As more and more evidence are emerging about the harmful role of free radicals in triggering chronic ailments, health care professionals are advising consumption of foods and dietary supplements containing antioxidants to neutralize these highly reactive oxygen species. Glutathione is one such antioxidant that according to studies helps in improving cellular function and protects against multiple illnesses. It is considered as the most powerful antioxidant, often referred to as the “mother of all antioxidants”. Glutathione is an antioxidant molecule that occurs naturally within every cell of the body. As glutathione is present inside the cell, it is considered most effective in neutralizing the free radicals that accumulate inside the cells. Glutatione is also found in fruits and vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts and other sulfur rich foods are especially rich in glutathione. This antioxidant is also available in the form of supplements. The glutathione level decreases with age. Exposure to heavy metals, viral infections, inflammatory and injuries also deplete the glutathione level. Hence, increasing intake of glutathione rich foods and supplements is recommended to prevent deficiency of this important antioxidant.
Here is how glutathione is good for your health.
Most of the age-related illnesses are caused by free radicals-induced cell damage. Moreover, buildup of free radicals in the body cells speeds up the aging process. By neutralizing the free radicals, glutathione protects almost every cell from their scavenging activities and hence helps in increasing longevity.
Liver is a vital organ involved in the detoxification process. However, a huge number of free radicals are generated during the metabolic activity of the liver. Glutathione, by neutralizing these free radicals, protects the liver from the toxin reactions.
As glutathione is present in every cell, it protects the mitochondria or the powerhouses of the cells from oxidative damage. Hence, it helps in reducing fatigue and boosts the energy level.
Strengthens Immune System
It is also an excellent immune booster. It works by protecting the immune cells from free radicals that damage the immune cells and weaken the body’s immunity to infections.
Reduces Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases
Oxidative stress is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Lipid peroxidation or degradation of fatty acids by the reactive oxygen species leads to formation of plaques in the coronary arteries, which slow down blood circulation. By averting oxidative stress, glutathione diminishes risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Improves Cognitive Function
Age-related cognitive impairment is related to oxidative stress which can be combated with the help of glutathione. Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease patients have low levels of glutathione.
Protects Against Cataracts
Depletion of glutathione level in the lens is associated with increased risk of cataracts. Glutathione supplementation can help in reducing risk of cataracts.
Prevents Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Studies have found a direct association between increased free radical activity and macular degeneration, which can be inhibited with glutathione supplementation.
Provides Relief From Inflammatory Bowel Disease
In an experimental study conducted by a Louisiana State University study team, researchers found that glutathione supplementation helps in reducing the inflammation in the gut tissues.
Alleviates Symptoms Of Respiratory Disorders
Glutathione is frequently used as a treatment for COPD, asthma and other lung disorders. It works by reducing oxidative stress in the lungs that worsens breathing difficulty.
Reduces Muscle Fatigue
Glutathione supplementation also helps in reducing muscle fatigue and discomfort during workouts and physical activities. It works by improving acidification of skeletal muscles and boosting lipid metabolism, which help in maintaining the muscle function.
Improves Fertility In Men
By preventing degradation of the sperms because of oxidative stress, which is one of the key causes of infertility in men, glutathione helps in improving the quality of sperms.
Sleep deprivation depletes the glutathione level. Increasing the glutathione level helps in enjoying restful sleep.
Reduces Risk Of Cancer
Free radicals, by damaging the genetic materials of the cell, increase the risk of cancer. The antioxidant activity of glutathione can protect against cancer.
This natural antioxidant also helps in lightening the complexion. Hence, it can be used for skin whitening.