“Antioxidants” are certain nutrients found in our food. They help protect the cells in our body from the effect of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced naturally in the cells of our body. Their production can be increased with certain factors (pollution, tobacco, or UV rays). The excess can cause premature aging of cells and promote the development of certain pathologies. Antioxidants are therefore essential.
Glutathione is a rather unknown compound but is sometimes assimilated as the king of antioxidants. It is a protein naturally produced by the body, which plays a key role in the functioning of the body. Focus on this antioxidant.
What are Glutathione benefits?
Glutathione is often touted as the most important antioxidant. It has a very powerful ability to fight against the damage of oxidative stress which is the root cause of a lot of cell damage. It can also stimulate other defense processes. It acts as a cofactor of antioxidant enzymes and may promote the activity of other antioxidants. Indeed, it participates in the transformation of the oxidized form of ascorbic acid into vitamin C and it stimulates the antioxidant power. It also helps restore the antioxidant action of vitamin E.
In short, it traps harmful agents and contributes to the protection of the organism.
Detoxification property of the body
It plays a major role in the defence of the organism by participating in the elimination of numerous wastes and toxic compounds. It promotes the elimination of pollutants via bile or urine. It prevents their accumulation and therefore reduces deleterious reactions.
For example, glutathione is used in the removal of mercury from cells and the brain. In the liver, it limits the accumulation of toxins. Glutathione is therefore useful during heavy metal poisoning, medication, liver disease, or altered lifestyle (tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or others).
Anti-aging and pathology prevention properties
It helps to fight against premature aging and then prevents certain pathologies or their complications as is the case for diabetes, atherosclerosis, cholesterol or even cataract problems or other complications related to the eyes.
It also has a powerful role in the nervous system. It prevents degenerative nervous diseases and the appearance of certain mental disorders such as dementia or schizophrenia.
The lack of glutathione is involved in the occurrence of various pathologies. If it were to run out, the body would no longer be able to eliminate the waste and its general balance would be greatly altered. Sufficient intake is therefore recommended.
Where to find it?
Glutathione is not found directly in food. However, some foods provide the 3 amino acids that compose it. By consuming them, they will then be released during protein digestion. For a good intake, it is advisable to consume fruits and vegetables daily by promoting:
- Asparagus ;
- Broccoli ;
- The cabbage ;
- Spinach ;
- Cauliflower ;
- Brussels sprouts ;
- The mushrooms ;
- The lawyer;
- Raspberries ;
- Grapefruit ;
- Apples ;
- Oranges ;
- Peaches ;
It can also be presented as a food supplement with reduced glutathione (GSH) or by taking precursors like glutamine.
Glutathione reserves gradually decrease with age and drop sharply from the age of 50. Factors, such as significant physical activity or certain pathologies, can accelerate its reduction.
Supplementation can be done from this point on. It is advisable to take 300 mg of reduced glutathione for prevention and 600 mg if a pathology appears.
The most important thing before taking a supplement is to seek the advice of your doctor.
Vitamin C increases its absorption and effects. It is interesting to associate it with glutathione. Certain trace elements can strengthen its protective role, such as glutamine, zinc, copper, manganese, iron, and selenium. To limit the loss of glutathione, it is also advisable to have a good balanced and varied diet which includes all the food families and to have an adapted regular physical activity.
Glutathione is a tripeptide, made up of three amino acids: glutamate, cysteine, and glycine. It is involved in the transport of hydrogen. It comes in two forms:
- Reduced (GSH);
- Oxidized (GSSG).
These two forms balance each other.
Glutathione would have been discovered precisely in 1888, but scientists really became interested in its benefits around 1970.