Glutathione is a naturally occurring substance in the cells of all organisms. Considered a “natural guardian of physiology” due to its detoxification properties. Does it, in addition to the role of the chief antioxidant, affect other processes in our body? If you want to find out, I invite you to the following article.
What is glutathione?
Glutathione is called the most important antioxidant of the human body. The compound is a tripeptide consisting of amino acid residues of compounds such as cysteine, glycine or glutamic acid. It is worth mentioning that glutathione is a substance that occurs naturally in all plant and animal organisms. It is conditioned by the fact that it is unstable outside the body.
Glutathione is present in most food products that are available on store shelves. However, its largest content is found in fruits and vegetables. In order to increase its level in the body, it is worth enriching your previous menu with products such as
– an avocado;
– brussels sprouts;
Glutation – action
The described tripeptide is primarily an antioxidant. Therefore, its main task is to destroy harmful free radicals and to remove heavy metals such as arsenic, lead or mercury, which get into the body from food and air. Glutation also delays the aging process and the associated consequences – it supports the functioning of the immune system decreasing with age. It is also worth adding that glutathione has a unique feature consisting in the repair of proteins that have been destroyed by free radicals.
In addition to the typical, detoxifying nature, glutathione performs a number of other functions in our body. It participates in the transport of amino acids, is responsible for the production of coenzymes, and is also necessary for the proper functioning and reproduction of lymphocytes. These cells are responsible for the control of pathogenic microorganisms. Furthermore, glutathione is a compound involved in the conversion of hydrogen peroxide into water, which increases the viability of erythrocytes.
Glutation is also recommended for people who lead an active lifestyle. In addition to cleansing the body, it helps maintain adequate muscle strength and a high level of fitness. The overall effect is to improve performance and to reduce the time needed for regeneration. What’s more, glutathione inhibits the activity of cortisol, which is already often described, which at the same time supports the work and synthesis of testosterone.
Another example of the widespread, pro-health nature of glutathione is its importance in the treatment of cancer. In addition to the mentioned antioxidant properties and the production of protective lymphocytes, it has one more feature – it is a natural protection of the body against the harmful effects of chemo-and radiotherapy.
Cancer cells are not able to produce glutathione in contrast to healthy ones. The reduced concentration of substances in sick cells increases their sensitivity to the effects of oncological treatment. In turn, a high level of glutathione in healthy cells weakens the side effects of anti-cancer drugs (including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or hair loss).
Dosage and side effects of glutathione
Due to the very wide access to glutathione, there is no information on the exact doses of supplementation for humans. There is, however, a belief that the use of two servings of 250 mg per day is enough to supplement the daily requirement for this substance. Numerous studies prove that glutathione should be delivered to the body with other substances enhancing its action. We are talking about previously described vitamins B12, C and E.
The risk of glutathione deficiency is real and at the same time very rare due to the prevalence of this substance in many food products. Low level of glutathione in the blood means the pathological state of our body, which testifies to the problems of the body with the removal of free radicals. The result may be digestive problems, decreased immunity and, over time, functional disorders of the internal organs.
In the medical literature one can come across numerous studies confirming the use of glutathione in the treatment of cancer. First one of them was carried out on a group of thirteen patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity.