Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Glutathione - Your Brains Master Antioxidant Defense


Free radicals and oxyradicals play an important role in the development and progression of many brain disorders such as brain injury, neurodegenerative disease, schizophrenia and Down syndrome.

Glutathione is the brain's master antioxidant and plays an important protective role in the brain.

According to Dr. Jimmy Gutman, "The brain is particularly susceptible to free radical attack because it generates more oxidative by-products per gram of tissue than any other organ."

Many neurological and psychiatric disease processes are characterized by... abnormalities in glutathione metabolism and antioxidant defenses."

Generation of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and oxidative damage are an important cause of neuron (brain cell) death from brain injury.

Chemicals that cause toxicity to certain brain cells are known to decrease cerebral glutathione (GSH), making the cells more vulnerable to reactive oxygen species (ROS). (1)

On the other hand, over-expression of the glutathione peroxidase (GPX) enzyme potently decreases cell death from brain injury. (2)

Brain Injury and Glutathione - The Gender Difference

Researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh have found that males and females respond differently to brain injury. (3)

In animal models, levels of glutathione remain constant in females who have suffered a brain injury, but drop by as much as 80 percent in males with the same injury.

When glutathione levels drop, brain cells die much more quickly. This suggests that boys with brain injuries may require different life-saving treatments than girls.

N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), a precursor of glutathione, already approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat people who have overdosed on acetaminophen, may be an effective treatment for brain injury in boys whose brains are deprived of oxygen.

Brain Disorders and Glutathione - A Genetic Cause?

Genetics researchers have found that the glutathione S-transferase gene controls the onset of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and determines, not if we get these diseases, but when. (4)

The glutathione S-transferase gene has previously been linked to the risk for Parkinson's disease among people who used pesticides.

A previous article covered the importance of glutathione in Parkinson's Disease.

Alzheimer's Disease and Glutathione

Free radicals and oxidative damage in neurons is known to be a primary cause of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease.

Amyloid- peptide (A) accumulation in senile plaques, a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD), has been implicated in neuronal degeneration.

Amyloid plaques encroaching on the brain increase the production of free radicals, or oxidative stress. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E "mop up" the damaging free radicals.

Glutathione (GSH) precursors can prevent death of brain cells induced by amyloid plaques in Alzhiemer's disease, while substances that deplete GSH increase cell death. (5)

Evidence has been piling up over the link between the amount of an amino acid called homocysteine in the blood and the chance of developing Alzheimer's.

For people not genetically predisposed to developing Alzheimer's, cholesterol and homocysteine, largely caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, are the core causal factors.

Welsh GP, Andrew McCaddon, showed that the more homocysteine that patients with Alzheimer's had, the worse their mental performance, and the worse their "cognitive impairment," the less they had of the antioxidant glutathione. (6)

Glutathione and Mood Disorders

Studies have found that the mood stabilizing drug, valproate, used to treat epilepsy and bi-polar disorder, regulates expression of the genes that make glutathione-S-transferase (GST).

In addition, chronic treatment with lithium, another commonly prescribed mood stabilizer used in treating manic-depression, also increased levels of GST.

These findings led researchers to conclude that glutathione S-transferase may be a novel target for mood stabilizing drugs. (7)

Alcohol Consumption and Glutathione

Alcohol abuse is known to impair memory and other brain functions and increase brain cell death. A new study in rats has shown that alchol consumption causes fewer new brain cells to form and results in greater cell death. (8)

But rats that were fed alcohol along with Ebselen - a glutathione peroxidase mimic that acts as a free radical scavenger - showed no similar reduction in brain-cell formation and no increase in cell death.

Substances that Boost Glutathione Levels and Protect Brain Cells

Taking glutathione itself as a supplement does not boost cellular glutathione levels, since it breaks down in the digestive tract before it reaches the cells.

However, intravenous glutathione therapy and glutathione precursors or dietary supplements are effective in boosting intracellular levels of glutathione.

Intravenous Glutathione Injections: Intravenous glutathione injections have been shown to produce amazing and rapid results, in patients with Parkinson's disease. Following even a single dosage of intravenous glutathione, many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease rapidly improve, often in as little as 15 minutes.

Glutathione Precursors: In the Alzheimer's study conducted by Welsh GP, Andrew McCaddon, adding the glutathione precursor, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) to a protocol that lowered homocysteine levels by simple supplementation with B12 and folate, resulted in prompt, striking, and sustained clinical improvement in nearly all the patients. (9)

Cucurmin (turmeric):Studies have shown that the Indian curry spice, cucurmin, has neuroprotective effects because of its ability to induce the enzyme, hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1), which protects neurons exposed to oxidant stress. Treatment of brain cells called astrocytes, with curcumin, increases expression of HO-1 protein as well as glutathione S-transferase. (10)

Ebselen: Ebselen is a glutathione peroxidase mimic and potent synthetic antioxidant that acts as a neuroprotective agent and an inhibitor of free-radical induced apoptosis (cell death). It can protect brain cells from the neuro-toxic effects of alcohol consumption. (8)

Undenatured Whey Protein: Undenatured whey protein provides glutathione precursors, has been shown to raise intracellular glutathione levels in clinical trials, and has anecdotally been reported to improve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

References:1. Journal of Neurochemistry, Vol. 88, No. 3, 2004 513-531
2. Journal of Neurochemistry, Vol. 87, No. 6, 2003 1527-1534
3. Researchers Find Brain Cells Die Differently in Males and Females; Pediatric Academic Societies Press release; 21-Apr-2004
4. Human Molecular Genetics, 2003, Vol. 12, No. 24 3259-3267
5. The Journal of Cell Biology, Volume 164, Number 1, 123-131; 5 January 2004
6. Biol Psychiatry. 2003 Feb;53(3):254-60
7. Journal of Neurochemistry, Vol. 88, No. 6, 2004 1477-1484
8. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Jun 24;100(13):7919-24. Epub 2003 Jun 05.
9. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2003 Mar-Apr;11(2):246-9
10. Can Curry Protect Against Alzheimer's?; American Physiological Society (APS) Press Release; 16-Apr-2004

Copyright 2004 Priya Shah

_____________________________________________
This article was first published in the May 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
____________________________________________


MORE RESOURCES:

303 Magazine

Best Colorado Made Supplements for CrossFit
303 Magazine
Combat-Protein-Powder So you are now eating Paleo, hitting the CrossFit box regularly but you are still missing that last piece of the puzzle. That puzzle piece is sports and dietary supplements. Like any good Coloradoan, you want to support local, so ...



Design & Trend

Are Vitamin Supplements Necessary?
Design & Trend
A National Institutes of Health trial analyzed the impact of vitamin D and calcium supplementation in 36,000 post-menopausal women. Another large trial out of Harvard the Physician's Health Study looked into vitamin E supplementation among 14,000 male ...



Two supplements worth taking
ChicagoNow (blog)
Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health. Omega 3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function and can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis ...



MinnPost

Study ties herbal and dietary supplements to serious liver damage
MinnPost
The number of liver injuries associated with supplements is still much, much lower than those attributed to conventional medications, but, proportionally, supplements are significantly more likely to lead to serious injuries that result in a liver ...



FDA warns of dangerous drugs in weight loss supplements: Tainted dietary ...
The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio-- The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers that three weight loss supplements sold online and in some retail stores contain dangerous pharmaceutical ingredients hidden from consumers, and should be thrown away.



New York Daily News

Supplements cause more liver damage, decadelong study finds
New York Daily News
"While many Americans believe supplements to be safe, government … require less safety evidence to market products than what is required for conventional pharmaceuticals," lead author Dr. Victor Navarro, from Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, said ...
Liver Injuries Caused by Herbal and Dietary Supplements has Increased 20 ...Headlines & Global News
Are herbs and dietary supplements bad for your liver?TheHealthSite
Herbals, Dietary Supplements Linked To Liver InjuryScience 2.0
ConsumerAffairs -NDTV -WholeFoods Magazine
all 28 news articles »


Supplements can't replace many nutrients
Jackson Clarion Ledger
Oh boy! All that can be a tough pill to swallow. However, there is something that can make all this advice go down a little easier. That something would be vitamin and mineral supplements. Nearly half of all Americans use supplements at least occasionally.



Market Like The Supplement Industry, Pump It Up!
The Epoch Times (blog)
The supplement industry does a great job in the fact that they market so well that the industry as a whole is booming. Many times the supplement industry can take advantage of the American way of wanting results immediately. Supplements that have no ...



Medscape

Liver Injuries From Supplements Up 3-Fold in 10 Years
Medscape
Unregulated herbal or dietary supplements (HDS) used by bodybuilders and by middle-aged women trying to lose weight have become increasingly important as causes of liver injury over the course of the last 10 years, researchers report in an article ...
Supplement-Related Liver Injuries Are Up, But No Cause for Blanket Warning ...Nutritional Outlook

all 3 news articles »


WellPath Solutions Officially Debuts First Truly Customized Nutritional ...
MarketWatch
NEW YORK, Sep 17, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- WellPath Solutions, a revolutionary new entrant that is redefining the supplement marketplace, has officially launched sophisticated proprietary technology that formulates the first truly customized nutritional ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.