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Your immune system cannot function without glutathione
The content of this article is from the book “The Comprehensive Guide to Glutathione”
by Dr. Jimmy Gutman MD FACEP
Your body does the important job of producing glutathione. But in order to do this, it needs the building blocks to do so. This is an important point to remember. When it comes to glutathione, you should not get caught up on eating foods that have glutathione or taking glutathione supplements.
Glutathione that comes from things such as glutathione supplements or food is easily digested by your body and this renders it useless in helping your body fight against disease. You want something that lasts, something that remains even when the first phase of detoxification has finished. Instead of eating foods that have glutathione, you should focus on giving your body what it needs to make its own glutathione.
Some foods that contain the building blocks for glutathione include:
When the sulfur amino acid is not adequate in your liver and lungs, glutathione levels also take a nosedive. As such, you’ll benefit from eating foods rich in sulfur. Such foods include cruciferous vegetables such as arugula, kale, turnip, collard greens, radish, watercress, Bok Choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage.
Raw milk and eggs
Eggs and milk are products that can promote glutathione production. However, in order for them to be effective, they need to be as close to their natural form as possible. This is due to the fact that high-heat processing lessens the usefulness of cultures, cofactors and proteins. As such, when you process such products, the heat destroys the building blocks that are needed to produce glutathione. Thus, instead of buying processed products, ensure the products are unprocessed.
High quality whey protein
One of the best ways to raise glutathione is by eating undenatured whey protein. This is because it contains bonded cysteine. Cysteine happens to be one of the three building blocks that make up glutathione. Cysteine is found in foods such as raw eggs, raw milk and raw meat. But nowadays, almost everyone prefers to cook such foods and this destroys cysteine.
However, there is a nutritional supplement known as Immunocal that contains undenatured whey protein. Immunocal is rich in bonded cysteine and thus, it comes in handy in enhancing glutathione production. Once you take the product, the cysteine bonds with glutamate and glycine, the other building blocks necessary for the production of glutathione. This ensures your cells have enough glutathione to carry out detoxification.
Red meat and organ meats
Organ meats and red meats contain Alpha lipoic acid. Alpha lipoic acid not only supports the activity of Vitamin C and Vitamin E but also helps regenerate glutathione. Beef liver is especially useful since it not only boosts glutathione production but also selenium production.
As you know, organ meats are especially nutritious. If you get your meat from grass-fed animals, you’ll further increase the chance of boosting your glutathione levels. If possible, try to eat raw or dried beef liver. This is because heat can get rid of some nutrients and this makes the liver less effective in boosting the master antioxidant.
Milk thistle has been around for generations and is used to treat a variety of health issues. This herbal remedy, also called Silybum Marianum, contains silymarin. These are compounds known for their antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They enable milk thistle to:
Protect the liver
Protect the bones
Boost breast milk production
Alleviate the symptoms of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
Improve cancer treatment
Lower blood sugar levels in those suffering from diabetes.
Silymarin is also the one responsible for increasing glutathione levels. One important thing it does is prevent cell damage. It also helps regenerate cells.
As you know, the liver is the main detoxification organ. It has the highest concentration of the master antioxidant, glutathione. If it is damaged, this heavily impacts its ability to carry out its work. Milk thistle helps regenerate the cells in the liver and this enhances glutathione since it is housed in the cells.
So how can you get milk thistle into your body?
Well, the first method you can use is consuming the oil pressed from its seed. This oil is edible and you can also use it on your skin and hair. Another thing you can do is eat the milk thistle plant. You can add the leaves, roots, flowers and stalks to your salads and cooked meals. If you make a habit of doing this, you’ll no doubt boost glutathione production and thus help your body detoxify.
You can also steep milk thistle in hot water to make tea. In order to make milk thistle tea, you need to crush the leaves of the plant and place them in a tea bag. Place the tea bag in a cup of hot water and allow it to steep for a few minutes before drinking it.
Turmeric is often used as a spice or to add color to foods. But one of the reasons it is so highly regarded is because it contains curcumin, which has strong healing qualities. It also happens to be very useful when it comes to enhancing the metabolism of glutathione.
The good thing about turmeric is that it can be added to many foods. You can add it in stews, soups and salad dressings. You can also take it in capsule form. The trick is to find quality products. Go for organic products that have been well ground and that are free from additives. Such products will serve you best.
In addition to eating the above foods, also increase your intake of the following nutrients that are quite effective in increasing glutathione levels.
For years, selenium has been heralded for its effect on various diseases. But now, it has become certain that one important thing that enables selenium to be effective in the fight against disease is its ability to elevate glutathione peroxidase. This is a vital enzyme found in glutathione.
You should take no more than 40 to 70 micrograms of selenium per day if you’re healthy. This is because too much selenium may lead to selenosis. This is a condition that causes toxicity in the body. You can also get your selenium from foods rich in selenium. Such foods include:
However, it is important to note where your food is grown. The foods need to be grown in selenium-rich soil for the best results.
Folic acid or folate is vital because it helps make DNA and aides in the transmission of nervous signals. Folate does another important job. It helps ensure that cysteine, one of the building blocks of glutathione, is converted into glutathione rather than being converted to homocysteine. You can take 400mcg of folic acid per day to help your body produce glutathione.
Vitamin B1 and B2
Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B2 are useful when it comes to maintaining glutathione and the enzymes related to it in their active forms. B2 also known as Riboflavin is also useful in energy metabolism and glutathione production. You can find Vitamin B1 in foods such as brown rice, yeast, pork, cereal grains, eggs and some vegetables.
Vitamin B6 and B12
Vitamin B6 is known to play an important role in the functioning of several essential fatty acids and amino acids. Vitamin B12 helps in the production of DNA, red blood cells, neurological tissues and myelin. Together, these two water soluble vitamins play a vital role in the synthesis of glutathione.
Ascorbic acid or Vitamin C is a well known antioxidant and it plays a key role when it comes to the metabolism of glutathione. Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and other antioxidants are all involved in the glutathione enzyme system that keeps them in their reduced state and thus preserves their ability to do their job as antioxidants.
Vitamin C has been shown to raise and support glutathione activity. On the other hand, low levels of glutathione render Vitamin C less effective.
Vitamin E not only helps in the prevention of various diseases but also plays a role as far as the glutathione enzyme system is concerned. It does the job of keeping other antioxidants in their reduced state. This helps in the fight against free radicals. You can find Vitamin E in foods such as vegetable oils, milk, eggs, seeds, nuts, spinach and avocado. Vitamin E is best taken in its natural for, although you can find it in synthetic form.
Zinc is an important micronutrient. Its deficiency leads to a reduction in the concentration of glutathione. This is especially so where the red blood cells are concerned. However, there is one thing you should keep in mind. Zinc happens to be toxic when it is consumed in higher levels. This ends up reduing the concentration of glutathione. Thus, you should not over-consume this micronutrient.
Vanadium has an interesting relationship with glutathione. This trace element depends on the availability of glutathione so that it can stay in a reduced state. This increases its bioavailability. However, when vanadium is present in high doses it becomes toxic. As such, it has an adverse effect on the production of glutathione. Thus, in order to keep glutathione production high, you need to keep vanadium in check and to do that you need glutathione.
Magnesium is another important micronutrient in your body. If your body does not have adequate magnesium, it’s low levels will impair an enzyme that is vital in the production of glutathione. This is why you need to eat foods rich in magnesium or take a magnesium supplement.
Ensure that your diet is high in the necessary foods that help in the production of glutathione. You can get the micronutrients from supplements or in foods.
As you strive to consume the right foods that will make it easier for the body to detoxify itself, you also need to pay attention to your environment.
Is there a relationship between glutathione and the environment? What in your environment can decrease the levels of glutathione?
will learn more about this in the following chapter in-depth.
As you focus on increasing your glutathione levels, it would be good to remember why glutathione is needed in the first place. As mentioned earlier, among other things, glutathione is needed to detoxify your body. You should also take steps to reduce how much toxins you expose yourself to. Below are things you can do to help you with that:
The most important thing you can do to limit toxins is read labels. Labels enable you to see the list of ingredients available in the food you eat and the products you use. Remember, the things you use in your day to day life are the main source of toxins in your body. If you learn to stay away from harmful products, your glutathione levels will increase and your body will not be overwhelmed by toxins.
As a rule of thumb, any products that have more than 5 syllables are suspect. If you cannot recognize such products or easily pronounce such names, it would be best to avoid them.
Filter your water
It is important to filter your water to ensure you are safe from toxins. However, you need to remember that bottled water, distilled water and reverse osmosis are acidic in nature. If you want to help your body detoxify, you need to drink ionized water or negatively charged alkaline water.
You can also cut back on the time you spend in a hot shower. This will reduce your exposure to chloroform and chlorine. You can also check to see which chemicals are prevalent in your area. This will enable you to buy the right filter for your shower.
Avoid processed foods
Processed foods contain hundreds of toxins and chemicals. They should not be consumed in large amounts if at all. You need to avoid things such as canned foods, pre-packaged foods and frozen foods.
You also need to be wary of artificial sweeteners such as Nutrasweet, aspartame, splenda and saccharin. Such sweeteners are classified as excitotoxins since they affect the chemistry of your brain. If you wish to use sweeteners, you can use natural ones such as xylitol and stevia.
Apart from avoiding processed foods, you also need to be careful about where you store your foods. For example, if you store such foods in plastic containers that contain toxic substances, you will be sabotaging your detoxifying efforts.
Alcohol is something that should be taken in moderation. This is because too much of it is poisonous. But as with all things, you should remember that toxins take time to buildup in your body. Thus, you should keep that in mind when consuming alcohol. If you drink it each day, it will affect your production of glutathione.
Another thing you must guard against is secondhand smoke. Cigarettes are bad in themselves, but secondhand smoke is worse because it includes the breath that smokers have exhaled and all its impurities.
Protect your body
You are your body’s first line of defense. Various things can harm your body but you have the power to limit such things from entering it. For example, you can choose natural products instead of using harmful products. This is especially so when it comes to things such as insect repellants, pesticides and herbicides.
You can also decide which home products and beauty products you use in your day to day life. If you make a conscious effort to choose products that contain fewer toxins, you’ll see the difference in your life as your body has less toxins to eliminate.
So far, we have covered the relationship between your diet and the environment and glutathione. In addition to these, your lifestyle can also affect your glutathione levels. Let us learn some lifestyle changes you need to make in order to increase your glutathione levels.
Drugs NAC and OTC can raise glutathione levels, but their effects are short-lived. These pharmaceutical drugs also have little nutritional value. Whey proteins have excellent nutritional value but usually lack glutathione precursors. The ideal source of dietary cysteine should be natural, nutritional, bioactive, and undenatured and As many of you are aware, whey protein, especially whey protein isolates (over 90% protein), are sometimes referred to as the “perfect” proteins because they contain all the essential amino acids required for your body’s protein synthesis. With a biological value (BV) of over 110, it would be challenging to find a protein utilized more efficiently than this product.
The use of glutathione supplementation fights all kind of diseases from respiratory to auto immune to degenerative diseases.
Without question, the best type of preventive medicine is an optimized immune system, and a critical means to optimize it is by feeding it glutathione.
This is not the same glutathione that you see at the health food store. This is glutathione precursor. It’s very different because glutathione must be made inside your cells and the precursor is the food your cells require to make its own glutathione as nature intended. That is the most natural and effective approach to boost your immune system.
It’s all natural with NO side effect.
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