6 Health Benefits of Glutathione
Do you want to support healthy aging, energy levels, and normal toxin elimination?
Glutathione is the body’s most important antioxidant, supporting all of these things and more. It is commonly referred to as the “mother of all antioxidants.”
It’s a molecule that is made up of the amino acids cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid, and is crucial for cellular detoxification, liver health, heavy metal transportation out of our cells, protection from oxidative damage, and much more!*
Antioxidants are needed in the body to protect cell integrity and to fight free radical and oxidative damage. But glutathione has many other benefits, too. Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating nutrient and how it can be used to promote wellness.
What is Glutathione and What Does It Do in the Body?
As mentioned above, glutathione is the body’s ultimate antioxidant. While many other nutrients have antioxidant functions in the body, glutathione is found naturally in every single cell.
Glutathione is a crucial part of the body’s healthy elimination process of free radicals, toxins, and heavy metals.* (1)
Glutathione is so essential for human wellness that the body can actually make its own. But to do this, it needs certain nutrients as building materials, including the aforementioned amino acids: cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid.
When you don’t have enough glutathione in the body, it can lead to elevated oxidative stress. (2)
6 Health Benefits of Glutathione
Glutathione exists in the body on its own, whether you take it in supplement form or not. Sufficient glutathione in the body supports optimal detoxification and wellness.*
1. Supports Healthy Inflammatory Processes*
While short-term inflammation can actually have healing properties in the body, when inflammation becomes chronic, low-grade, and long-term it can produce all sorts of problems. Glutathione can block inflammatory cytokines from being formed, helping to support a balanced and healthy inflammatory response in the body.* (3)
2. Supports Healthy Detoxification*
As the body’s master antioxidant, glutathione supports the body’s natural detoxification pathways which aim to reduce oxidative stress and damage from free radicals.*
Left unchecked, these are harmful to DNA and cells, so glutathione serves to protect these, too. (4) By protecting the cells and DNA, glutathione also supports overall health and wellness.*
3. Supports Cognitive and Mental Health*
The brain and mental health together are quite complex. Numerous factors play a role in wellness and disease processes.
Sufficient levels of glutathione support a healthy mood and a positive response to stress.*
Glutathione, in particular, can support healthy memory ability and healthy cognitive function.* (5)
4. Promotes Gut Health*
The gut lining is one of the most crucial barriers in the body, protecting the body from receiving unwanted or dangerous particles from the bloodstream. When the gut lining becomes compromised, leaky gut and various other gut disorders can occur.
Glutathione is an important antioxidant for gut health. It supports the body’s natural healing and renewal in gut lining cells.* (6)
5. Supports Healthy Immune Response*
Glutathione helps to support the normal function of the immune system in the body.
On top of that, viral infections lead to increased use of glutathione because of the temporary increase in inflammation and physical stress that they cause.* (7)
6. Supports Liver and Kidney Health*
While the body has many ways of detoxing harmful substances, the liver and the kidneys are the two primary organs responsible for keeping these processes going. Glutathione supports kidney and liver health by supporting the body’s natural detoxification pathways.*
Glutathione can help to support kidney health and function. (10)
10 Reasons Your Glutathione Levels Could Be Too Low
Since the body makes its own glutathione, it’s easy to wonder why it would ever let itself run low. But there are times where the body cannot keep up with the demand or is using it faster than it can be made.
Certain factors can influence how the body uses glutathione. Levels can be decreased or suppressed in response to any of the following:
- Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity all require more glutathione and impair the body’s ability to make it, leading to overall lower levels. (11)
- Aging naturally leads to less efficient glutathione production and can result in a higher need for it to maintain cellular and DNA health. (12)
- Insomnia and poor sleep habits can lead to decreased levels. (13)
- Autism spectrum disorder has been associated with problems in how the body makes its own glutathione, resulting in chronically low levels. (14)
- Parkinson’s disease can result in low levels, in addition to potentially being triggered by low levels. (15)
- People who drink alcohol excessively or who are alcoholics have lower levels since this affects gut health, how glutathione is synthesized, and how much the body needs. (16)
- Alzheimer’s can lead to more rapid depletion and poor replacement of glutathione. (17)
- Cigarette smoking and other tobacco use can lead to the depletion of glutathione and an increased need for more to combat oxidative stress. (18)
- People who have chronic fatigue syndrome have lower levels of glutathione and do not efficiently produce more within the body. (19)
- Cystic fibrosis leads to suppressed glutathione levels and the impaired ability to produce more at a normal rate. (20)
These are not the only reasons that glutathione levels could be insufficient. Individual health factors, genetic polymorphisms, and overall lifestyle and environment should also be taken into consideration when it comes to how the body requires and uses glutathione.
How to Naturally Boost Glutathione Levels
While the body makes its own glutathione, it needs certain nutrients to be able to do so. One of the main components of glutathione is sulfur molecules, so foods rich in these can contribute to higher levels of glutathione in the body. Sulfur-containing foods include:
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy
Glutathione levels can also be increased in the body by consuming foods that are rich in the amino acids cysteine and methionine. Foods rich in these include:
- Sunflower seeds
Foods high in methionine include:
- Brazil nuts
- White beans
Other foods and herbs can also lead to an increase in glutathione levels. These include milk thistle, flaxseed, seaweed, and whey protein.
By incorporating a mixture of these foods in your diet on a regular basis, you provide your body the building blocks it needs to synthesize its own glutathione. However, other factors can influence how well your body does this, even if you eat plenty of these foods.
How to Supplement with Glutathione
In some cases, no matter how well you eat and focus on glutathione-boosting foods, your levels might be low or you might need supplementation.* Certain people do not digest sulfur-rich foods well, are not able to get enough glutathione precursors from diet alone. Additionally, others may have mutations in their GPX/GST and other genes that put them at risk for low glutathione levels or higher oxidative stress levels. To find out more about genes that require glutathione, or which crucial genes of yours may be “dirty”, read Dirty Genes by Dr. Lynch.
When supplementing with glutathione, it’s important to understand that it’s not a simple process of simply swallowing the supplement and having it boost the levels immediately. Glutathione in supplement form has to pass through the liver to be activated and used. However, glutathione in certain forms can be put to use much more quickly.
Glutathione supplements prepared in the following ways can be more actively used by the body:*
- Liposomal glutathione
- Slow-release tablets or capsules
Seeking Health’s Glutathione Supplements
Seeking Health has designed a few different glutathione supplements with optimal benefits in mind for supporting good health and promoting normal and balanced antioxidant levels in the body.*
Optimal Liposomal Glutathione is a liquid glutathione supplement in a fatty base that comes in two flavors, tropical and mint. It provides 500 milligrams of glutathione in a sunflower oil phospholipid liposomal base, allowing for optimal absorption into the cells.*
Optimal Liposomal Glutathione Plus is the same great liquid glutathione, but instead provides additional glutathione recycling and supportive nutrients to support your own body’s glutathione reduction and oxidation—a more comprehensive approach to antioxidant support!*
And now we are so excited to announce that this same great “plus” glutathione formula now comes in an easy-to-swallow, taste-free capsule! The brand new Optimal Glutathione Plus Capsules are designed just like the liposomal form, but instead utilize a lipid-like well-absorbed glutathione to help stabilize it in capsule form. Great for those who don’t like the glutathione liquid taste.
The Bottom Line
Glutathione supports the body’s natural ability to detox and promotes healthy energy levels. It is the mother of all antioxidants and is vital for maintaining health and wellness. It can be increased naturally through diet, by eating foods that are rich in the amino acids cysteine and methionine. It can also be supported by taking Seeking Health’s glutathione supplements.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.