Glutathione is heavily concentrated in tissues, such as the liver, spleen and the heart and plays a large role in antioxidant support. With glutathione, we get a large boost in immune support, detoxification, and protection from oxidative stress. Glutathione has been termed “the master antioxidant” because of its ability to quench free radicals and protect cells from damage.
There are many cofactors that determine whether your body is optimizing glutathione production, but lifestyle and dietary choices can have the largest impact. Modern lifestyles lead to lack of sleep, abundance of stress, and exposure to environmental extremes, such as chemicals, toxins and pollution. Our bodies were designed to handle stress, detoxify chemicals and preserve cell function, but when the burden increases, those naturally built-in systems can’t keep up with demand. That’s where glutathione supplementation comes in.
About 25% of all glutathione resides in the liver due to its central role in the detoxification process.Glutathione is more than simply an electron donor; glutathione plays an important role in protecting living cells from toxicity by detoxifying the reactive intermediates via enzymatic conjugation. Enzymatic conjugation, catalyzed by the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, occurs in Phase II liver detoxification and in gastrointestinal mucosal secretions. Glutathione conjugation provides a mechanism to neutralize reactive toxins before they damage body tissues.Glutathione can also function as a detoxifying agent within the intestinal lumen, catching harmful toxins before they enter the body and create the necessity for liver detoxification.
Glutathione supports the immune system by playing a role in gastrointestinal cells, the mitochondria, and the efficiency of immune cell function. When small intestinal mucosa atrophies, it causes an increase in epithelial permeability and compromised tight junctions, which can lead to translocation of bacteria. This translocation of bacteria is implicated in immune activation and autoimmunity. Supplementing with oral glutathione when intracellular glutathione status is compromised can restore tissue glutathione and promote ROS metabolism, thereby mitigating tissue atrophy.
In addition, glutathione protects the mitochondria from free radical damage during the ATP production phase. Mitochondrial health is imperative for overall immune function, so the support of glutathione can be a crucial role.
Check out L-Glutathione for help with optimizing detoxification, immune support, and free radical damage.
Dr. Conners graduated with his doctorate from Northwestern Health Sciences University in 1986 and has been studying alternative cancer care for over 20 years. He holds AMA Fellowships in Regenerative & Functional Medicine and Integrative Cancer Therapy.
He is the author of numerous books including, Stop Fighting Cancer and Start Treating the Cause, Cancer Can’t Kill You if You’re Already Dead, Help, My Body is Killing Me, Chronic Lyme, 3 Phases of Lyme, 23 Steps to Freedom, and many more you can download for FREE on our books page.