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What is Glutathione and How Can You Get More of It?

By TJ Williams, DC, PhD

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. It is 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, 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 five ways to start today:

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 a great source of cysteine and the amino acid building blocks for glutathione synthesis. As you know, I am not a big fan of dairy. But this is an exception — with a few warnings. The whey protein MUST be bioactive and made from non-denatured proteins (“denaturing” refers to the breakdown of the normal protein structure). Choose non-pasteurized and non-industrially produced milk that contains no pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics. Lastly, make sure you do not have a food sensitivity to whey.
  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 3-5 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. Liposomal forms of glutathione do offer an option of taking glutathione, but make sure to identify food sensitivities first, as liposomal forms of glutathione will contain things like sunflower oil or possibly soy.
  5. The most effective way to administer glutathione to the body is through an intravenous (IV) drip. This is a great way to deliver glutathione directly to the tissues where it is needed most with an absorption rate of 100%.

If you would like more information regarding any of the treatments, therapies, or services offered at The Institute of Natural Health, please contact us at (314) 293-8123 or visit us online at the theinstituteofnaturalhealth.com. Dr. TJ Williams is the Clinic Director for the Institute of Natural Health and the host of the radio program Wellness 101, which provides common-sense, science-based strategies for a healthy life. Wellness 101 airs Sundays at 2:00pm on FM NewsTalk 97.1.

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