Food Sources That Boost Glutathione Naturally
Copyright © 2004 Priya Shah
Glutathione, the body's master antioxidant and detoxifier, is one of the 14 "Superfoods" listed in SuperFoods Rx : Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life, co-authored by Dr Steven Pratt.
Glutathione levels cannot be increased to a clinically beneficial extent by orally ingesting a single dose of glutathione. (1) This is because glutathione is manufactured inside the cell, from its precursor amino acids, glycine, glutamate and cystine.
Hence food sources or supplements that increase glutathione must either provide the precursors of glutathione, or enhance its production by some other means.
The manufacture of glutathione in cells is limited by the levels of its sulphur-containing precursor amino acid, cysteine.
Cysteine - as a free amino acid - is potentially toxic and is spontaneously catabolized or destroyed in the gastrointestinal tract and blood plasma. However, when it is present as a cysteine-cysteine dipeptide, called cystine, it is more stable than cysteine.
Consuming foods rich in sulphur-containing amino acids can help boost glutathione levels. Here are some food sources and dietary supplements that help boost glutathione levels naturally.
It is derived from the amino acid L-Cysteine, and acts as a precursor of glutathione. NAC is quickly metabolized into glutathione once it enters the body. It has been proven in numerous scientific studies and clinical trials, to boost intracellular production of glutathione, and is approved by the FDA for treatment of accetaminophen overdose. Because of glutathione's mucolytic action, NAC (brand name Mucomyst) is commonly used in the treatment of lung diseases like cystic fibrosis, bronchitis and asthma.
Milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant and supports the liver by preventing the depletion of glutathione. Silymarin is the active compound of milk thistle. It is a natural liver detoxifier and protects the liver from many industrial toxins such as carbon tetrachloride, and more common agents like alcohol.
Made naturally in body cells as a by-product of energy release, ALA increases the levels of intra-cellular glutathione, and is a natural antioxidant with free radical scavenging abilities. It has the ability to regenerate oxidized antioxidants like Vitamin C and E and helps to make them more potent. ALA is also known for its ability to enhance glucose uptake and may help prevent the cellular damage accompanying the complications of diabetes. It also has a protective effect in the brain.
Asparagus is a leading source of glutathione. Foods like broccoli (2), avocado and spinach are also known to boost glutathione levels. Raw eggs, garlic and fresh unprocessed meats contain high levels of sulphur-containing amino acids and help to maintain optimal glutathione levels.
Whey protein contains proteins like alpha-lactalbumin which is is rich in sulphur-containing amino acids. Heating or pasteurization destroys the delicate disulphide bonds that give these proteins their bioactivity. Undenatured whey protein is a non-heated product that preserves bioactive amino acids like cystine. It has been shown in numerous scientific studies and clinical trials to optimize glutathione levels.
Treatment of brain cells called astrocytes, with the Indian curry spice, curcumin (turmeric) has been found to increase expression of the glutathione S-transferase and protect neurons exposed to oxidant stress. (3)
Changkil saponins (CKS) isolated from the roots of the Chinese herbal medicine, Platycodon grandiflorum A. DC (Campanulaceae), commonly called Balloon Flower Root or Jie Geng, have been found to increase intracellular glutathione (GSH) content and significantly reduce oxidative injury to liver cells, minimise cell death and lipid peroxidation. (4)
Selenium is a co-factor for the enzyme glutathione peroxidase. Selenium supplements have become popular because some studies suggest they may play a role in decreasing the risk of certain cancers, and in how the immune system and the thyroid gland function. However, too much selenium can cause some toxic effects including gastrointestinal upset, brittle nails, hair loss and mild nerve damage.
1. The systemic availability of oral glutathione
2. Dietary approach to attenuate oxidative stress, hypertension, and inflammation in the cardiovascular system
3. Can Curry Protect Against Alzheimer's?
4. Protective effect of saponins derived from roots of Platycodon grandiflorum on tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced oxidative hepatotoxicity
This article was first published in the July 2004 issue of The Glutathione Report, a newsletter featuring regular updates on the health benefits of glutathione. Get a Free report on Glutathione in Health and Disease
Three Cheers for Heart Healthy Oils!
You may have noticed an ever-expanding choice of oils at your local grocery store over the past few years. While once your options were limited to corn, canola, safflower and maybe olive oil, now your choices include walnut, almond, grapeseed and other types of oil as well.
Time Line of the Development of GlycoBiology and GlycoNutritionals
1880s - Characterization of monosaccharides by Emil Fischer.1952 - Fresh, not aged, Aloe gel heals radiation burns on rabbits (Clarence C.
Missing Link to the Immune System
For decades science has been looking for the answers to our health problems in proteins and fats. Carbohydrates have long been overlooked - thought just to be energy or calories and play no other significant role.
Enjoy The Holidays Healthfully
How To Have A Healthy ThanksgivingEnd of the year holidays are a time when our eyes are often bigger than our stomach! Many of us wonder how we will get through them without gaining 5 or 10 pounds. So how can you feel great after parties and meals instead of overstuffed and uncomfortable?Your stomach cannot miraculously hold more food just because it's the holidays.
6 Ways to Eat More Healthfully
With so much 'diet advice' around today it is little wonder if you feel somewhat confused. Whether you are wanting to lose weight, maintain your weight or help your family eat more healthfully.
Oregano: Nature's Antibiotic and Antiseptic
Many of us sprinkle oregano on our pizza and stews without realizing its impressive healing powers. But oregano is much more than a flavorful herb.
The Niacin Rush
Your face turns flush and your skin starts to itch. Yourheart begins to beat faster.
Your Target of Health is Easy
Many of us, probably even you, want this thing called health, yet have no idea what it would look like if we had it. We are going after this elusive thing, but we really have never stopped to think about what it was.
What Really Happens To The Food You Eat
After we have eaten a meal -- and often we do this in a hurry, without much chewing, under a lot of stress, or in the presence of negative emotions -- we give no thought to what becomes of our food once it has been swallowed.We have been led to assume that anything put in the mouth automatically gets digested flawlessly, is efficiently absorbed into the body where it nourishes our cells, with the waste products being eliminated completely by the large intestine.
Is Organic Really Better for You?
I had finally come to a place in my life where I was concerned about my health and that of my family. After all, it's not the quantity, but the quality of life right? And if you can increase both, all the better! We started exercising, eating healthier and taking vitamins.
The Myths Associated with Human Growth Hormone
I would like to dispel some of the myths and worries associated with Human Growth Hormone Therapy, or HGH.First of all, a large number of people do not know what kind of treatment is involved with this therapy.
Explanation of Ambrotose
There are basically four major components, or essential molecular components that the body requires for what we call good health.We know about amino acids and proteins, that's category one.
Facts About Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is less known compare to olive oil, corn oil, canola oil or any other vegetable oil. It is sad to hear that many terrified titles such as "fat contributor" or "cholesterol raiser" has been sticking on it for years.
Help Prevent Premature Aging With Nutrition-Science
Aging occurs when the body's cells die at faster rates than new cells are generated. People age prematurely because inadequate nutrition resulting from poor diet stimulates cellular destruction and increases the potential for obesity, diabetes, cancer and other chronic diseases.
Vitamin D - The Sunshine Vitamin!
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin like A and E. This vitamin is hard to obtain from food.
Aging Gracefully with the Aid of Various Nutrients
During the past thirty years there has been a steadily growing amount of scientific evidence linking vitamins and minerals to having a direct effect in protecting one's self from aging. Apart from the usual health benefits that we can receive from having adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in our body, it's also a highly appealing note to include that being healthy inside will actually reflect on how we look like on the outside.
Eating ... Gaining Weight ... How to Control the Urge to Splurge
I confess: I'm completely addicted to Pringles. My determinationweakens every time I think about munching into one, hearing thecrunch, and getting that first taste of its salty flavor.
Take Back Your Life 7
In parts 1-6 of this series of articles titled "Take Back Your Life", we discussed what could be considered the four wheels of the human wellness vehicle. We discussed the importance of proper cell function, the necessity of having and maintaining a balanced endocrine system, and the role of vitamins and minerals, including certain trace minerals as they relate to wellness, the value of antioxidants, the necessity of consuming plenty of enhanced water and what roles lactoferrin (Lf) and proline-rich peptide (PRP), which act to regulate and balance the immune system, play in helping to maintain a healthy body.
Green Tea, or not to Green Tea?
Wow! Is it just me or? Wait! Let me start again, I think it's great that Oprah is the communicator to the masses that she is, without her or her influence, we would surely be less informed and less enlightened than we currently are, I can admit this, but there are certain things that exist that should not necessarily require the direction of Oprah or her throng of guests to bring to light there-well there mere existence?Green Tea is one such discovery?now there I go; it is not a discovery, although it seems like the entire US population has just been introduced to the latest and the greatest discovery since the last big thing, exercise for weight management? How many centuries has this natural substance existed? And I know that Dr. Perricone did not invent green tea either, but you'd never know it by the response evidenced by his appearance on the Oprah show.
Nutrition as Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD Alternative Treatment: Help is as Close as the Kitchen
The quality of food we eat (or lack thereof) has a profound affect on Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD. For many people, nutrition alone can effectively work as an ADHD alternative treatment.