‘Glutathione …deserves attention as it is perhaps the most important anti-oxidant within cells and has proven to be highly cancer-protective,’ says nutritionist Patrick Holford, author of Say No To Cancer.
There are 89,000 medical articles on glutathione and it has been shown to help prevent ageing, Alzheimer’s, cancer as well as prepare the body for a healthy baby.
The importance of glutathione – which operates in the liver to clear toxins – was brought back to me recently over a vitamin injection.
‘Glutathione can help repair cellular damage and correct DNA mutations in cells,’ said Dr. David Jack as he hooked me up to an infusion of vitamin C, B complex (B1,2,3,5,6), biotin, glutathione, selenium, magnesium, zinc, copper and vitamin D.
Raw juices and fresh veggies contain abundant amounts of glutathione but levels are easily depleted by pollution, toxins, medication, stress and ageing. Dr. Jack, an anti-ageing expert (and gym-buff Scotsman) is one of the few doctors in the UK to offer infusions of glutathione, but he’s not alone in touting its benefits.
Holistic heavy weights including Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. David Perlmutter, Patrick Holford and Dr. Garry Gordon are also fans of the molecule.
So I thought I’d provide a quick de-brief on the latest research.
Fertility: Gluathione is essential for healthy egg quality and low levels are associated male infertility.
Anti-Cancer: Glutathione has been shown to stimulate apoptosis (cell death) of malignant cells while leaving healthy cells intact. Other studies show glutathione can help prevent toxicity from chemotherapy.
Anti-Ageing: As we age our levels of glutathione levels start to decline, usually around the age of 45. These levels can dip by as much as 50%. Supplementing with glutathione has been shown to protect the body from a host of age-related diseases including stroke, diabetes and heart disease.
Alzheimers: Glutathione remains a ‘promising therapeutic strategy to slow and prevent mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease’ according to a 2011 study.
Where to get it:
Eggs, meat, garlic and onions – all these foods are rich in the amino acid cysteine which increases production of glutathione in the body.
Broccoli Sprouts – and other cruciferous vegetables (like kale and cauliflower) support glutathione production.
Brazil nuts – selenium helps the body recycle glutathione and brazil nuts are one of the richest sources. You could also try sardines (one can provides 70% of your RDA of selenium).
Sauerkraut and probiotics – this month a team from Chalmers University of Technology found that the bacteria in our small intestine help regulate glutathione. You can read the study here.
Berries – they contain compounds called anthocyanins, which recycle glutathione and make it ‘much more powerful’ according to Holford.
Laura Bond is a journalist, author and health coach. She specialises in helping clients beat stress, reduce their toxic load and prepare their bodies for babies. To find out more, click here.