|Glutathione as a Detoxicant
Supplemental detoxicants become necessary as our environment becomes increasingly polluted. Our food and water sources are contaminated with chemicals. One of our main defenses against pollutants is glutathione, which is present in the liver in high concentrations. Glutathione acts as a detoxifying agent by combining with undesirable substances and ridding the body of them through urine and bile. It is important to note that unless the Colon, Liver and Blood are also detoxified, the benefits of Glutathione as a detoxicant may be minimized.
|To Get a Little More Technical About Glutathione
Glutathione is a ubiquitous tripeptide molecule, consisting of three amino acids joined together. These are cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine - three of the twenty two amino acids which comprise the building blocks of all known proteins. In general, the amino-end of one amino acid combines with the acid-end of another to form a peptide bond with the elimination of water. Chains of amino acids are called proteins. The sequence of amino acids and the arrangement in space of each peptide bond defines some specific structural features of all proteins and olegopeptides (few amino acids in sequence) that relate to their function.
Enhancing the Immune System
Your bodies immune activity, involving unimpeded multiplication of lymphocytes and antibody production, requires maintenance of normal levels of glutathione inside the lymphocytes. Antioxidant and Free Radical Scavenger
Glutathione plays a central protective role against the damaging effects of bacteria, viruses, pollutants and free radicals. Regulator of Other Antioxidants
Without glutathione, other important antioxidants such as vitamins C and E cannot do their job adequately to protect your body against disease. A Detoxifying Agent
Another major function of glutathione is in the detoxification of foreign chemical compounds such as carcinogens and harmful metabolites.
Free radicals and oxyradicals have been recognized by psychoneurobiologist as playing an important role in the development and progression of many of these disorders. The brain is particularly susceptible to free radical attack because it generates more oxidative-by-products per gram of tissue than any other organ. The brain's main antioxidant is glutathione- it's importance cannot be overstated. Oxidative stress and glutathione are important factors in such various disorders as brain injury, neurodegenerative disease, schizophrenia, Down syndrome and other pathologies.
|DISORDERS OF THE BRAIN AND NERVOUS SYSTEM THAT ARE LINKED TO OXIDATIVE STRESS
||Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
||Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS)
|Toxicity of lead, mercury, etc.
||Lipofuscinosis (Batten's Disease)
World renowned Glutathione expert DR. GUSTAVO BOUNOUS MD FRCSC says it all : GLUTATHIONE THE BODY’S MOST POWERFUL HEALING AGENT ( click here for more infomation
) Glutathione is your body's master antioxidant and one of the most important cleansing and healing agents. The highest concentration of glutathione is found in the liver which is the principal organ involved in the detoxification and elimination of toxic materials. Glutathione also acts to reconstitute the antioxidant vitamins C and E after they have been oxidized, and therefore plays a key role in their function.
|Glutathione is the "Life Extension Molecule"
High levels of glutathione appear to protect against the dangers of cancer, heart disease, premature aging, autoimmune diseases, and chronic illnesses. ( click here for more infomation
) Symptoms of glutathione deficiency may include coordination problems, generalized cell damage, mental disorders, various nervous system disorders, tremors, and twitching. Red cells are prone to burst, white blood cells decline in function, and nerve tissue degenerates. A deficiency of intracellular glutathione has been associated with a variety of conditions including AIDS, alcohol-induced liver disease and some forms of cancer. ( click here for more infomation
) Glutathione is a substance, the levels of which in our cells are predictive of how long we will live. There are very few other factors
which are as predictive of our life expectancy as is our level of cellular glutathione. Glutathione has been called the "master antioxidant
", and regulates the actions of lesser antioxidants such as vitamin C, and vitamin E within the body. "We literally cannot survive without this antioxidant," Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D. "What You Should Know about the Super Antioxidant Miracle"
( click here for more infomation
) "Without glutathione, other important antioxidants such as vitamins C and E cannot do their job adequately to protect your body against disease." Breakthrough in Cell Defense, Allan Somersall, Ph.D., M.D., and Gustavo Bounous, M.D. FRCS(C)
"No other antioxidant is as important to overall health as glutathione
. It is the regulator and regenerator of immune cells and the most valuable detoxifying agent in the human body. Low levels are associated with hepatic dysfunction, immune dysfunction, cardiac disease, premature aging, and death." The Immune System Cure
, Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe & Patrick J.D. Bouic, Ph.D. Glutathione
(L-gammaglutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine) is a tri-peptide of the amino acids cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid. Glutathione is an antioxidant compound found in living animal and plant tissue. It takes up and gives off hydrogen and is important in cellular respiration. A deficiency of glutathione can cause hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells, leading to anemia) and oxidative stress. Glutathione is essential in intermediary metabolism as a donor of sulfhydryl groups which are essential for the detoxification
of acetaminophen. [PDR Medical Dictionary. Spraycar. 1999] Selenium is a structural component of, and a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase. A review article published in the Annals of Pharmacology
stated that glutathione is important in DNA synthesis and repair, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, amino acid transport, detoxification of toxins and carcinogens, enhancement of the immune system, and protection from oxidation and enzyme activations." The Immune System Cure
, Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe & Patrick J.D. Bouic, Ph.D. Research suggests that abnormally low glutathione levels may increase your risk for Heart Attack
. Eric Topol, MD, New England Journal of Medicine
. "Glutathione has potent anti-viral properties - if tissue and serum glutathione levels are significantly increased, the replication of most pathogens are slowed or stopped. Conversely, glutathione deficiency produces a pro-viral effect." Paul Cheney, M.D., Ph.D. and expert in the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Transcribed from a workshop presentation on the clinical management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
GSH's metabolic functions include :
- Lymphocytes, cells vital for effective immune function, depend on GSH for their proper function and replication.
IMMUNOLOGY 61: 503-508 1987
- As we age, there is a precipitous drop in GSH levels. Lower glutathione levels have been implicated in many diseases associated with aging.
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 47: 1021-28 1994
- Antioxidants are well documented to play vital roles in health maintenance and disease prevention. GSH is your cells' own major antioxidant.
Biochemical Pharmacology 47: 2113-2123 1994
- GSH plays a role in eliminating many carcinogens as well as maintaining immune function.
Cancer Letters 57: 91-94 1991
- Strong muscular activity, such as that experienced by athletes, generates oxyradicals [free radicals] leading to muscle fatigue and poorer performance. GSH neutralizes these radicals.
Sport Medicine 21: 213-238, 1996
- GSH detoxifies many pollutants, carcinogens, and poisons, including many in fuel exhaust and cigarette smoke. It retards damage from radiation such as seen with loss of the ozone.
Annual Reviews of Biochemistry 52: 711-780 1983
+ Enhancement of Immune Function
+ Elimination of Toxins
+ Elimination of Carcinogens
+ Antioxidant Cell Protection
+ Protection against Ionizing Radiation
+ DNA Synthesis and Repair
+ Protein Synthesis
+ Prostaglandin Synthesis
+ Leukotriene Synthesis
+ Amino Acid Transport
+ Amino Acid Transport
+ Enzyme Activity and Regulation
There have been no reports of glutathione overdosage in the literature.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Glutathione is available as a single ingredient dietary supplement or in combination products. Dosage ranges from 50 to 600 milligrams daily.
Oral doses of up to 600 milligrams per intake are well tolerated. There are no reports of adverse reactions.
Dietary glutathione is found in fresh and frozen fruits
, and meat
are particularly rich dietary sources of Glutathione.
|Glutathione: Systemic Protectant Against Oxidative and Free Radical Damage
Dedicated to the memory of Professor Daniel Mazia, my PhD mentor and a pioneer in cell biology
Parris M. Kidd, Ph.D.
Glutathione Deficiency in Liver Diseases GSH depletion has been suggested to represent an important contributory factor to liver injury, and to enhanced morbidity related to liver hypofunction. In one small study, subnormal plasma concentrations of GSH were observed in cirrhosis patients, independent of their diet.47 A larger study demonstrated a four- to eight-fold decrease in plasma GSH in 48 cirrhotic patients versus 18 healthy volunteers. A significant decrease in cysteine in severe cirrhosis also was observed. Altomare and collaborators measured liver GSH and GSSG in chronic alcoholics, in patients with nonalcoholic liver diseases (fatty liver, acute and chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis), and control patients (admitted for uncomplicated abdominal procedures). They found GSH decreased in the alcoholic and nonalcoholic liver disease groups, compared with the control groups; GSSG was also significantly higher in these groups. The investigators postulated that decreased GSH and/or increased GSSG could have contributed to liver injury susceptibility and toxic risk in these patients, while altering fundamental cell functions such as protein synthesis, enzyme activities, transport processes, microtubular and other structural support, and secretion mechanisms. Other studies also have documented plasma and liver GSH decreases in patients with acute viral hepatitis, and in chronic cases of hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, or nonalcoholic cirrhosis. Deficiency of GSH caused by one toxin may render the liver more vulnerable to other toxins. One example is acetaminophen intake superimposed on the alcohol-damaged liver. In a group of chronic alcoholics with GSH deficiency, acetaminophen did not lower GSH unless gamma-glutamyl transferase (SGGT) was high to begin with. Those subjects with abnormally elevated SGGT manifested abnormally lowered plasma GSH after acetaminophen intake, and were therefore more predisposed to further liver damage from other toxic agents. Glutathione and Lung Diseases Being directly in the path of airborne materials, the lung tissue is particularly at risk from oxidative stressors such as cigarette smoke, atmospheric pollutants, and other inhaled environmental toxins. GSH and GSH-associated enzymes present in the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) of the lower respiratory tract may be the first line of defense against such challenges. Sustained oxidative challenge to the lung results in depletion of GSH and other antioxidants from the lungs. GSH deficiencies have been documented in a number of pulmonary diseases, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and neonatal lung damage. Patients with ARDS and sepsis have a deficiency of GSH in the ELF as compared with healthy subjects and a greater percentage of the total ELF glutathione is in the oxidized form (GSSG), indicating increased oxidative stress in the lower respiratory tract. When GSH was repleted in their ELF using intravenous N-acetylcysteine, patients in intensive care regained independent lung function and left the intensive care unit significantly faster. Airway inflammation in asthma also features increased generation of free radical oxidants. As earlier indicated from animal experiments, subjects with mild asthma seemingly have the capacity to adaptively increase their antioxidant defenses, as manifested in their alveolar GSH concentrations being significantly higher than healthy volunteers. By contrast, in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, GSH concentrations in the ELF are a mere 25% of normal, and may contribute to the pathophysiology of this disease. Infants born prematurely at 25 weeks average gestational age were found to have significantly lower pulmonary GSH than did infants born at 40 weeks. Among infants born at 35 weeks, those with lower GSH levels in their ELF were found more susceptible to subsequent chronic lung disease. These findings suggest that poor lung GSH status at birth may predispose the infant to respiratory pathologies. Glutathione, Immunity, and HIV Disease As with other cell types, the proliferation, growth, and differentiation of immune cells is dependent on GSH. Both the T and the B lymphocytes require adequate levels of intracellular GSH to differentiate, and healthy humans with relatively low lymphocyte GSH were found to have significantly lower CD4 counts. Intracellular GSH is also required for the T-cell proliferative response to mitogenic stimulation, for the activation of cytotoxic T "killer" cells and for many specific T-cell functions, including DNA synthesis for cell replication, as well as for the metabolism of interleukin-2 which is important for the mitogenic response. Experimental depletion of GSH inhibits immune cell functions, sometimes markedly and in a number of different experimental systems the intracellular GSH of lymphocytes was shown to determine the magnitude of immunological capacity.58 These and other findings indicate that intracellular GSH status plays a central role in the functioning of immune cells. In the auto-immune diseases of systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and as seen in aging, T lymphocytes demonstrate depressed responsiveness to antigens and mitogens, perhaps because of insufficient IL-2 production (see reference 60 for a review). Patients with RA had low blood sulfhydryl (-SH) status as did patients with Type II diabetes or with ulcerative colitis. Chronic viral infections may trigger GSH depletion in circulating immune cells or GSH/GSSG imbalance. Patients chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus were found to have low GSH in their circulating monocytes. Monocyte GSH levels were abnormal in early HIV-1 disease then in patients with advanced disease the GSH levels normalized in monocytes but the GSH/GSSG ratio became abnormal. Significant decreases in the plasma levels of both cysteine and cystine also were documented in subjects with HIV-1 infection. Since cysteine is a rate-limiting precursor for GSH synthesis, an associated decrease of GSH in the lung ELF was highly suggestive of a systemic GSH insufficiency in these subjects. The most marked GSH decreases occurred in subjects who were asymptomatic but had CD-4 counts below 400. Both the abnormal cytokine expression and the progression to weight loss seen in HIV-1 disease may be linked (at least in part) to abnormalities in the uptake of GSH precursors by immune cells of HIV-1 subjects, and/or to abnormalities in their synthesis of GSH.