What Is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a very important antioxidant which helps to prevent damage to components of the cell. Such damage is mainly caused by reactive oxygen species which include free radicals and peroxides. In terms of structure, it is a tripeptide containing a gamma peptide linkage between amino and carboxyl group of cysteine.
Benefits Of Glutathione
There are various benefits associated with glutathione. This antioxidant plays an immense role in the body.
Here Are The Benefits.
Glutathione helps in the neutralization of free radicals and other reactive species of oxygen that might cause harm to cellular components in the body. It binds them together thus preventing them from causing harm to an individual’s health.
This excellent antioxidant helps to boost the immune system by stimulating the natural ability of white blood cells which help to fight infections in the body. For instance, it plays a central role in proper functioning of T cell lymphocytes which serve as frontline soldiers in the body immune system.
It also helps to reduce aging especially due to the effect of ultra-violet rays of the sun. When UV rays reach the dermis section of the skin, they end up damaging the collagen fiber which subsequently results to aging. Glutathione helps to prevent collagen fibers from getting damaged thus maintaining the elasticity of the skin.
glutathione rich foodsIn addition, glutathione helps to prevent darkening of the skin by reducing the formation of melanine- a black skin pigment. It does this by suppressing the activity of tryosinase and changing the synthesis of eumelanin to that of pheomelanin. It is important to eat glutathione rich foods to increase your glutathione levels.
In the body, glutathione is used as a substrate in important biochemical processes such conjugation and reduction reactions. These processes are usually catalyzed by glutathione S-transferace enzymes that is found in mitochondria, cystosol and microsome of human body.
Glutathione also plays a vital role as an antidote incase of overdose. It conjugates and detoxifies cellular toxins thus rendering it harmless to the body. This is particularly common when one takes an overdose of acetaminophen which depletes the level of glutathione thus making N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine(NAPQI) to become taxic. It thus protects the thiol groups of cellular proteins from unnecessary modification.
Glutathione also helps in the synthesis of leukotriene which play an important role in the body immune system especially in response to antigens.
It is also used in essential metabolic reactions such as DNA synthesis, protein synthesis and transportation of amino acids and activation of enzymes to speed up the rate of biochemical reactions.
In addition, it helps in iron metabolism which is good for blood circulatory system. Iron is a vital component of blood.
Furthermore, it helps to maintain the health of the liver which plays a huge role in carrying out many vital reactions in the body.
Why Glutathione Is The Master Antioxidant
Glutathione is regarded as the mother of all antioxidants. Having low glutathione levels can be detrimental to your health. Not only does it help to fight the free radicals on its own but also helps to regenerate other antioxidants to make the process more effective.
Such antioxidants include Vitamin C and E. They help in neutralizing the oxygen free radicals after which they become unstable radicals by themselves. Glutathione again helps to recycle them from their status as unstable molecules to their active form so that they can be used once more.
Glutathione helps to fight free radicals. Most of them are created in the process of eating, doing exercise and breathing or due to stress, pollution e.t.c. Such molecules are usually unbalanced and hence attack body cells. By so doing, they rob electrons from other molecules thus sparking a long chain of reaction that is detrimental to health. It causes infections such as cancer, skin conditions and many more. This master antioxidant helps to bind and keep the radicals together to avoid harm. It removes the free electrons thus rendering them harmless. The free electron is the reason behind the bad influence of radicals that is disastrous to health. In general, it protects the body cells from damaging effects of oxidative stress and toxins.
How To Increase Your Glutathione Levels
They are two main ways you can use to increase the level of glutathione in your body. One is by taking foods facilitate the formation of glutathione. Such foods act as a precursor. Another way is by taking glutathione supplements .This is explained below.
You can increase your glutathione level by taking raw goat whey. It contains high level of cysteine which is a precursor in the formation of glutathione. It is also readily absorbed in the body.
Raw goat milk also contains a considerable amount of cysteine which is very important in the formation of glutathione.
You can also take rice bran because it promotes the synthesis of glutathione in your body.
Other people opt to go for glutathione supplement pills. This may however not be effective as compared to taking foods which act as a precursor in the synthesis of glutathione. This is because glutathione is normally synthesized inside the cell or within the liver from precursor amino acids, cysteine and glutamic acid. These can be become toxic is if taken in form of supplements. This why it is always advisable to eat relevant foods instead of taking glutathione supplements.
Common glutathione supplements include Calcitriol which is an active metabolite of Vitamin D. It is synthesized from kidney calcifediol and is known to increase glutathione level in the brain.
S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). It also helps to increase glutathione in individuals with glutathione deficiency.