The “super antioxidant” glutathione is a key player in both detox and disease prevention.
The most important ingredient in healthy longevity may be something you’ve never heard of—glutathione. This antioxidant helps combat the ill effects of aging as well as diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s and dementia to cancer and cardiovascular problems.
A combination of the amino acids cysteine, glycine, and glutamine, glutathione is produced naturally in the body, where it regulates the function of other antioxidants. No wonder that this super antioxidant also plays a vital role in immune support, fighting infection, and controlling the damaging inflammation involved in cancer and chronic disease.
Found in high levels in the liver and other organs of detoxification, glutathione is so critical to human health that the body recycles this antioxidant. But there’s a catch—and it’s a real “Catch 22.”
Simply growing older can reduce the body’s production of glutathione. So can infections, environmental toxins, pharmaceutical drugs, radiation (including electromagnetic fields or EMFs), stress, and trauma.
Dr. Ann Louise’s Take:
Humans evolved millennia ago—long before the huge proliferation of chemical and electromagnetic pollution that surrounds us all today. To accomplish the formidable task of eliminating these unwanted toxins, your liver engages in a complicated procedure.
In phase 1 detox liver detox pathway, the liver mobilizes up to 100 enzymes that bind with toxins and begin to oxidize, or neutralize, them. But some toxins are changed into more damaging forms, which need to be broken down and further oxidized in phase 2. During this critical second phase, the liver transforms toxins yet again and binds them with amino acids (the basic components of protein) or other nutrients.
Phase 2 is where glutathione plays a major role—and if this stage of liver detox is not accomplished properly, your system can get overloaded with extra toxins. Unfortunately, not everyone has enough of glutathione, so your body needs the right foods—and exercise—to support production of this master antioxidant.
Another problem is that you can’t simply take glutathione orally, as this molecule is too large to be well absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. However, I’ve recommended intravenous glutathione, known as a “push,” for some people who are electrosensitive or whose bodies carry a heavy toxic load.
Thankfully, many people can support their own glutathione production with liver-loving foods, particularly the right kind of protein to ensure that the liver can produce the enzymes it needs to break down toxins for excretion.
The “Right Stuff”
Pure, non-denatured, and unheated whey protein enhances the body’s production of the “toxic waste neutralizer,” glutathione. A new study in the British Journal of Medicine shows that whey protein also improves fat and insulin levels in overweight and obese individuals.
Since toxic overload is an often overlooked cause of weight gain, I recommend Fat Flush Whey Protein in all my detox protocols. It’s 100% natural—free of lactose, hormones, pesticides, and toxins—making it great for detoxification, as well as for high energy levels, lean muscle mass, immune support, and antiaging.
Silymarin, found in the herb milk thistle, both helps protect the liver and enhances glutathione production in the body. It calms inflammation, helps detox the liver (even in cirrhosis and nonalcoholic liver disease), while boosting production of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an antioxidant damaged by EMFs.
In a recent animal study, grape seed extract significantly increased production of glutathione, as well as antioxidant enzymes, in body tissues. Both vitamins C and E work to recycle glutathione, so make sure you get sufficient levels of these antioxidants in your daily multi. Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C help stimulate glutathione production in the body, while working to bind heavy metals for safe elimination.
Cabbage family veggies—broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, kale—enhance glutathione conjugation, where the liver converts fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble substances that can be passed out of the body through the urine. Other sulfur-containing veggies like garlic and onions help trigger glutathione and SOD.
Also useful? Artichokes contain the same chemicals in milk thistle, helping to increase the body’s production of glutathione and liver enzymes diminished by EMF exposure. Readily available this time of year, asparagus is a natural source of glutathione, plus selenium that supports production and recycling of this super antioxidant.
To enhance your body’s production of glutathione, try this recipe—it’s a Fat Flush favorite:
Puree of Asparagus Soup
1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched
½ cup and 2 ½ cups vegetable broth, divided
¼ onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
Pinch of dried mustard
Lemon zest, to taste
In a large saucepan, saute asparagus, onion, and garlic in ½ cup broth until onions are tender. Transfer this mixture to a food processor or blender. Add remaining broth and puree until smooth. Season soup with mustard and lemon zest. Serve immediately.
Fat Flush for Life
The Fast Track Detox Diet
The Fat Flush Cookbook
The Living Beauty Detox Program
“broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower”
I can eat all those! Nice texture, low calorie, low carbohydrate, high fiber — what’s not to like?
I’m a bit disappointed to see that the supplement, NAC, is not listed as it’s a very effective precursor to glutathione production. It’s an inexpensive supplement that can be found at any health food / vitamin store.