It’s called oxidative stress, from a host of sources. And to counter the damage, your system must make use of what are known as antioxidants. Ever hear of those? Well, it’s a rather simple molecule called, glutathione, that provides the greatest protection of these.
Described as the “mother of all antioxidants,” glutathione is considered to be a critical, life-giving molecule. It’s constantly in action, fighting to disarm the free radicals that strike the body’s trillion-or-so cells every day – 10,000 times, in fact – while immediately repairing any damage because of this oxidative stress.
Unfortunately, free radicals are byproducts of turning food into energy. They’re also in the food that we eat and the air that we breathe. Arriving in different shapes, sizes and chemical configurations, free radical damage can alter strands of DNA. It can help trap a low-density lipoprotein – what’s more commonly known as bad cholesterol – inside of an artery wall, or alter a cell’s membrane, affecting what enters and leaves it.
So our ability to produce and maintain a high level of glutathione is important for these and other reasons: The improvement of our immune system, the prevention of diseases, the recovery from chronic illnesses and maintenance of our physical and mental health.
Neurological diseases and cancer, to take a couple of examples, are actually attributed to the depletion of glutathione inside of cells. Whenever there’s an insufficient amount of glutathione, toxins tend to overload the liver, leading to fat-soluble toxins being stored in fatty tissues. The most susceptible areas are the breast, prostate and central nervous system.
The good news is that your body naturally produces and recycles its own glutathione, combining the amino acids, cysteine, glycine and glutamine. In fact, younger, healthier people tend to have the highest levels of glutathione. That’s because glutathione starts to decrease as we age – and as our bodies become more toxic due to environmental pollution.
In fact, the average person loses as much as 12 percent of glutathione every decade, scientists estimate. Things like infection, poor diet, increased toxic load and the use of medication can further deplete these levels – and at a much faster rate!
In the meantime, try taking plenty more vitamin D – anywhere between 60 to 100 ng/ml. It’s necessary for optimal glutathione levels. The glutathione precursors, glycine, glutamic acid and cysteine, also should be incorporated in your diet as much as possible.
The ideal vegetable sources of this important amino acid are avocados, onions, garlic, turmeric and spinach. Eat up! Better sources, however, are high-quality animal products. These include non-denatured, grass-fed whey protein, cultured, raw grass-fed dairy products and organic eggs.