All living things are designed with a built-in system to help keep them healthy. Green plants contain the pigment chlorophyll to nourish them and protect them from pests. Other plants such as red grapes contain resveratrol, which experts are studying as a means to retard aging in people, too. Humans are no exception. We produce a powerful antioxidant in the liver called glutathione, and when levels of it are optimal, we enjoy vibrant health.
How Glutathione is Made
L-glutathione is manufactured in the liver from the amino acids cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. Under the right conditions, the body also can manufacture these three amino acids. However, our toxic environment places undue stress on the liver, as do the processed foods many of us eat for the sake of convenience. You can be kind to yourself by providing the liver with high-quality protein (organically raised lean meats, poultry and eggs, fish from unpolluted waters and organic dairy products, beans, nuts and seeds) from which it can make glutathione.
When a toxin enters the liver (from smoking, drinking diet sodas, using chemical household cleaners and thousands of other ways), an oxygen molecule attaches to it, forming a free radical. The body's natural antioxidant glutathione attaches to the free radical, rendering it harmless. As long as this process continues, a person will remain healthy. However, if glutathione levels dip too low or can't keep up with the free radicals, trouble will follow.
Low Levels Lead to Illness
The American way of life often works against the goal of good health. Poor diets that skimp on fruits and vegetables, excessive levels of stress, alcoholic drinks to help us relax or cope, dependence on sleep aids and painkillers, use of prescription drugs and chemicals literally surrounding us make it next to impossible for the liver to keep up with the demand for L-glutathione. When levels are depleted, disease---from colds to cancer---sets in. As we age, the body isn't as efficient at manufacturing glutathione, either, as it was in younger years.
How to Increase Natural Levels
L-glutathione supplements are not well absorbed. Instead, try a supplement of N-acetyl cysteine, from which glutathione is made. Develop an antioxidant network by consuming fresh fruits and vegetables and taking supplements of resveratrol, selenium, vitamins C and E and the green algae chlorella. According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, sub-par levels of magnesium in the cell also dramatically lower glutathione levels. Since processed diets lack magnesium, he advises choosing whole organic foods that contain ample amounts it as well as taking a magnesium supplement to help keep L-glutathione levels high.
Suzanne Somers introduced many people to LifeWave technology and the glutathione patch invented by David Schmidt in her book "Breakthrough: Eight Steps to Wellness." The "Y-Age" patch that she wears stimulates acupuncture points on the body to increase the flow of energy. Schmidt says that clinical studies prove this method can increase blood glutathione levels by more than 300% in just 24 hours.
- Breakthough: Eight Steps to Wellness; Suzanne Somers; 2008
- Prescription for Nutritional Healing (Fourth Edition); Phyllis A Balch, CNC; 2006
- Photo Credit "WildFlower Girl * Free girl holding white flower creative commons" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Pink Sherbet Photography (D. Sharon Pruitt) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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