Glutathione (GSH) is a peptide consisting of three key amino acids that plays several vital roles in the body. Longevity researchers believe that it is so pivotal to our health that the level of GSH in our cells is becoming a predictor of how long we will live!
The key to understanding why GSH is so crucial for health is that every cell in our bodies produces it. In the words of Gustavo Bounous, MD, retired professor of surgery at McGill University in Montreal, “It’s the [body’s] most important antioxidant because it’s within the cell.” Although it is absolutely essential to maintaining a healthy immune system, it is not technically an “essential nutrient” because the body from the amino acids can create it L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid, and glycine.
Some of the functions that GSH is responsible for include:
· Conjugates (“links together”) with drugs to make them more digestible.
· Is a cofactor (“helper molecule”) for some important enzymes including glutathione peroxidase (which protects you from oxidative damage).
· Is involved in protein disulfide bond rearrangement (which is critical for the biogenesis of 1/3 of all human proteins).
· Reduces peroxides (natural bleaching agents that are harmful to the body).
· Participates in leukotriene production (vital component for inflammatory and hypersensitivity reactions).
· Helps the liver detoxify fat before bile is emitted, which takes stress off of the gallbladder.
· Helps detoxifies methylglyoxal, a toxin produced as a by-product of metabolism.
· Cancer apoptosis (“programmed cell death”).
In addition to helping these vital functions continue in the body, the list of glutathione benefits is long and wide:
· Plays a crucial role in immune function.
· Promotes T-cell function, which is critical for a strong immune system.
· Helps prevent drug resistance.
· Protects from environmental toxins
· And it fights cancer