What is glutathione? Glutathione, sometimes called the "Master Antioxidant," is the most abundant water-soluble antioxidant in your body. It's an important member of the antioxidant family that includes lipoic acid, CoQ-10, and vitamins C and E.
Some scientists consider glutathione to be the most important antioxidant that you have. Your levels of glutathione largely determine whether you feel good and have plenty of energy, or you don't. It's essential for energy production, a strong immune system and protein buildup in the muscle.
The need for glutathione increases in times of high physical stress, like after a workout, or when recovering from injury or illness. When your levels of glutathione are low, you also leave yourself open to increased risk from all types of degenerative diseases.
Glutathione circulates continuously throughout your body, rejuvenating immune cells and removing toxic waste products from your system. It works to replenish other members of the antioxidant network (lipoic acid, CoQ-10, vitamins C and E) when they become spent. Glutathione helps keep your cell membranes strong and transports vital amino acids into your cells.
Raising your levels of glutathione helps your body build up its resistance to chronic diseases. Glutathione benefits include protection from all types of inflammation, autoimmune diseases, asthma, chronic fatigue and many more. See my page on glutathione benefits to learn more.
Glutathione is a tripeptide, which means it is made of molecules of three other amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. Your body is designed to make most of the glutathione it needs, but as you grow old, it gradually loses its ability to produce the essential proteins that are necessary to manufacture glutathione. Extensive research shows that levels typically begin to wane in your mid-40s. When you reach the age of 60, you'll see more dramatic declines in glutathione levels.
In order to maintain an optimal level, your body must have a sufficient supply of these amino acid building blocks it needs to manufacture glutathione. Certain foods, such as raw milk products, raw eggs, and raw meat contain high concentrations of the precursor amino acids that your body uses to make glutathione. Other good glutathione food sources are fresh fruits and vegetables.
To keep your levels of glutathione high, you'll want to provide your body with the all nutritional glutathione precursors necessary to manufacture it. Find out what those are and how to get them at my page on glutathione food sources.
Natural whey protein powders are one of the most effective food sources for increasing your levels of glutathione.
There is some controversy over whether glutathione may be significantly boosted by taking oral supplements. To find out the best stategies to raise your glutathione using nutritional supplementation, see my page on glutathione supplementation.