Furthermore, the cells of the immune system produce many oxiradicals as a result of their normal functioning, resulting in a need for higher concentrations of antioxidants than most cells. Glutathione plays a crucial role in fulfilling this requirement.
Glutathione binds itself to toxins in the body transforming them into a form that can be easily collected and extracted. Glutahthione has also shown promise when used in connection with some forms of cancer. In both preliminary research and test tube and animal studies, glutathione has shown to exhibit anti-cancer effects. Higher glutathione levels have also been found in older adults with exceptionally good health. While some animals can absorb glutathione supplement efficiently, the same may not hold true for humans. The gastrointestinal tract in humans contains large amounts of the enzyme gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase that appears to effectively break down glutathione before a significant amount can enter the blood stream. However, it has been suggested placing glutathione tablets between the teeth and the inner cheek can absorb that glutathione.
Some health care professional suggest that taking supplements other than oral glutathione may be a more effective way of getting glutathione into your blood stream. For example, some researchers believe that taking Vitamin C can help raise blood levels of glutathione. Besides Vitamin C, other supplements including lipoic acid, glutamine, methionine, s-adenosyl methionine, vitamin B6, selenium, riboflavin, and whey protein may aid the body in the production of glutathione.
There is some evidence to suggest it might eventually prove to be useful in the management of some cancers, atherosclerosis, diabetes, lung disorders, noise-induced hearing loss, male infertility, and to help prevent or ameliorate various toxicities. It may also have some anti-viral activity. Glutathione is an orphan drug for use in connection with AIDS-associated cachexia.
Sources of glutathione
Glutathione is found in foods, particularly fruits, vegetables and meats. Cyanohydroxybutene, a chemical found in broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, is also thought to increase glutathione levels. Various herbs — for instance cinnamon and cardamom — have compounds that can restore healthy levels of glutathione.
Benefits of glutathione
The liver uses glutathione to process; alcohol, caffeine, medications, nicotine as an example, to process such substances and remove them from the blood.
It also helps in the f iltering of alcohol and other toxic substances from the blood.
It helps in the processing drugs and medications absorbed through the digestive system, enabling the body to use them effectively and ultimately dispose of them.
Reduced glutathione plays a critical role in the cellular detoxification processes including the metabolism of peroxides, the conjugation with electrophils and the scavenging of the free radicals. The relevance of glutathione in ethanol metabolism consists mainly in compensating for alcohol-related oxidative stress.
Glutathione acts as a detoxifying agent by combining with undesirable substances and ridding the body of them through urine and bile .
Deficiency symptoms of glutathione
The concentration of glutathione declines with age and in some age-related diseases
Glutathione deficiency contributes to oxidative stress, which plays a key role in aging and the worsening of many diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, HIV, AIDS, cancer, heart attack, and diabetes.
Who need more?
Glutathione functions as a major frontline defense against the build-up of oxidants in the lung. This increased demand for glutathione in cystic fibrosis may be limiting if nutritional status is compromised. Increased glutathione levels are needed in patients with cystic fibrosis by supplementation with a whey-based protein.
Glutathione is available as a single ingredient dietary supplement or in combination products. Dosage ranges from 50 to 600 milligrams daily.