Glutathione, in a nutshell, is a powerful antioxidant.
It is a substance that is produced by our own bodies; specifically, it is an antioxidant that is produced within our liver cells. An interesting fact to note is that most other antioxidants are not produced by our bodies and are found through plant-based sources. Although glutathione is produced within the body, there are certain factors that can reduce glutathione levels. Glutathione has been championed as the ‘mother of all antioxidants’, indicating its benefits to the body. Reduced glutathione, therefore, has negative effects on overall health. People with lowered glutathione levels have numerous options to increase these levels – usually through food, reducing stress, and taking oral supplements or intravenous supplements.
As an antioxidant, glutathione’s main purposes are to counteract free radicals and decrease oxidative stress. It is also involved in tissue building and repair, protein synthesis as well as in immune function. Antioxidants reduce the damage to the body’s cells that is caused by free radicals. Free radicals are essentially harmful molecules, made up of waste products produced by cells. If the body can not remove free radicals quickly enough, they will then be too high in concentration within the body and can cause damage – known as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to numerous chronic and serious diseases such as stroke, heart disease, inflammatory conditions, arthritis, and immune deficiencies. By neutralizing free radicals in the body, antioxidants play a role in boosting a person’s overall health.
The benefits of glutathione center around its ability to prevent cell damage by limiting oxidative stress. This means that healthy/high levels of glutathione in the body may have many health benefits to the body which would include:
- Decreased inflammation
- Detoxifying environmental pollutants
- Good immune function
- Decreased cell damage from liver disease
- Promoting cardiovascular health
- Slowing the aging process
- Improved insulin resistance
- Aids in liver detoxification
- Reduced oxidative stress
- Improving certain neurological conditions
- Skin health
- Fighting against autoimmune disease
- Reduced respiratory disease
There are certain factors that can lower the body’s level of glutathione. This can be either through an increase in free radicals, which uses up the body’s available glutathione, possibly too quickly. Alternatively, these factors could affect the liver’s production of glutathione, lowering the level of glutathione produced by the body. These factors include stress, environmental toxins, increasing age, chronic diseases or infections, and poor nutrition or diet. In short, creating a state of oxidative stress in the body would cause the levels of glutathione to decrease in the body. Glutathione levels are also affected by insomnia, so ensuring you get enough rest will assist in increasing levels.
There are a number of ways to ensure that you have healthy levels of glutathione in the body. In a relatively healthy person, the best option would be to consume foods that boost the body’s overall antioxidant levels and to consume foods that contain glutathione. This ensures that the body is functioning at as optimal a level as possible. Some people however are exposed to a number of factors that either decrease glutathione levels in the body or factors that increase oxidative stress and so it would be advised to look at supplementing glutathione. We recommend that you consult with one of our providers in order for them to evaluate your overall state of health before beginning with supplementation. (Some people experience side effects from glutathione supplementation, and we recommend that you use supplementation under the advice of a provider).
Options to increase glutathione levels:
Foods containing glutathione:
There are a number of foods that contain glutathione. One way to approach this is to consume food that is rich in Sulphur. This is because glutathione is made up of three amino acids, and Sulphur contains some amino acids which contribute to the creation of glutathione.
These foods include:
- Eggs, fish, and meat
- Grains (rice, wheat)
- Nuts and seeds
It is also helpful to consume foods that are high in Vitamin C, as Vitamin C protects cells from oxidative damage.
Decreasing oxidative stress
Ensuring that you get enough exercise is also vital in reducing oxidative stress. This will help increase your body’s level of glutathione. A study in 2014 found that people who engaged in regular exercise showed higher levels of glutathione compared with those who did not.
Regular sleep patterns and habits ensure that you keep your oxidative stress levels low.
- Focusing on a generally healthy lifestyle with a limit to toxin and chemical exposure:
Having an overall healthy body – good hydration, good nutrition, with limited exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins keep the body functioning at its best.
Oral and intravenous supplementation options are available, however, recommend that you choose an intravenous method, offered by providers. Oral glutathione is very poorly absorbed and is more readily available to the body in injection form. An oral supplement can also be expensive, and it can cause stomach discomfort and at times could be harmful to your health if taken incorrectly or in incorrect amounts. With an IV offered by a clinician, you can rest easy knowing that you are getting a high-quality, most bio-available form in the correct dosage. This allows for optimal healing, restoration, and energy.
At Natural Bio Health, we offer injections of the Myer’s Cocktail (see link), with an option to add Glutathione. This supplement is beneficial to almost everyone in maintaining optimal health, boosting immune systems, and improving overall energy levels. It is also a great way to prepare your body if you plan on competing in athletic events, or during times when you know that you will be under additional stress. We recommend that our patients prepare for the IV by drinking plenty of water and having a meal or snack before coming into the office. Some patients may experience a general flushing feeling, light-headedness, and/or a taste of the vitamins, and having food in your stomach can decrease these symptoms.
Note: Patients taking digoxin (Lanoxin®) or potassium-depleting drugs should inform the staff that they are using these medications before beginning the Myers’ Cocktail protocol.
Contact Natural Bio Health Today
Learn more about taking control of your well-being with Natural Bio Health. Join the wellness journey to achieve optimal health, fight disease and boost immune health to combat viruses.
Our team of specialists offers in-person and telemedicine services through video and phone calls. To schedule your appointment, contact us here. We serve patients in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Round Rock, and College Station.