We have talked about the many functions glutathione is involved in, in your body.   We have talked about the necessity of having the DNA turned on, that makes the mRNA tools that create glutathione.  We have also talked about the various supplements that provide the body with the nutrients that make glutathione.

The following is a list of foods that help provide the nutrients that the body requires to make glutathione.  Remember, however, that if the DNA is not turned on to make the glutathione, then the foods will not help.   Protandim, turns on the genes.  Products like OGF provide all the nutrients.  Foods can provide the nutrients of glutathione.

1. N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC)

The amino acid cysteine is very unstable and we tend to loose it quickly from the body.  But when it is attached to N-acetyl, we can hold onto it.  Then it becomes an important precursor of glutathione. NAC is quickly metabolized, combined with other molecules and than converted into glutathione.  Numerous scientific studies and clinical trials, have shown that NAC  boosts the intracellular production of glutathione.  It is also approved by the FDA for treatment of accetaminophen overdose. Because of glutathione’s mucolytic action, NAC  is commonly used in the treatment of lung diseases like cystic fibrosis, bronchitis and asthma.

2. Milk Thistle, Silymarin

Milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant herb.  It is most well known for provoking the development of a new liver.  It also supports the liver by preventing the depletion of glutathione. Silymarin is the active compound of milk thistle. It is a natural liver detoxifier and protects the liver from many industrial toxins such as carbon tetrachloride, and more common agents like alcohol.

3. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

The body makes ALA naturally in body, using DHA & EPA.   ALA not only increases the levels of intra-cellular glutathione, but  is a natural antioxidant.  It has the ability to regenerate oxidized antioxidants like Vitamin C and E and helps to make them more potent. ALA is also known for its ability to enhance glucose uptake and may help prevent the cellular damage accompanying the complications of diabetes.  immune, inflammatory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems simply cannot function correctly without sufficient amounts of EPA and DHA.  It also has a protective effect in the brain.

4. Natural Foods That Contain Glutathione & therefore have the various compounds

Various vegetables also help support the synthesis of glutathione.  Asparagus is a leading source of glutathione. Foods like broccoli (2), avocado and spinach are also known to boost glutathione levels.

5.  Foods that contain sulphur containing amino acids also help

Raw eggs, garlic and fresh unprocessed meats contain high levels of sulphur-containing amino acids and help to maintain optimal glutathione levels.

6.  Undenatured Whey Protein Isolate

Whey protein contains proteins like alpha-lactalbumin which is is rich in sulphur-containing amino acids.  Unfortunately, heating or pasteurization destroys the  disulphide bonds that give these proteins their bioactivity. Unfortunately, most whey protein is pasteurized.  Undenatured whey protein is a non-heated product that preserves bioactive amino acids like cystine.  Because it provides the amino acid, cystine, tt has been shown in numerous scientific studies and clinical trials to optimize glutathione levels.

7. Curcumin (Turmeric)

Treatment of brain cells called astrocytes, with the Indian curry spice, curcumin (turmeric) has been found to increase expression of the glutathione S-transferase and protect neurons exposed to oxidant stress.  The challenge with Turmeric, is that about 80% of the worlds sources are found to be toxic.  Further, it is difficult to absorb and needs to be connected to a lipid for best absorption.

8. Balloon Flower Root

A Chinese plant commonly called Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorum A. DC (Campanulaceae)) has Changkil saponins (CKS) in the roots which are thought to be the reason for increasing the intracellular glutathione (GSH).  This significantly reduces oxidative injury to liver cells, minimises cell death and lipid peroxidation.

9. Selenium

Selenium is a co-factor for the enzyme glutathione peroxidase. Selenium supplements are known  play a role in decreasing the risk of certain cancers, and in how the immune system and the thyroid gland function. However, too much selenium can cause some toxic effects including gastrointestinal upset, brittle nails, hair loss and mild nerve damage.

As usual we find that “food is our medicine and medicine is our food” as Hippocrates, the father of Western Medicine taught us 1000s of years ago.  Too bad Western Medicine became so arrogant thinking that it could out perform nature.

Be responsible, do your research, find a good health practitioner.

Here’s to your health!

For more information, contact: Dr Holly at holly@choicesunlimited.ca

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