Heart Disease and Glutathione

New Discovery in Cell Defense from McGill University in Montreal

The content of this article is from the book “The Comprehensive Guide to Glutathione”
by Dr. Jimmy Gutman MD FACEP

The principal antioxidant in our cells is glutathione applies to the endothelial cells of the arteries as well as red blood cells and platelets. University of British Columbia researchers led by Kimberly Cheng showed the connection among cholesterol levels, glutathione levels and plaque formation in the aorta. L.L. Ji, D. DilIon and E. Wu showed that decreasing glutathione levels as we age contribute to the formation of atherosclerosis. Although antioxidants like vitamins C and E are increasingly considered important, the naturally occurring antioxidant in the cell is glutathione. Glutathione also serves to recycle these other antioxidants into their functionally active form

An interesting article in the Japan Heart Journal described a study by A. Usal who measured the red blood cell glutathione of 21 patients with heart attacks and found evident glutathione depletion, indicating that this event presents a major demand for glutathione. Driving this point home, a New England Journal of Medicine article by Blankenberg et al., showed that low glutathione peroxidase levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack, and that measurements like this may be a way to assess individuals’ prognosis. The team goes on to say that increasing glutathione peroxidase activity might lower the risk of heart attack.

Undenatured whey proteins raise cellular glutathione and some of them — including Immunocal — may contain unusually high levels of lactoferrin, an important protein known to prevent oxidation of LDL-cholesterol. In addition, increased glutathione levels have been shown to improve the reduction of overall cholesterol levels by raising the activity of the enzyme cholesterol hydroxylase. X. Zhang and A.C. Beynen compared various proteins that reduce cholesterol in the blood and liver. Their results showed that whey proteins were more effective than other milk proteins or amino acid mixtures. The authors suggest that the lower cholesterol levels result from the inhibition of cholesterol synthesis in the liver.

Glutathione has been shown to diminish the oxidation of fats (lipid peroxidation), decrease circulating cholesterol, minimize the inflammatory response around arteriosclerotic plaque, stabilize platelets and protect the sensitive lining of the arteries. These are all important ways to combat hardening of the arteries and subsequent heart disease. Glutathione also diminishes damage to oxygen-deprived tissue during ischemia, and also during the subsequent complications of reperfusion…

Cardiovascular disease has had a huge impact on our population. It is to a great degree preventable, and strategies for raising glutathione should go hand-in-hand with a responsible diet and lifestyle. Such measures can prevent and may even help reverse this all-too-common illness.

Glutathione has been shown to diminish the oxidation of fats (lipid peroxidation), decrease circulating cholesterol, minimize the inflammatory response around arteriosclerotic plaque, stabilize platelets and protect the sensitive lining of the arteries. These are all important ways to combat hardening of the arteries and subsequent heart disease. Glutathione also diminishes damage to oxygen-deprived tissue during ischemia, and also during the subsequent complications of reperfusion.

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