What is it?
It is a water-soluble tripeptide composed of 3 amino acids (Cysteine, Glycine and Glutamic Acid), it participates and is essential in numerous metabolic and biochemical reactions such as the synthesis and repair of DNA, synthesis of proteins, transport of amino acids and enzymatic reactions, it is also the key molecule in the neutralization of free radicals and reactive oxygen compounds. It is also essential for the maintenance of exogenous antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, in their reduced (active) forms.
Glutathione is considered one of the most powerful intracellular defense nutrients found in the body, it tends to be found in high concentrations in almost all cells of the human body, particularly in the liver is a very active molecule, as it is an organ susceptible to toxicity, likewise in important concentrations are: the brain, the kidneys, the heart, the lungs, the skin, the intestinal epithelium, the cornea and the retina.
Medical interest in Glutathione continues to grow as research demonstrate the great protective and beneficial properties for health, in fact, in the United States Public Library of Medicine Pubmed.com shows on date of March 31/2021, more than 159,000 references on studies related to benefits in having optimal concentrations of Glutathione in the body, as well as the consequences derived from glutathione depletion related to a large number of pathological states.
The fact that Glutathione is present in the cells of all living organisms explains its great biological importance, being one of its most important actions, participating in the search for reactive oxygen species (ROS) for their elimination, thus producing cellular detoxification and the reduction of hydrogen peroxide that is formed within cells as a pro-oxidative agent and the cause of aggressive and damaging oxidative stress.
How does it work and what functions does it have in cells?
Glutathione functions as an essential cofactor of several protein enzymes that catalyze chemical reactions, favoring and playing a fundamental role in significantly increasing the rate of decomposition of food for faster and greater absorption of nutrients within the various metabolic functions:
- Participates in the conversion of drugs and other toxic chemicals more soluble in water to facilitate excretion.
- Participates as the most important (Master Antioxidant) in antioxidant defense systems.
- It is the main agent for the detoxification of the liver, lungs, kidneys and intestinal epithelia.
- Primary protector of the lens, cornea, skin and retina against radiation damage.
- Helps metabolize estrogens and inflammatory compounds.
- Regulation and maintenance of cellular redox balance.
- Participates in the transfer of iron and copper.
- Stores and transports nitric oxide.
- Regulates the function of proteins.
- Protects against free radicals.
- Stores cysteine reserves.
- Participates in the synthesis of DNA.
What are the direct health benefits it brings?
- Helps keep the immune system working optimally.
- Eliminates carcinogenic toxins absorbed in conjugation processes.
- Supports the regulation of the immune response.
- It acts as an antioxidant and cellular detoxifier.
- Increases the potency of stem cells.
- Improves stem cell differentiation.
- Controls inflammatory processes.
- Promotes T cell function.
- Decreases muscle damage.
- Protects from oxidative stress.
(Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species and the ability of the biological system to rapidly decode the intermediate reactants and repair the resulting damage that leads to different diseases such as):
- Arthritis and inflammation
- Cirrhosis, liver failure, and alcoholic liver disease
- Arterial hypertension (HTN)
- Acute kidney failure (ARF), chronic kidney failure (CRF), and dialysis.
- Other processes involved: senile cataract, muscular dystrophy, senile dementia, contact dermatitis, pulmonary emphysema, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis, cerebral ischemia, heart failure, cardiomyopathies, alcoholic lung, psoriasis, among others
How much is safe for consumption?
It is unknown, or there is no information on the side effects that Glutathione produces in oral intake; every day, there are more references about its benefits. None of them report taking special care due to the risks of overdosing.
It has not been determined that it is safe to take Glutathione during pregnancy and lactation. However, many health specialists recommend it to promote pregnancy and protect the fetus from possible neurological disorders that lead to autism in the child.
Some references mention that asthma patients should not take Glutathione; however, GSH is indicated in pulmonary processes to promote tissue inflammation, improving respiratory conditions in people suffering from COPD and pulmonary cystic fibrosis.
What foods do they provide, and how much should we eat to obtain it?
The natural source of Glutathione is found in various foods such as vegetables, fruits, and meats; however, the absorption rates of food sources in the human digestive tract tend to be low, therefore in the face of deficiencies in endogenous production that start to show from the age of 35 years, making exogenous supplementation essential to preserve good health.
The foods that provide the most significant contribution of Glutathione are fruits and vegetables; however, the minimum necessary amounts of 150 mg per day would require the daily intake of:
Avocado: 30.9 kgs. - Broccoli: 31.2 kgs. - Cauliflower: 6.4 kgs. - Asparagus: 32.7 kgs. - Spinach: 16.9 kgs. - Strawberry: 10.3 kgs. Garlic: 42.9 kgs. - Lemon: 7.2 kgs. - Handle: 6.5 kgs. - Corn: 2.7 Kgs. - Apple: 2.7 Kgs. - Orange: 7.2 kgs. - Potato: 16.5 kgs. Papaya: 8.8 kgs. - Cucumber: 5.2 kgs. - Pear: 7.5 Kgs. - Banana: 4.9 kgs. - Tomato: 11.2 kgs. - Grape: 4.5 Kgs. - Carrot: 8.8 kgs.
Source: National cancer Institute’s Health Habits
Glutathione has the ability to regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, which is why the intake of foods rich in these vitamins is recommended. Similarly, there are foods rich in sulfur such as meat, poultry and fish that contain the amino acids necessary for the body to produce Glutathione and maintain optimal levels.
What risk factors create deficiencies of an optimal level?
Different studies point out that Glutathione deficiency interferes with a cell's ability to eliminate cellular debris, favoring functionality by impairing the defense against Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species, and hydrogen peroxide.
Multiple factors affect optimal glutathione levels, including:
- Age from 35 years old when production in the metabolic process is reduced and slow.
- Dietary deficiencies.
- A sedentary life without a habit of walking or doing 30 minutes of daily exercise.
- Some liver diseases such as cirrhosis, fatty liver, or lung.
- Viral infections such as hepatitis, coronavirus, HIV, among others.
- Inhalation or contact with household chemicals.
- Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, others.
- Frequent, past severe, or chronic alcohol use.
- Ultraviolet radiation or electromagnetic waves.
- Inhalation of environmental toxins.
- Inflammation of any nature.
- Burns and skin injuries.
- Multiple drugs and vitamins.
- Septic shock from infections.
- Invasive surgical procedures.
Some people with inherited deficiencies of specific enzymes that do not synthesize glutathione can develop neurological complications later in life, making exogenous supplementation essential.
What are the presentations available on the market?
Obtaining the exogenous molecule Glutathione, similar to that produced endogenously in the body through the cells, is natural by bio-fermentation. A white crystalline powder is obtained, which is the basis for medicines, dietary supplements, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics preparations.
There are different shapes on the market; however, all of them do not enjoy the benefit of absorption that guarantees the effectiveness.
Pharmaceutical form Absorption
- Injectable (lyophilized powder and liquid vial): High
- Oral (GlutActive Sublingual Chewable Tablet): High
- Oral (vial GlutActive): High
- Oral (Liposomal Suspension and Spray): Medium
- By mouth (tablet, capsule, powder, multidose solution): Low
Different studies have shown that solid oral forms present chemical reactions with the gastric content where much of their effectiveness is neutralized, likewise the forms in liposomes, which are recognized for their better absorption, do so through the intestine; however, it is subject to hepatic metabolism, decreasing the speed and efficiency of absorption.
GlutActive has been scientifically developed in the form of chewable tablets and liquid solution for absorption in the oral mucosa, preventing the physical processes of disintegration and dilution and liver metabolism. Likewise, it is the only product of its kind that offers in its formula. The L-Cysteine precursor of endogenous intracellular Glutathione also formulates enzymatic cofactor agents in a Bioactive Complex.