One important protein that appears in every human cell is a tripeptide known as glutathione.

Found in the highest concentrations in the liver, it consists of three amino acids: glutamic acid, L-cysteine and L-glycine.

The first record of glutathione was in 1888, but it was not until 1984 that its function in the body began to be researched in detail.

It turns out that glutathione serves as an antioxidant and detoxifier that protects cells from free radicals and oxidative stress, thus, improving the immune system.

But glutathione levels in human cells begin to decline after you turn 20. In order to produce more glutathione, supplementation of L-cysteine is recommended.

In the absence of glutathione, the body will experience several things. All the cells in the body would face premature death, causing the liver, which cleanses your body of toxic materials, to malfunction.

Worse, the entire immune system will break down – in other words, without glutathione, humans would cease to exist.

How glutathione works

Glutathione is the only antioxidant that is intracellular, meaning that it acts inside the cells. This helps to resist disease by neutralising free radicals and keeping other antioxidants like vitamins C and E in their active form.

Many scientists believe there is a link between low glutathione levels and cell death, which could be why the levels of glutathione in patients with serious diseases such as AIDS and cancer, are typically very low.

On the other hand, clinical observations of people aged 100 and more in various countries like Poland, Italy and Denmark, have found very high levels of glutathione in their cells.

Other functions of this protein include helping to process toxins in the liver; DNA and protein synthesis; and regulating the nitric oxide cycle and the metabolism of iron.

Key benefits of glutathione

Decreased levels of glutathione have several consequences that are linked to a number of age-related illnesses. This includes:

Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration – A University of Alabama study in the United States revealed that the red blood cells in male Alzheimer’s patients indicated a significant lack of glutathione.

Heart disease – A study of patients with heart disease found that the lower their levels of glutathione, the higher the likelihood of them experiencing a heart attack.

Cancer – While glutathione is not able to cure cancer, several studies suggest that the growth of new cancer cells may be reduced. Its strong antioxidant properties make it suitable as a supplement.

This is why some doctors recommend it as a supplement to treat cancer, as it improves the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs and reduces their side effects.

Psychiatric illnesses, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression – These have been linked to low levels of glutathione. The lack of antioxidant abilities in the brain can cause oxidative stress.

Glutathione has also been used to treat Parkinson’s disease, sickle cell anaemia, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and poisoning, as it is able to cleanse the body of unhealthy metals such as mercury.

Glutathione has been found to improve the quality of the human male sperm. This is achieved by the lowering of blood pressure and decreasing oxidative stress on the sensitive sperm cells, hence, minimising damage to their DNA cargo.

Couples who are trying to conceive should look for micronutrient supplements, especially n-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), which is used in the body to produce L-glutathione.

The aspiring father could also benefit from consuming scientifically-proven nutrients such as arginine, carnitine and pine bark extract.

Because it is a protein, a fair amount of glutathione that you ingest is broken down in your gut and eliminated before reaching the cells.

 

Article Source: http://www.star2.com/living/viewpoints/2016/05/29/why-glutathione-is-important-to-us/#v9QZZBkX3X5BqJzk.99

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