Written by MARK HYMAN, MD
This articlewas originally published on drhyman.com
GLUTATHIONE (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own”) is the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and prevent aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more, and necessary to treat everything from autism to Alzheimer’s disease. I called it the mother of all antioxidants.
The good news is that your body produces its own glutathione. The bad news is that toxins from poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all deplete your glutathione.
This leaves you susceptible to unrestrained cell disintegration from oxidative stress, free radicals, infections and cancer. And your liver gets overloaded and damaged, making it unable to do its job of detoxification.
How does it work? The secret of glutathione is the sulfur (SH) chemical groups it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule. It acts like fly paper and all the bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins like mercury and other heavy metals. Normally glutathione is recycled in the body — except when the toxic load becomes too great. And that explains why we are in such trouble.
But as I said, there is also good news. You can do many things to increase this natural and critical molecule in your body and here are four ways to start today:
4 Tips to Boost your Glutathione Levels
- 1. Consume sulfur-rich foods. The main ones in the diet are garlic, onions and the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, etc).
- 2. Try bioactive whey protein. This is great source of cysteine and the amino acid building blocks for glutathione synthesis. As you know, I am not a big fan of dairy.
- 3. Exercise boosts your glutathione levels and thereby helps boost your immune system, improve detoxification and enhance your body’s own antioxidant defenses. Start slow and build up to 30 minutes a day of vigorous aerobic exercise like walking or jogging, or play various sports. Strength training for 20 minutes 3 times a week is also helpful.
- 4. Take Glutathione Supporting Supplements. One would think it would be easy just to take glutathione as a pill, but the body digests protein — so you wouldn’t get the benefits if you did it this way. However, the production and recycling of glutathione in the body requires many different nutrients and you CAN take these.
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