Do you know what glutathione is?

Spinach - source of glutathione

We have touched briefly on the immune system and that there are 4 major components and all kinds of sub components to establish a good gut, where about 72% of your immune system operates.

One of those major components was glutathione. It is a compound that every cell in the body makes and has to be made inside the cell as it is too large to cross the cellular membrane. Glutathione is involved in more processes in the body than any other compound, so it becomes incredibly important to not only to the immune system but to the whole body. So, let’s check that out.

As we said, glutathione is a compound that the body makes inside the cells. If the cell doesn’t have enough it will go into self-imposed, or DNA regulated death.

The following is a short list of the processes that glutathione is involved in…

Anti-aging – Involved, like other antioxidants in preventing telomere breakdown but also the only known molecule that can provoke telomere creation

Calcium movement – Required for regulation of Ca movement (gating of cardio cell function)

Cellular Energy – Cellular energy is provided by the ATP; created by the mitochondria
GSH is the only known molecule that protects the mitochondria

Detoxification – Major component of Phase II in liver detox
Major component of all cellular detoxification

DNA – Protects DNA from going sideways;
involved in both or elimination of abnormal DNA
also required in protein synthesis

Hormone regulation – Involved either directly or indirectly with all hormones in the body

Immune system – supports and/or regulates
Lymphocytes, eg., T cells, B cells, macrophages, TNF, NK, etc

Inflammation – helps regulate the inflammatory system which is part of the immune system
Major component of healthy inflammation resolution

Master Antioxidant
Endogenous – made inside of the cell
Re-stabilizes itself and all other antioxidants
Deals with all 6 categories of free radicals
Works inside the cell; in cell the membrane; and outside of the cell

NO regulation – Regulates Nitric oxide; NO involved in dilating the arteries, hormone regulation
Hugely involved in the immune system – all cells in the immune system require glutahtione to develop, respond and repair

Respiratory – 40% required in RBC to both pick up/release both O2 & CO2

Vasodilation/constriction – Involved in arteries dilating and constricting

But there are a number of issues that can deplete your glutathione levels:

  • Age
  • Dehydration
  • Diet
  • Genetic abnormalities
  • Infections
  • Illegal drugs
  • Injuries
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Pollution
  • Prescription drugs
  • Radiation
  • Stress
  • Too much exercise
  • Too much sun
  • Toxins: herbicides, insecticides, pesticides

In today’s world, an important consideration is graphene oxide. Now we have heard how graphene oxide is in the PCR testing, the jabs, annual flu shots, hair shampoos & conditioners, cheaper soaps, hair dyes, food packaging, prescription drugs, bottled water, etc etc

Graphene oxide is a harmful compound to the body and glutathione needs to eliminate it. But now with the prevalence of graphene oxide, it is depleting our glutathione which leaves the body open and susceptible to all kinds of issues.

So, what is involved in making glutathione in the body? Well obviously, nutrients have to be able to be digested and absorbed; move across the mucosal membrane in the gut; then be modified in the liver; put back into the blood and sent throughout the body via the blood; then absorbed across the cellular membrane into the cells. There needs to be enough glutathione in the cell to move the amino acids around.

Then we have all the cellular components involved in the glutathione production: predominantly DNA/RNA, mitochondria, and the methylation cycles. Each requiring their own nutrients.

Can we just take glutathione aka GSH from a health food store? Sure you can, but it is broken down into three amino acids and a hydro sulfur in the hydrochloric acid in the stomach. We tend to lose the cysteine quickly as it is the most unstable of all the amino acids. Which is why people take NAC or N-acetylcysteine.

However, you should not take it for prolonged periods of time. The reason I would suggest this is that the body can make Cysteine from other amino acids, in particular methionine and serine. So if we keep taking NAC, the body stops producing its own cysteine. My perspective, is that we don’t want the body to become dependent on supplements, when it can do the job itself.

Prolonged usage of NAC or too much NAC can result in various side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Eye irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting

In addition, the body can make the cysteine (note: NAC is a compound that stabilizes cysteine in the body) and if we keep taking it the body will stop doing what it is supposed to do, so never take it for any length of time.

You should not take NAC if you are taking Nitroglycerin – whether in pills, cream, or patches.

It might not be a good supplement to take if you have cancer as it may support cancer cells, the flip side of the coin is that it may help you eliminate the cancer…so that is still controversial.

Having said that, NAC is also good for:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Improving insulin resistance for diabetics
  • Improving lung function especially in people with asthma and cystic fibrosis (helps to thin the mucus)
  • Increasing levels of glutathione
  • Insulin resistance
  • Protecting the liver
  • Preventing drug toxicity
  • PCOS infertility

In addition, it can:

  • help support pregnancy outcomes
  • protect the liver
  • protect the kidneys
  • reduce lung mucosal secretions
  • reduce various psychiatric syndromes (ie., those associated with oxidative stress, impulsivity, compulsions, etc
How to increase glutathione production:

Foods high in glutathione include: avocados, spinach, asparagus

Foods high in cysteine include garlic, salmon, chicken & turkey, cheese & yogurt, eggs, and nuts

Foods high in glutamate include: soy, dairy, nuts, peas, tomatoes, mushrooms, meats, processed foods
Also regulates receptors of various neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine; but too much can cause problems like excitotoxicity (nerve cells are over stimulated and start to die)

Foods high in glutamine include: grass fed meat & dairy/yogurt/ricotta cheese, chicken & eggs, lamb; fish, mussles, shrimp, crab, vegetables like asparagus, dark leafy greens and red cabbage, nuts, legumes like kidney beans, most abundant in the body and besides glutathione maintains the pH balance in the body; muscle mass; and is involved in cognitive processes

Foods high in sulfur include: meat: turkey, beef, chicken & eggs, fish; vegetables: cruciferous (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, arugula, kale, radishes and all the leafy green vegetables;

Herbs: garlic, leeks, onions, scallions and shallots; nuts & seeds: chickpeas, lentils

Other options include:
  • Hemp oil – for all the amino acids
  • Selenium – is a glutathione cofactor
  • Turmeric and milk thistle – helps the body make glutathione

Bottom line: life transfer factor, glutathione is hugely important to the body and in particular, in consideration of what we are dealing with in today’s world, to the immune system and the detox system.

So along with the transfer molecules (email Ho***@ch**************.ca if you want to get the best transfer molecules), glutathione is hugely important to your immune system.

But you also now know how to take care of your glutathione levels.

And of course, let’s not forget good regular exercise, good sleep, and good mental and emotional healthy. They are all intertwined.