What Is Glutathione and Why Is It Anti-Aging?
Glutathione is a critical antioxidant that helps protect our cells and plays a key role in many of the chemical reactions that occur within our bodies. Its levels tend to decrease as we age, which is why supplementing with glutathione can be beneficial for our health and our longevity.
With the average life expectancy of the world increasing, it’s becoming more apparent just how important health is. Sadly, a longer lifespan doesn’t necessarily mean a healthy one and this is where a well-balanced lifestyle filled with exercise, proper nutrition, and supplementation plays a vital role.
What is glutathione?
But, just what is glutathione? It’s a crucial antioxidant that’s made in the liver and found within the cells of our body. It’s known as the “master detoxifier” and is one of the main antioxidants in our bodies. It consists of the following three amino acids: namely cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that protect our cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. In short, these unstable molecules contain oxygen and have an uneven number of electrons. Electrons come in pairs and free radicals have an unpaired electron. Antioxidants can donate an electron to the molecule which prevents them from taking the electron from our cells and tissues in an attempt to bring stability.
Our bodies have a delicate balance between free radicals and antioxidants to keep the free radicals from wreaking havoc in our bodies. Many of the signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and skin damage are as a result of the damage caused by free radicals. Also, most chronic diseases and conditions are associated with the destruction caused by free radicals left unchecked by antioxidants, known as oxidative stress.
What are the benefits of glutathione?
Glutathione is a critical molecule for our health and well being. Here are some of its benefits.
Protects our cells and DNA from damage caused by oxidative stress and free radicals.
Helps optimize and maintain our immune systems.
Plays an important role in helping our bodies detox from substances like heavy metals and other toxins.
Protects and assists the powerhouse of our cells (the mitochondria) to produce energy.
Is glutathione anti-aging?
Yes, because glutathione is such a critical antioxidant, it is anti-aging and can play an important part in helping us feel and look younger for longer. Apart from protecting our cells, it’s role in detoxing prevents a build-up of toxins that can contribute to oxidative stress and damage to our bodies.
As we age, its levels naturally decline in our bodies. Many of the common signs of aging and chronic conditions are associated with decreased levels of glutathione. By supplementing with glutathione and following healthy lifestyle practices that can help our glutathione levels, we can potentially slow down aging in our bodies.
For more information on healthy lifestyle practices that slow aging, read: Lessons From the Blue Zones - Feel Younger for Longer.
Youth & Earth has a Liposomal Glutathione product that offers unprecedented bioavailability. It is 100 times more effective than standard glutathione supplements which are ineffective as the Glutathione is unable to enter the cells.
It is a great start to a healthier lifestyle. Try our anti-aging powerhouse Glutathione today use code GLUT20 at checkout for 20% off your first purchase.
How can glutathione help us live longer?
Glutathione has been used effectively in a wide range of diseases including Parkinson’s, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and uncontrolled diabetes. Many of these chronic conditions can not only shorten our lifespan but also decrease our quality of life.
Here are some of the ways that glutathione can help ease and prevent some of these conditions:
Lowers oxidative stress
Oxidative stress occurs when the number of free radicals outweighs the antioxidants in our bodies. As a result, the free radicals start to damage DNA, fatty tissues and proteins in our cells which, over time, is thought to lead to a number of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, conditions associated with inflammation, high blood pressure, cancer and more.
In a review on the role of glutathione in cancer progression and chemoresistance, it was found that glutathione deficiency leads to increased levels of oxidative stress which is implicated in the progression of cancer. Further, it went on to say that increased glutathione levels increased antioxidant capacity which may protect us from cancer.
May minimize cell damage in alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic health problem where too much fat is stored around the liver, causing inflammation to the liver.
A study in the treatment of chronic fatty liver diseases showed glutathione given in large doses improved the results of some liver tests even several months after treatment.
A second study showed the positive effects of glutathione alongside dieting and exercise in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Find out more on NAFLD in Why is Sugar Bad For You?
May improve insulin resistance
Baylor College of Medicine researched the role of glutathione in weight management and insulin resistance in the elderly. Their research showed that lowered levels of glutathione meant the body was less efficient in burning fat and more susceptible to fat storage. By adding cysteine and glycine to the elderly participants’ diets, glutathione levels were increased and fat burning improved in just 14 days.
It may bring relief to psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition where skin cells build up forming scales and itchy patches that are dry. A minor study showed that the increase of glutathione levels, through oral consumption of whey protein, improved psoriasis without any additional treatment.
May improve mobility in peripheral artery disease sufferers
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is caused by a buildup of plaques in the blood vessels of the legs and feet and a narrowing of those blood vessels. It’s frequently found in those who suffer from type 2 diabetes and who tend to have high cholesterol and are at risk of heart disease. Peripheral artery disease can cause pain in the feet and calves when walking.
A study has shown that glutathione improved the circulation of participants allowing them to walk pain-free for longer distances.
May help the body fight autoimmune conditions
Chronic inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases such as lupus can increase oxidative stress. These diseases attack our specific cells' mitochondria. A study has shown glutathione to protect cell mitochondria by reducing oxidative stress.
May ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Another study has shown that glutathione had positive effects on tremor symptoms and, although more research is needed, it suggests that glutathione may improve the quality of life in Parkinson sufferers.
May decrease the damage caused by uncontrolled diabetes
A study approved by the institutional review board for Human studies at Baylor College of Medicine showed the following results: Adding cysteine and glycine to their diets boosted deficient glutathione levels in people with uncontrolled diabetes. It also lowered oxidative stress damage regardless of their high sugar levels.
May lower the symptoms of respiratory diseases
N-acetylcysteine is a derivative of glutathione and it’s used medication that’s used to treat conditions such as cystic fibrosis, paracetamol overdose, and asthma. It also reduces inflammation therefore glutathione has the potential to help lower the symptoms of respiratory conditions.
What foods are high in glutathione?
Our bodies do not seem to absorb glutathione well from food sources however consuming foods high in amino acids and sulfur may help boost glutathione levels.
These include the following:
There are many other examples of foods that increase glutathione. For example, consuming 83 grams daily of almonds increases glutathione in smokers by 16% and decreases their DNA damage by 29%.
How do you naturally boost your glutathione levels?
Eat foods rich in sulfur
Sulfur is found in dietary proteins such as beef, fish, and poultry. However, it can also be found in allium and cruciferous vegetables. Sulfur has shown to be a necessity for glutathione synthesis. Allium vegetables have shown to boost glutathione levels due to their compounds, whilst sulfur-rich vegetables like Brussels sprouts and broccoli seem to increase glutathione levels by reducing oxidative stress.
Supplement with vitamin C
Researchers have found that vitamin C may spare glutathione levels by attacking free radicals first. They have gone even further to show that vitamin C helps process glutathione by converting it back into its active form. Further research has shown vitamin C supplementation increases glutathione levels in both red and white blood cells. However, because these studies were done through supplementation, further research is needed to determine if glutathione levels can be increased by consuming foods rich in vitamin C.
We will be releasing a 1000mg liposomal vitamin C soon. Liposomal vitamin C provides the body with the highest absorption of Vitamin C directly into the bloodstream.
Wondering what “liposomal” means? Read: What are Liposomal Supplements and How Do They Work?
Try supplementing with milk thistle
Milk thistle, also called silymarin, is well known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Test-tube studies have shown silymarin to both increase glutathione levels and decrease its depletion.
Our Releaf capsules are the perfect combination of Berberine, PQQ, and Silymarin. When combined with Berberine, silymarin has shown to enhance cardiometabolic health.
Supplement with curcumin
Test-tube studies have shown that curcumin can increase glutathione levels. Furthermore, researchers concluded that curcumin may improve the activity of glutathione enzymes whilst assisting in restoring glutathione levels.
Our Preservage capsules optimize the absorption of curcumin (200%) allowing your body to experience it’s enhanced natural benefits.
Maintain a healthy sleep cycle and a balanced exercise routine
Proper sleep is essential for longevity and research has shown chronic lack of sleep may decrease glutathione levels.
Research shows that a combination of weight and cardiovascular exercise shows higher increases in glutathione levels than just cardio or weight training alone. Furthermore overtraining without adequate nutrition was shown to decrease glutathione levels.
Drink alcohol in moderation
Alcohol is well known for the damage it does to our livers however, lung damage is a far less known effect. The small airways of our lungs require glutathione for proper function. The depletion of glutathione in alcoholics is most likely due to oxidative stress by long-term alcohol abuse. Research shows an 80-90% decrease in glutathione levels in the lungs of those who regularly abuse alcohol consumption.
What are the side effects of glutathione?
Foods high in glutathione do not pose any health risks. However, supplementation may not be suitable for everyone. Some people might experience digestive issues when taking glutathione and long-term usage has been linked to decreased zinc levels. Asthma sufferers also need to be cautious when inhaling glutathione in case it triggers an attack.
We recommend that you check with your health care practitioner if you have any concerns, chronic health conditions, or are on chronic medication.
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant found within our body’s cells that’s essential for the combat of free radicals. Many outside factors can lower or glutathione levels including stress, aging, and excessive alcohol consumption.
Boosting our glutathione levels has a long list of health benefits but so far oral consumption is controversial. Most research shows oral consumption does not increase glutathione and few studies showing efficacy.
To date, transdermal and liposomal glutathione provides the body with the highest levels of absorption directly into the bloodstream.
The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or health provider before starting a new health regime or program. Do not ignore medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you’ve read on this site or any Youth & Earth product.