What is Glutathione?
Glutathione, an antioxidant found in our body’s cells, protects us from various health conditions such as heart disease and strokes. Additionally, Glutathione supports detoxification, improves energy levels, maintains healthy skin, improves heart and brain function, supports healthy aging, and supports using and recycling other essential antioxidants.
Glutathione has two forms. Reduced Glutathione (L-Glutathione), is the active form, and oxidized Glutathione is the inactive form. As the L-Glutathione controls our oxidative stress, it will inactivate and turn into Oxidized Glutathione.
However, this inactivated Glutathione can be recycled back into it’s activated form because of an enzyme known as Glutathione Reductase. If this enzyme becomes overwhelmed and inhibits recycling Oxidized Glutathione back into it’s activated form, then your cells can become damaged.
Do you have a Glutathione deficiency?
Commonly, with Glutathione deficiencies, you will experience higher levels of inflammation and are at risk for oxidative stress. This can accelerate aging and increase your risk of developing a chronic illness. Click here to read more about preventing chronic illness and autoimmune diseases.
Factors that contribute to Glutathione deficiency:
- Exposure to chemicals and toxins
- Alcohol use
- Unhealthy diet (processed foods, pesticides, chemicals)
- Poor methylation
Glutathione Health Benefits
Detoxification is an important process that rids our bodies of toxins. Individuals with MTHFR mutations already have impaired detoxification, which can create many of the common symptoms associated with these mutations (bloating, fatigue, brain fog, nausea, weight gain, joint pain, headaches). Click here to read more about detoxing.
How does detoxing work?
The liver has two phases of detoxification. During phase 1, the liver’s job is to take toxins and make them water soluble, which is the form they must be in to be eliminated from the body.
Methylation plays a role in phase 2. Certain toxins require methylation for elimination, which is when methyl groups are needed. Therefore, it can be difficult for individuals with MTHFR mutations to detoxify, due to their impaired methylation. Without proper amounts of methyl groups, the toxins will sit and accumulate within the body contributing to inflammation. Click here to improve methylation through B Vitamin supplementation.
What’s Glutathione’s role in detoxification?
During phase 1 of detoxification, toxins can be turned into free radicals. These free radicals are dangerous and deplete Glutathione levels. Glutathione is essential during Phase 2 because of its role in conjugation. Conjugation occurs with toxins by binding them with protective compounds, which inactivates the toxins. Glutathione S-Transference (GST) is one group of enzymes that attach Glutathione onto toxins, helping to make them water soluble and ready for elimination. Once toxins are conjugated, they are ready to be eliminated from the body. Find an MTHFR Friendly detox here.
Supports Energy Production
Mitochondria produce energy, and this occurs within each of our cells. For the mitochondria to make optimal levels of energy, it needs protection. Glutathione protects the mitochondria from free radicals and oxidative damage. Without Glutathione, the mitochondria would be attacked, slowed, and energy production reduced. Additionally, damaged mitochondria start to create more free radicals resulting in continuous damage.
Stress also has a negative role in energy production. If you have a high metabolism, exercise often, or are chronically stressed then your mitochondria are having to work harder to produce energy to keep up with your energy needs. The mitochondria are expelling more free radicals, making Glutathione essential if you have high energy output.
Supports Healthy Aging
Glutathione helps keep your cells healthy and protects the mitochondria. High levels of Glutathione improve health and longevity, making this nutrient essential. Low levels of Glutathione can provoke cell death which can increase your risk of disease.
Protects Against Chronic Illness and Health Conditions
Glutathione deficiencies make you more vulnerable to inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which contribute to the development of chronic diseases. Therefore, optimal Glutathione levels are essential in protecting your body’s cells and preventing against chronic health conditions.
Supports Cognitive Health
Glutathione Food Sources
- Brussel Sprouts
As you can see, Glutathione has many amazing health benefits and helps keep your body healthy and happy. Do you need additional Glutathione supplementation? Click here for BiomeIQ’s MTHFR Multi-Balance, a multivitamin that contains reduced L-Glutathione, which is in the most bio-available form.
Know your MTHFR gene mutation? Take our survey to find out more about your specific mutation.