Most people think of vitamins A, C, and E when talking about antioxidants, but there’s a major antioxidant that gets very little attention: glutathione. Let us not overlook this little gem. Glutathione is our body’s master antioxidant; it plays a key role in our body’s natural cell detoxification by protecting our cells from free radical damage and holding off the ravages of aging — including weight gain.
Glutathione is produced in the human liver and plays a key role in intermediary metabolism, immune response and health. Among the many good uses that have been reported for glutathione are:
- treatment of poisoning, particularly heavy metal poisons
- treatment of idiopathic pulmonary firbosis
- increasing the effectiveness and reducing the toxicity of cis-platinum, a chemo drug used to treat breast cancer
- treating Parkinson’s disease
- lowering blood pressure in patients with diabetes
- treatment of liver cancer
- treatment of sicklecell anemia
Taking glutathione supplements orally isn’t effective at boosting this antioxidant, but there are some other ways to increase our glutathione levels.
- Intravenously. If you have more serious health concerns, such as leaky gut syndrome, or if your levels are especially low, your doctor may consider IV replacement of glutathione.
- Food. Some foods are remarkably good at boosting glutathione levels: sweet potatoes, walnuts, asparagus, broccoli, avocados, citrus fruits, strawberries, and watermelon.
Most of us stop producing our own glutathione around age 40, which makes our bodies less able to fight off toxins. By taking measures to increase our body’s depleted supply of this wonder-antioxidant, we can once again reap all of its youthful benefits at age 40 and beyond!