Glutathione is a naturally-occurring substance that most people are not familiar with. It is considered by health experts as the most efficient antioxidant in the body. Its popularity today can be attributed to the growing industry of glutathione supplements. Knowing that glutathione exists outside the pill form comes as a surprise for many of us. So what really is glutathione and what benefits can we derive from it?
What is Glutathione:
To understand what glutathione’s function is to our body, we need to first understand what antioxidants are. Antioxidants are substances in our body that help regulate free radicals and toxic substances. Without these substances, our body can turn into one big waste landfill. The presence of these unwanted chemicals will eventually lead to malfunction of bodily organs and diseases.
Antioxidants play the role of body cleansers. Our body naturally produces antioxidants which include glutathione and we can also derive antioxidants from the food we eat. Medical researches and studies have found that a diet consists of food with high antioxidant content helps in maintaining good health and prolongs life expectancy.
Why Glutathione is So Unique:
Glutathione is considered to be the master antioxidant and detoxifier of the cell. Without glutathione, the antioxidant system breaks down, and toxic chemicals hang around to wreak havoc in our cells and tissues. Glutathione is so critical because it’s the cell’s first line of defense against the toxins that enter your body through the foods, liquids and gases you take in.
Among the different antioxidants found in the body, glutathione performs a very unique role. Its main function is to provide cell protection as well as boost other healthy compounds in the body. It is essential in the proper functioning of different systems of the body like:
Glutathionealso aids in proper metabolism of nutrients and absorbs harmful chemicals. Because it performs a very crucial role, the glutathione level of our body is equivalent to our level of health.
What Affects Glutathione Level:
Because it is a naturally-produced substance, the body produces glutathione as needed. However, there are number of factors that affect the normal level of this important substance in our body.
1-Age: The most common reason for glutathione depletion is age. The older a person gets the lesser glutathione the body produces.
2-Diseases:Diseases also contribute to the ability of the body to produce or recycle glutathione.
3-Diet and Pollution: Diet and pollution are considered by many experts as the biggest culprits in glutathione reduction. It is a known fact that in order to be healthy, we need to eat healthy foods. Unfortunately our lifestyle today has given us easy access to any food that we like to eat, regardless of their health benefits. We have become so accustomed to fast food and junk foods that our body becomes a dumping ground of chemicals. The influx of harmful chemicals to the body prevents the natural production of glutathione, and eventually there are more toxic materials in our body than glutathione.
4-Environmental Factors: Aside from our diet, our environment also contributes to the depletion of the glutathione level in our body. Pollution is the biggest hazard that we encounter on a daily basis and the heavy metals that we breathe in daily eventually find their way into our organs and cause illnesses. The stress brought about by our lifestyle also contributes in our body’s inability to function properly.
The combination of aging, stressful lifestyle, pollution, and unhealthy diet is just too much for our body to create or recycle glutathione. Once the body is overwhelmed, it will eventually succumb to illness.
How to Boost the Body’s Glutathione Level:
There are two ways of introducing glutathione to our body: artificial and natural. The artificial method involves taking glutathione supplement in a pill form. For a lot of people, their introduction to the benefits of glutathione revolves around marketing information about this kind of supplement. Although it is a very convenient way of supplying our body with this substance, it is not really as effective as we think it is. For one, our digestive system does not absorb glutathione very well. Only a small percentage of oral glutathione actually gets transferred to the circulatory system of our body.
Secondly, glutathione supplements prevent the body from producing the substance naturally. As the chemical is detected by the body, it regulates its natural production to the point where it completely stops, which in turns leads to dependence on supplements.
The most advisable way of getting glutathione into our body is through the natural way. Eating the right kinds of food that help boost glutathione production is the primary means of ensuring that we have enough of this essential antioxidant in our body. The key here is not to introduce glutathione, but to induce our body to produce the chemical naturally.
The Best Ways to Increase the Body’s Glutathione Level:
First, you need a lifestyle check: how can you prevent unnecessary depletion of glutathione? Are you active enough to induce natural glutathione production? You see, exercising regularly helps keep glutathione at the optimum level. Simple exercises like jogging, walking, or cycling keeps the body active, helps in metabolism that leads to better immune system response, detoxification, and improves antioxidant function.
You may also need to cut down on your alcohol consumption. Although there are some health benefits in drinking wine in moderation, prolonged exposure of the liver to alcohol prevents the organ to produce the antioxidant regularly. Without the detoxifying effect of the liver, the body becomes overwhelmed by toxins and free radicals that results in diseases.
Eat the Right Foods:
The best way to boost glutathione level naturally is by eating the right kind of healthy foods that contain either natural glutathione or elements that can help in the production of the antioxidant. Foods that are rich in amino acids are considered the best sources of glutathione.