor that contributes to premature aging and all the health risks that come with it. [ 1 ]

The Role of Glutathione In Longevity And Disease Prevention

Beyond the role of glutathione in helping to prevent the formation of free radicals, glutathione is also a strong detoxifying agent in the body. 

Glutathione aids in removing toxic materials from the liver that would otherwise lead to an increase in free radicals. Many antioxidants, including glutathione, have also been found to "repair" these damaged molecules by donating their own electrons, transforming potentially dangerous molecules into harmless water molecules. [ 1 ]

However, as powerful as it is, glutathione isn't this magical antioxidant that can fight off all the free radicals on its own. It is necessary for other nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, as well as beta-carotene, to support glutathione in this role.

Vitamins C and E are engaged in the body's immune system, but the constant fight eventually exhausts their molecules, which end up in what is best described as the body's trash bin. This is where glutathione's real potential shines through, as it is able to replenish the vitamin C and E molecules and basically recycle them from this trash bin. GSH will share its electrons with these vitamins, making sure that they're fully charged and ready to defend the body again. What makes this process even more fascinating is the fact that the replenished vitamin C or E molecule is then able to "help glutathione recycle itself" [ 1 ], Dr. Patel finds.

Hence, glutathione deserves the proud title of the master antioxidant, but also the mother of all antioxidants, as it is not just the only antioxidant that is able to recycle itself, but also the magical nutrient that replenishes other antioxidants as well.

The pronounced role of GSH specifically in the liver is worth repeating because glutathione is able to either neutralize dangerous toxins (by converting them into harmless water molecules) or eliminate them from the body altogether. [ 1 ]

As articulated in his book, Patel states that  "our immune system relies on glutathione". In fact, our white cells cannot even be activated in our defense against invaders without glutathione - which is their primary weapon. [ 1 ]

How To Measure And Boost Your Glutathione Levels

Now that we’re familiar with the role of glutathione, how do we get more of it and how do we measure it? 

While there are many glutathione-measuring methods available, the most accurate ones include the measurement of both total GSH (thiol-reduced form) and the GSH generated from GSSG (disulfide-oxidized form). This kind of detailed method gives you a clear picture of the glutathione state in the body, revealing the true GSH concentration. The most popular tests seem to be glutathione detection kits that can determine both parameters from a single sample. [ 4 ]

When it comes to boosting glutathione levels , lifestyle factors should be considered first. Excessive sun exposure, alcohol, and cigarettes are all damaging to healthy levels of glutathione. High stress levels also contribute to low levels.  

Surprisingly, glutathione levels are significantly increased by physical activity, according to a study conducted by M. Nyberg and colleagues. On the flip side, exercise helps to lower oxidative stress that has been associated with premature aging and numerous diseases. [ 5 ]

Let’s talk diet.  Nutrition found to promote natural glutathione levels include sulfur-rich foods (cruciferous vegetables, garlic, shallots, onions, fish, poultry), as well as foods packed with selenium (organ meats, cottage cheese, fish, Brazil nuts, brown rice), and foods naturally rich in glutathione, such as spinach, okra, asparagus, and avocado. [ 6 ]

Last but not least, supplementation can be the most efficient way of upping glutathione  levels, including a high-quality, natural Liposomal Glutathione supplement in your daily diet. Thanks to the liposomal technology which optimizes bioavailability by up to 90%, the body is able to absorb and utilize the nutrient without wasting it in the digestive process.

Summary

The Glutathione Revolution is the long-awaited glutathione introduction we've all been waiting for. It highlights all the significant roles of this detoxifying force, explaining its powerful mechanisms in detail. It is clear that glutathione is one of the most powerful (if not THE most powerful) antioxidants in the human body. it is not only responsible for boosting our immunity and protecting us from various threats, but also for replenishing other crucial antioxidants necessary for the immune function.

By recycling the antioxidants at the forefront of the battle against invaders, and in turn recycling itself (as unbelievable as it may sound!), glutathione protects us against many degenerative diseases and remains our key weapon against premature aging. 



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