Glutathione: The tiny molecule with an enormous job
Glutathione: The areas of action
The radical scavenger as a health indicator
The amount of oxidative stress in the body can be determined by the ratio of reduced (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG). This ratio has already been dubbed a clinical marker to better assess the course of various diseases.
Normally, a ratio of 9:1 reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione is present in the human body . However, due to various toxic influences, the balance is shifted towards the oxidized status.
Oxidized glutathione must first be recovered by glutathione reductase in order to fulfill its functions as reduced glutathione. In general, the glutathione concentration is significantly reduced in chronic diseases, such as excretory, digestive or cardiovascular diseases .
Influence on the aging process
The loss of this protective function inevitably increases oxidative stress, which in turn can have a negative effect on the aging process. Based on current research results, it is assumed that the glutathione level in the body has a decisive influence on aging .
A study from Denmark confirms this and shows astonishing results. In the study, the glutathione levels of people aged between 60 and 79 were compared with those of people aged between 100 and 106. It was found that the endogenous glutathione level from the group of people over 100 years of age was significantly higher than in the younger comparison group. The 100-year-olds, who had the better health status, also possessed the higher glutathione level .
Although it was not clarified whether genetic factors or environmental influences played the decisive role, the importance of the glutathione level for health could be illustrated!
Glutathione for a shiny skin
The support of the immune system
Glutathione and the influence on the human lung
Glutathione is present in the epithelial mucosal fluid of the lung at concentrations 50 to 60 times higher than in blood plasma . Usually, inflammatory lung diseases are characterized by chronic inflammation and an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants. This is usually the main cause of cellular damage .
If an external stress, such as cigarette smoke, now occurs, the lung initially increases the body's own glutathione production to compensate for the increasing oxidative stress. However, if the organism already has to use more glutathione than usual due to negative environmental influences, it is doubtful whether the lungs can permanently withstand the increased demand.
Other factors can also influence lung function. For example, a bacterium that blocks the glutathione recycling mechanism in the lungs. According to researchers, this bacterium may be involved in why only about 20 percent of smokers develop COPD .
Glutathione in food
Glutathione is not only produced by the body itself, but is also absorbed through food. The food sources for the nutrient are meat, poultry, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables. If we compare asparagus as a food with a high glutathione content of ~ 28 mg per 100 g with conventional whole wheat bread (~ 1.2 mg per 100 g), the differences become clear .
Consequently, a balanced diet can also support glutathione intake! However, no studies are available on how much glutathione from food can actually be absorbed by the human body. Experts suspect poor bioavailability of the nutrient, i.e. that only a small portion is absorbed and actually exerts its effect.
How to enhance the effect of glutathione?
An adequate supply of proteins can ensure that new glutathione is produced in the body. In addition, the intake of cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid can help to boost the body's own synthesis. An adequate supply of selenium also supports the enzymatic processes for gluathione synthesis.
Elderly people usually have lower glutathione levels. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  investigated the effect of glutathione building blocks (cysteine and glycine) in the 60 to 75 age group.
The aim was to find out whether the increasing oxidative stress and decreased glutathione synthesis in the elderly can be compensated by dietary supplementation with cysteine and glycine. The result: a 14-day supplementation was able to increase the cellular glutathione concentration. In addition, a reduction of oxidative stress was measured!
The effective intake to prevent glutathione deficiency
However, a supportive supply only makes sense if enough glutathione also reaches the body. Due to its structure, however, the bioavailability of this nutrient is very low. Therefore, with conventional supplements, such as capsules and powders, usually only a small part is absorbed and utilized by the body.
A clinical study proves the increased bioavailability with the help of liposomes! In the study, subjects consumed 500 mg of glutathione per day over a 7-day period. The study showed that the subjects' blood serum levels increased 63-fold compared to standard products! The liposomal technology manages to exploit the full potential of glutathione without an injection!
Glutathione : Summary
Glutathione is an essential antioxidant for our body. Although the human organism produces this small peptide itself, studies also showed that in case of excessive oxidative stress caused by natural processes (aging) or external factors (pollution and stress), the additional intake of glutathione can help to stay healthy and vital! Due to the promising antioxidant properties, nutritionists recommend the preventive intake of liposomal glutathione to prevent glutathione deficiency!
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