When it comes to modern medicine, some of the terms that get thrown around can be quite confusing to the random layman and laywoman. Terms like cytoplasmic protein and glutamate side chain might as well be Greek for all that your average (non-Greek!) Joe and Jane can decipher them. One such term is glutathione. If you were to read that glutathione is a tripeptide that protects a body’s cells from reactive oxygen species like free radicals then you still probably would not have much of an inkling of what exactly glutathione is. On the other hand, if I were to tell you that glutathione is a naturally occurring nutrient that may have some efficacy when it comes to cancer treatment, then you would probably stand up and listen more closely.

But to step back a moment and take glutathione from the top it’s important to first examine what exactly glutathione does for the human body. If you have watched television, read a magazine or surfed on the internet lately, you have probably heard about the importance of antioxidants in the body. Well, glutathione is one such antioxidant. That means that, despite its rather scary sounding name, you actually wants glutathione in your body. It helps keep you healthy.

So what was that about glutathione and cancer treatment? Well, science has shown that glutathione actually helps detoxify foreign compounds that cause cancer. Saw, for example, you live in a small town downstream from a plant that produces noxious chemicals. Your fragile human body may very well be ingesting carcinogens from the air – via the smoke that the factory produces – and via the water – through the chemicals insidiously invading your city’s drinking water supply. That little substance glutathione is actually able to protect your body from some of those carcinogens that invade it.

We all know the importance of the immune system. Many cancers develop when the immune system malfunctions and begins to attack itself. Well, guess what? Glutathione is also vital in the functioning of your immune system. Without glutathione, your immune system would not work up to its full potential. In fact, if glutathione had not been present in the body’s of our ancestors, we might very well have evolved in an entirely different direction. If had been more susceptible to disease and carcinogens – that is, if we had less glutathione – then perhaps we would be living as entirely different beings in a totally different culture.

Do you know what else glutathione does? It even plays an important part in repairing DNA. People born with faulty DNA often have birth defects or health problems, and sometimes even do not survive. This substance glutathione, though, helps regulate the systems that repair faulty DNA. In fact, glutathione is necessary for almost every process that the body performs day to day. From brushing your hair to digesting that omelet you had for breakfast to raising your hand to hail a taxi to smiling at your co-worker as you pop into the office for the day, glutathione helps your body achieve its optimal performance.

If you are like many people, you may be wondering how you can get more glutathione. Unfortunately, scientists have found that it is difficult to offer glutathione supplements. If given orally, glutathione is not processed well by the human body. Even when giving clinical trial participants extremely large doses, scientists did not find good way to give glutathione orally. Scientists are still on the case, though, and by the time you or a loved one needs it, thanks to researchers and the miracles of modern science, glutathione may be available as a supplement.

Last updated on Nov 15th, 2009 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Glutathione”

  1. Glutathione is indeed the body’s master antioxidant as it is present in each and every cell in the body. Our body cannot ingest it orally because its size is much bigger than the cell. The good news is scientists have found a way to increase our body’s glutathione levels. How? By ingesting the precursors of glutathione, our cell is then able to manufacture it within itself. Sounds simple but a double blind crossover study has been done to prove it!

    Although glutathione is a relatively new player in the supplement market, it, however, has shown to be very promising. Why else would it be considered as a novel treatment for A.I.D.S.?

Comments are closed