by Steven M. Rachlin, M.D.
Glutathione is the single most powerful antioxidant your body produces—and recycles. A combination of three amino acids—glycine, glutamate and cysteine—glutathione helps prevent cell damage from heavy metals and free radicals, so having enough circulating in your cells is essential to living a vibrant, energetic life. Come up short, however, and you’re leaving yourself open to any number of health problems that can make you old and sick way before your time. To keep healthy and energetic for as long as possible, let glutathione take the wheel. All you need to do is support its production with a few healthy habits.
Glutathione is made in your liver, the organ most responsible for detoxifying your body, so one that’s functioning optimally is the foundation of a plentiful glutathione supply. There are a number of everyday assaults on your system that can take a bite out of your body’s glutathione stores, leaving you exhausted and sluggish:
- Exposure to environmental toxins and heavy metals.
- Household chemicals (cleaning products, air fresheners, detergents, etc.).
- Antibiotic use and overuse.
- Chemical sweeteners, like Sweet‘N Lo, Splenda, Equal, etc.
- Processed foods, food preservatives, and genetically modified foods.
- Prescription and some over-the-counter meds, like Tylenol.
- Ultraviolet radiation, medical X-rays, chemotherapy and electromagnetic fields.
- Alcohol use and abuse.
- Unrelieved stress and lack of exercise—or too strenuous exercise, which can produce too many free radicals.
- Poor diet—or one that’s too low in vitamins, minerals or antioxidants.
- The natural aging process, which drops cellular glutathione production on average 10 percent per decade.
- Bottom line: Minimize the depleters to support optimal liver function and ultimately keep glutathione production high.
Not totally convinced of glutathione’s importance to your overall health? studies have shown that being glutathione-deficient has a profoundly negative impact on health, with low levels being linked to numerous serious, chronic health problems, like Alzheimer’s; a wide range of cancers; eye problems, like cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma; diabetes; autoimmune diseases; liver, kidney, lung and heart disease; multiple sclerosis; Parkinson’s; and many more.
Okay, so you know you need to have as much glutathione in your corner as you can get. Here’s what all that glutathione is up to while you’re busy going about your business:
- Protecting your DNA from damage and maintaining optimal immunity.
- Protecting against damage from free radicals, which in turn tamps down inflammation, and helps fend off heart disease, cancer, neurological decline, dementia and many more of the debilitating diseases we fear most.
- Neutralizing and clearing out heavy metals and toxins.
- Keeping your mitochondria pumping out energy.
- Conferring powerful anti-aging benefits, and for many, more youthful-looking skin.
Declining levels of glutathione are a natural side effect of aging, so boosting your levels is a good idea, particularly if you’re suffering with typical deficiency symptoms, like lethargy, frequent headaches, brain fog, skin eruptions, sleep or mood disorders, or if you seem to catch a lot of colds.
To optimize your glutathione supply, I recommend a multi-pronged approach, combining a nutrient-dense diet with stress-reduction, exercise and smart supplementation.
Source: Steven M. Rachlin, M.D., of Rachlin Medical Center (927 Willis Ave., Albertson), has been practicing for more than 30 years. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 516-873-7773 or visit RachlinMedicalFacility.com.