Glutathione: The Master Antioxidant

Good Health LifestylesGet Healthy

When you hear the word “antioxidant,” vitamin C, rather than glutathione, may be the first thing that comes to mind. But while it may sound less familiar, glutathione is critical. It neutralizes dangerous toxins like mercury, creates white blood cells that fight infections, prevents free-radical damage to the brain and nerves, and recycles vitamins C and E, making them more effective.

Glutathione is created naturally in the body from three separate building blocks: glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid. But genetics, environment, lifestyle, and age can play a large role in whether you have the optimal levels of glutathione you need. If you’ve ever met someone who is full of energy and looks great as they get older, they likely have robust glutathione levels that act like a fountain of youth.

But for many people aged 45 and over, glutathione levels drop because it’s harder for the body to synthesize it. Over time, this can have serious health consequences. One clinical study found that low glutathione levels in older individuals were associated with 24 percent greater likelihood of illness or disease compared to people with higher levels.

While the obvious solution would seem to simply take a glutathione capsule, clinical research has found it’s not that easy. One study showed that supplementing with a regular capsule form for a month didn’t improve glutathione levels compared to a placebo. That’s not surprising since many supplemental forms aren’t stable and are prone to oxidation even before they are ingested. Plus, glutathione is quickly damaged and oxidized in the digestive tract, rendering most supplements unreliable.

Supplemental N-acetylcysteine (NAC), one of the building blocks of glutathione, has also been tried as a way to boost levels of the compound. But here again, the results are mixed and not always positive. One clinical study found that high doses of NAC didn’t improve brain levels of glutathione and actually worsened Parkinson’s symptoms.

Fortunately, a sublingual form of supplemental glutathione—in a tablet with a protective antioxidant coating—is a convenient, stable, and effective alternative. Placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve, the glutathione is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the inevitable oxidative damage that occurs in the digestive tract.

Clinical research found that compared to a regular supplement, this sublingual tablet increased active glutathione in the bloodstream by 38 points in just 11 days. By contrast, the regular supplement form that is swallowed actually lowered the active (healthy) glutathione in the bloodstream by 40 points, showing a 78-point difference between the two groups. The sublingual form also improved the all-important ratio of active glutathione to oxidized glutathione by 230 percent.

Another clinical study found that a twice daily dose of 100 mg of sublingual glutathione reduced arterial stiffness in men at risk of heart disease.

Choosing a daily glutathione supplement is important and must be done with care. Rather than using common oral supplements or NAC in hopes that it might raise levels of this crucial antioxidant, consider a sublingual tablet that is absorbed directly into the bloodstream for consistency and reliability.

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