What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant found in every cell in the body. It is made of three types of molecules known as amino acids: glutamine, glycine, and cysteine.
Glutathione levels in the body may be reduced by several factors, including poor nutrition, environmental toxins, and stress. Its levels also decline with age.
One unique thing about glutathione is that the body can make it in the liver, which is not true of most antioxidants.
Researchers have found links between low levels of glutathione and some diseases. It is possible to increase glutathione levels through injection or intravenous (IV) supplementation.
What are the benefits of Glutathione?
- Fights oxidative stress – Glutathione reduces reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress in the body, which would otherwise damage cells and DNA. Essentially, lowering oxidative stress may reduce the risk of cancer, inflammation, brain damage, and a range of other health problems. Glutathione is equally important for the regeneration of other antioxidants your body needs, such a vitamin C and vitamin E.
- Lowers inflammation – Glutathione blocks the production of most inflammatory cytokines. If you suffer from chronic health issues, cytokines keep you in a state of constant low-grade inflammation. Raising your Glutathione levels will lower inflammation.
- Anti-aging – With less glutathione, free radicals can harm the body and accelerate the aging process and cognitive decline. Multiple studies uncovered that the body makes less of this antioxidant as it ages. In women, its levels drop at the beginning of menopause and remain lower after. Increased oxidative stress from low levels in older people can make the bones more fragile and contribute to osteoporosis. Cells depleted of glutathione are susceptible to damage. Low levels trigger a cascade that ultimately leads to cell injury and death, which accelerates aging. Replenishing glutathione levels may slow the aging process, strengthen the bone, and prevent age-related cognitive decline.
- Mental health – Research suggests that some people with certain mental disorders including anxiety, depression, OCD, and Schizophrenia have low glutathione levels. Restoring glutathione levels may help calm the mind and reduce symptoms.
- Treating autism spectrum disorders – There is some evidence that children with autism have lower levels of glutathione than neurotypical children, or those without autism. In 2011, researchersfound that oral glutathione supplements or injections might reduce some effects of autism. However, the team did not look specifically at the children’s symptoms to see if any had improved, so further research is needed to determine this impact.
- Protecting the brain – Reactive oxygen species are continuously generated while the brain burns fuel for energy. The brain needs to detox them to stay healthy, and glutathione plays a key role in making this possible. Alzheimer’s disease is, in part, caused by oxidative stress. Antioxidants may prevent or slow the disease. In addition, glutathione may help combat the oxidative stress that damages dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease. People with Parkinson’s have low glutathione levels in the brain and boosting GSH may be an early measure to prevent this disease.
- Fighting infections – Viral infections flood the body with oxidative stress due to inflammation, using up more glutathione. Once glutathione is depleted, immune cells lose their ability to fight infections.
- Gut health – People with IBS have decreased activity of the enzymes involved in glutathione synthesis. They also tend to have lower levels of its main ingredient, cysteine. Glutathione also helps renew and strengthen the gut lining. In animals, glutathione protected the gut lining,
- Heart health – Low activity of glutathione peroxidase and low levels of glutathione are linked with high oxidative stress and an increased risk of heart attacks. Cardiovascular disease is largely caused by oxidative stress in heart tissues. Glutathione can help in reducing free radicals and, in turn, cut the risk of stroke or heart attack.
- Reduces the impact of uncontrolled diabetes – Long-term high blood sugar is associated with reduced amounts of glutathione. This can lead to oxidative stress and tissue damage.
- Kidney health – Oxidative stress in the kidneys can cause mild kidney problems or even full-blown kidney failure, depending on its severity. In a study of 20 people with chronic kidney disease on hemodialysis, glutathioneimproved kidney function and reversed anemia.
- Protects the liver – Glutathione keeps the liver healthy by neutralizing the oxidative stress that can lead to liver disease. It plays an important role in detoxing the liver and protecting its sulfur-rich antioxidant pathways. When faced with harmful substances, the liver will make more glutathione to prevent damage.
- Reduces respiratory disease symptoms – Low glutathione levels can increase inflammation in the airways and cause asthma. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a lung disease caused by long-term oxidative damage. Increasing glutathione lowers free-radical damage in the lungs, which reduced the risk of developing COPD.
- Sleep apnea & improved sleep – People with sleep apnea have high levels of oxidative stress and, consequently, depleted GSH levels. In one study, increasing the levels to normal improved their sleep quality.
- Skin health – Glutathione can help get rid of acne and dark aging spots. Oxidative stress lowers glutathione in people with acne. Interestingly, glutathione lightens the skin in healthy women. It reduces the activity of skin cells that make dark pigments (melanin). As such, glutathione may help cover dark skin patches, especially those that appear with aging.
- Reducing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease – Some research suggests that maintaining glutathione levels may help with the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
- May help fight against autoimmune disease – The chronic inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases can increase oxidative stress. These diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and lupus. Autoimmune diseases attack the mitochondria in specific cells. Glutathione works to protect cell mitochondria by eliminating free radicals.
Glutathione is a very strong antioxidant that the body makes and uses every day. Researchers have associated low levels with several medical conditions.
At Edge, we’re offering free Glutathione injections for all our new patients! Schedule your consultation today!