Glutathione is a well-known ingredient commonly found in many beauty supplements nowadays due to its skin-brightening properties. However, that’s only one of the many benefits it has to offer. For one thing, it’s called the “master antioxidant” since it is the most important one out of all the antioxidants. Here’s everything you need to know about glutathione, including why it’s important and how to boost your glutathione levels.
WHAT IS GLUTATHIONE?
Glutathione is an antioxidant that the human body naturally produces. The liver is where some of the highest concentrations can be found. Approximately, it can reach up to 25% of all the glutathione’s levels.
Glutathione is made from three amino acids (or building blocks of protein): cysteine, glutamine, and glycine. It also exists in two forms, reduced glutathione (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG). GSH acts as a strong antioxidant and defends against toxic compounds.
SOURCES OF GLUTATHIONE
Other sources of glutathione include animals, plants, fungi, and some bacteria and archaea. Three common sources can supplement glutathione production internally:
According to a 2017 study, oral glutathione (in both reduced and oxidized forms) does effectively influence skin properties. While the use of glutathione injections and IV drips have surged in the past years, the Philippine Dermatology Society recently issued an advisory on the unapproved use of IV Glutathione at very high doses, as well as injections.
BENEFITS OF GLUTATHIONE
When it comes to brightening the skin, glutathione works by converting melanin into a lighter color. It also helps deactivate the enzyme tyrosinase, which helps produce the pigment.
Glutathione is often referred to as the “master antioxidant”—making it highly essential for overall health. It plays a critical role in helping the immune system fight off infections. It also helps with the body’s detoxification process, ensuring that toxins are carried out through the bowels.
SIDE EFFECTS OF HAVING LOW GLUTATHIONE LEVELS
To understand why glutathione is important, we need to know why antioxidants are important. Antioxidants, including glutathione, help curb inflammation and remove toxins in our cells. This is often caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells and cause illnesses and diseases. The effects of aging can also be attributed to free radicals.
Free radicals also naturally produced by bodies, as well as sourced from external sources—in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and even the medicines we take. It is the natural byproduct of chemical processes, such as metabolism.
WHAT TO TAKE TO BOOST YOUR GLUTATHIONE LEVELS
If you want your body to produce higher glutathione levels naturally or boost your glutathione supplements with glutathione-boosting ingredients, this list is where you can get started. Vitamin C, for example, is often ingested with glutathione to make the absorption faster.
The dosage will depend on your purpose of using glutathione. If you’re taking glutathione for a specific condition, it is best to consult your physician first.
OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS
Since maintaining optimal levels of glutathione is essential to your general wellbeing, it’s important to take care of your body. Besides diet and other external sources of glutathione, making sure that you get enough exercise and sleep. Alcohol can also deplete glutathione levels, so make sure to not drink in excess.
Give your body the energy and protection it deserves. Keep yourself strong with vitamins and supplements that nourish your body with essential nutrients you might not be getting from your regular diet. Check it out here.
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