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February 2, 2014
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Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants
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It's the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and prevent
disease -- yet you've probably never heard of it. It's the secret to
prevent aging, cancer
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/reducing-breast-cancer-risk>, heart
disease <http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/cholesterol-heart-disease>,
dementia <http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/9-steps-to-reverse-dementia>
and more, and necessary to treat everything from autism
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/current-thinking-about-autism> to
Alzheimer's disease
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/9-steps-to-reverse-dementia>. There
are more than 89,000 medical articles about it -- but your doctor
doesn't know how address the epidemic deficiency of this critical
life-giving molecule ...
What is it? I'm talking about the mother of all antioxidants, the master
detoxifier and maestro of the immune system: GLUTATHIONE
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/glutathione> (pronounced
"gloota-thigh-own").
The good news is that your body produces its own glutathione. The bad
news is that poor diet
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/ultrawellness-key-1>, pollution
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/ultrawellness-key-5>, toxins
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/ultrawellness-key-5>, medications,
stress <http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/ultrawellness-key-7>, trauma,
aging, infections and radiation all deplete your glutathione.
This leaves you susceptible to unrestrained cell disintegration from
oxidative stress
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/ultrawellness-key-6>, free radicals,
infections and cancer. And your liver gets overloaded and damaged,
making it unable to do its job of detoxification.
In treating chronically ill patients with Functional Medicine
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/functional-medicine> for more than 10
years, I have discovered that glutathione deficiency is found in nearly
all very ill patients. These include people with chronic fatigue
syndrome, heart disease
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/cholesterol-heart-disease>, cancer
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/reducing-breast-cancer-risk>, chronic
infections, autoimmune disease
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/autoimmune-disease>, diabetes
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/type-2-diabetes>, autism
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/current-thinking-about-autism>,
Alzheimer's disease
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/9-steps-to-reverse-dementia>,
Parkinson's disease, arthritis
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/9-simple-steps>, asthma
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/9-simple-steps>, kidney problems,
liver disease and more.
At first I thought that this was just a coincidental finding, but over
the years I have come to realize that our ability to produce and
maintain a high level of glutathione is critical to recovery from nearly
all chronic illness -- and to preventing disease and maintaining optimal
health and performance. The authors of those 76,000 medical articles on
glutathione I mentioned earlier have found the same thing!
So in today's blog I want to explain what glutathione is, why it's
important and give you 9 tips that will help you optimize your
glutathione levels, improve your detoxification system and protect help
yourself from chronic illness.
*What is Glutathione?*
Glutathione is a very simple molecule that is produced naturally all the
time in your body. It is a combination of three simple building blocks
of protein or amino acids -- cysteine, glycine and glutamine.
The secret of its power is the sulfur (SH) chemical groups it contains.
Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule. It acts like fly paper and all the
bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins
like mercury
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/get-lethal-poison-out-of-your-body>
and other heavy metals.
Normally glutathione is recycled in the body -- except when the toxic
load becomes too great. And that explains why we are in such trouble ...
In my practice, I test the genes involved in glutathione metabolism.
These are the genes involved in producing enzymes that allow the body to
create and recycle glutathione in the body. These genes have many names,
such as GSTM1, GSTP1 and more.
These genes impaired in some people for a variety of important reasons.
We humans evolved in a time before the 80,000 toxic industrial chemicals
found in our environment today were introduced into our world, before
electromagnetic radiation was everywhere and before we polluted our
skies, lakes, rivers, oceans and teeth with mercury and lead.
That is why most people survived with the basic version of the genetic
detoxification software encoded in our DNA, which is mediocre at ridding
the body of toxins. At the time humans evolved we just didn't need more.
Who knew we would be poisoning ourselves and eating a processed,
nutrient-depleted diet thousands of years later?
Because most of us didn't require additional detoxification software,
almost of half of the population now has a limited capacity to get rid
of toxins. These people are missing GSTM1 function -- one of the most
important genes needed in the process of creating and recycling
glutathione in the body.
Nearly all my very sick patients are missing this function. The
one-third of our population that suffers from chronic disease is missing
this essential gene. That includes me. Twenty years ago I became mercury
poisoned and suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome due to this very
problem. My GSTM1 function was inadequate and I didn't produce enough
glutathione as a result. Eventually, my body broke down and I became
extremely ill ...
This is the same problem I see in so many of my patients. They are
missing this critical gene and they descend into disease as a result.
Let me explain how this happens ...
*The Importance of Glutathione in Protecting Against Chronic Illness*
Glutathione is critical for one simple reason: It recycles antioxidants
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/ultrawellness-key-6>. You see,
dealing with free radicals is like handing off a hot potato. They get
passed around from vitamin C to vitamin E to lipoic acid and then
finally to glutathione which cools off the free radicals and recycles
other antioxidants. After this happens, the body can "reduce" or
regenerate another protective glutathione molecule and we are back in
business.
However, problems occur when we are overwhelmed with too much oxidative
stress <http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/ultrawellness-key-6> or too
many toxins <http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/ultrawellness-key-5>.
Then the glutathione becomes depleted and we can no longer protect
ourselves against free radicals, infections, or cancer and we can't get
rid of toxins. This leads to further sickness and soon we are in the
downward spiral of chronic illness.
But that's not all. Glutathione is also critical in helping your immune
system <http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/ultrawellness-key-3> do its
job of fighting infections and preventing cancer
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/reducing-breast-cancer-risk>. That's
why studies show that it can help in the treatment of AIDS.(i
<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11029607>)
Glutathione is also the most critical and integral part of your
detoxification system
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/ultrawellness-key-5>. All the toxins
stick onto glutathione, which then carries them into the bile and the
stool -- and out of your body.
And lastly, it also helps us reach peak mental and physical function.
Research has shown that raised glutathione levels decrease muscle
damage, reduce recovery time, increase strength and endurance and shift
metabolism from fat production to muscle development.
If you are sick or old or are just not in peak shape, you likely have
glutathione deficiency.
In fact, the top British medical journal, the /Lancet/, found the
highest glutathione levels in healthy young people, lower levels in
healthy elderly, lower still in sick elderly and the lowest of all in
the hospitalized elderly. (ii <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11271724>)
Keeping yourself healthy, boosting your performance, preventing disease
and aging well depends on keeping your glutathione levels high. I'll say
it again ... Glutathione is so important because it is responsible for
keeping so many of the keys to UltraWellness
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/7-keys-to-ultrawellness> optimized.
It is critical for immune function and controlling inflammation. It is
the master detoxifier and the body's main antioxidant, protecting our
cells and making our energy metabolism run well.
And the good news is that you can do many things to increase this
natural and critical molecule in your body. You can eat
glutathione-boosting foods. You can exercise. And you can take
glutathione-boosting supplements. Let's review more specifics about each.
*9 Tips to Optimize your Glutathione Levels*
These 9 tips will help you improve your glutathione levels, improve your
health, optimize your performance and live a long, healthy life.
/Eat Foods that Support Glutathione Production/
*1. Consume sulfur-rich foods.* The main ones in the diet are garlic,
onions and the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards,
cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, etc.).
*2. Try bioactive whey protein.* This is great source of cysteine and
the amino acid building blocks for glutathione synthesis. As you know, I
am not a big fan of dairy
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/why-you-should-avoid-milk>. But this
is an exception -- with a few warnings. The whey protein MUST be
bioactive and made from non-denatured proteins ("denaturing" refers to
the breakdown of the normal protein structure). Choose non-pasteurized
and non-industrially produced milk that contains no pesticides,
hormones, or antibiotics. Immunocal is a prescription bioactive
non-denatured whey protein that is even listed in the Physician's Desk
Reference.
/Exercise for Your Way to More Glutathione/
*3. Exercise boosts your glutathione levels* and thereby helps boost
your immune system, improve detoxification and enhance your body's own
antioxidant defenses. Start slow and build up to 30 minutes a day of
vigorous aerobic exercise like walking or jogging, or play various
sports. Strength training for 20 minutes 3 times a week is also helpful.
/Take Glutathione Supporting Supplements/
One would think it would be easy just to take glutathione as a pill, but
the body digests protein -- so you wouldn't get the benefits if you did
it this way. However, the production and recycling of glutathione in the
body requires many different nutrients and you CAN take these. Here are
the main supplements that need to be taken consistently to boost
glutathione. Besides taking a multivitamin and fish oil, supporting my
glutathione levels with these supplements is the most important thing I
do every day for my personal health.
*4. N-acetyl-cysteine.* This has been used for years to help treat
asthma and lung disease and to treat people with life-threatening liver
failure from Tylenol overdose. In fact, I first learned about it in
medical school while working in the emergency room. It is even given to
prevent kidney damage from dyes used during x-ray studies.
*5. Alpha lipoic acid.* This is a close second to glutathione in
importance in our cells and is involved in energy production
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/ultrawellness-key-6>, blood sugar
control <http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/insulin-resistance>, brain
health
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/the-ultramind-solution-broken-brain>
and detoxification
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/ultrawellness-key-5>. The body
usually makes it, but given all the stresses we are under, we often
become depleted.
*6. Methylation nutrients
<http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog/maximizing-methylation> (folate and
vitamins B6 and B12).* These are perhaps the most critical to keep the
body producing glutathione. Methylation and the production and recycling
of glutathione are the two most important biochemical functions in your
body. Take folate (especially in the active form of 5
methyltetrahydrofolate), B6 (in active form of P5P) and B12 (in the
active form of methylcobalamin).
*7. Selenium.* This important mineral helps the body recycle and produce
more glutathione.
*8. A family of antioxidants including vitamins C and E* (in the form of
mixed tocopherols), work together to recycle glutathione.
*9. Milk thistle (silymarin)* has long been used in liver disease and
helps boost glutathione levels.
So use these nine tips and see how they work to help you optimzie your
glutathione levels. When you do, you will take one more step to lifelong
vibrant health <http://newsletter.ultrawellness.com/eo/signup/1015>.
Now I'd like to hear from you...
Had you ever heard of this important nutrient before?
Have you tried any of the advice in this article?
What effects have you noticed on your health?
Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, M.D.
*References*
(i) De Rosa SC, Zaretsky MD, Dubs JG, Roederer M, Anderson M, Green A,
Mitra D, Watanabe N, Nakamura H, Tjioe I, Deresinski SC, Moore WA, Ela
SW, Parks D, Herzenberg LA, Herzenberg LA. N-acetylcysteine replenishes
glutathione in HIV infection. Eur J Clin Invest. 2000 Oct;30(10):915-29
(ii) Nuttall S, Martin U, Sinclair A, Kendall M. 1998. Glutathione: in
sickness and in health. The /Lancet /351(9103):645-646
/Mark Hyman, M.D. <http://www.ultrawellness.com/blog> practicing
physician and founder of The UltraWellness Center
<http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com> is a pioneer in functional
medicine. Dr. Hyman is now sharing the 7 ways to tap into your body's
natural ability to heal itself
<http://newsletter.ultrawellness.com/eo/signup/269>. You can follow him
on Twitter <http://twitter.com/marhymanmd>, connect with him on LinkedIn
<http://www.linkedin.com/in/drhyman>, watch his videos on Youtube
<http://youtube.com/ultrawellness> and become a fan on Facebook
<http://www.facebook.com/addfriend.php?id=1078311903>./

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Marketers tout exotic superfruits as being able to do everything from
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As a graduate student in the field of free radical biology, who is
actually one of the scientists studying glutathione, allow me to post my
thoughts: First of all, let me point out, glutathione levels, or its
redox status, are rarely causal to the manifestation of any disease. For
example, cancer can be caused by many things, but alterations in
glutathione levels are often times only indicative of these broader
biological changes. Now, it is true that antioxidant supplementation and
bolstering of cellular glutathione CAN be protective. But, it's not a
given a fact. And, you can definitely go overboard in trying to protect
yourself. For example, the suggestion of taking selenium supplementation
is actually dangerous, as there is only a narrow range of safe
parameters for levels of selenium in people, and its supplementation
should only be undertaken under the supervision of a knowledgable
physician. See reference on selenium supplemenation toxicity:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20142570 I don't mean to bemoan the
science of this article so much, I merely want to prevent any gross
generalizations and simplifications of this material. Glutathione is NOT
the answer... it may be part of the answer... but, so far, we just dont'
know. Don't go overboard on the supplements. Just try to eat healthier
and develop a sensible exercise program! That will do more for your
health and quality of life than worrying about any one particular
molecule that us poindexter scientists spend their careers studying for
you. :)
12 Apr 2010 9:48 PM
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That reference you provide describes an incident where a selenium
supplement manufacturing process was BOTCHED, resulting in doses 200
TIMES the label claim.
This is not evidence that selenium is dangerous. Selenium is very very
safe when taken at recommended doses of about 100-200 mcg daily.
13 Apr 2010 10:00 PM
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Absolutely, whole foods can do miracles. Ladies, if you don't want to
eat garlic and onions, add more radishes rich in sulfur, silicon and
vitamin C to make you not only feel but also look fabulous. As for
exercises, even exercise shortcuts like walking upstairs, cleaning the
house, ironing might help you burn calories, boost your glutathione
levels and be healthier.
And of course always breathe, smile and be happy. NaturalCounselor.com
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Absoutely, eating healthy foods are very important as well as good water
to consume daily in our current society. It sure would be nice to have
the option to vote for people who will do their best to give us clean
air, good water and healthy foods! Nevertheless under the circumstances
we must be responsible as ALL-ways to take care of ourselves. It is
necessary these days to take supplementation to fulfill the bodies
requirements and boost your glutathione levels and be healthier. You can
register at maxgxl.com/199903 as a customer to give it a try no
long-term commitment required and you can enjoy the info/videos that
give you further helpful insight about glutathione. Thank You Dr. Hyman
for sharing this informative article about a very important antioxidant.
You are Appreciated!
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Sometimes I wonder why Doc you don't put all this stuff in a powder form
so we could put it in some water and drink it like a tea...yes but then
again that would be too easy and as you say it wouldn't work any way.
"One would think it would be easy just to take glutathione as a pill,
but the body digests protein -- so you wouldn't get the benefits if you
did it this way. "
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It's interesting that our society has come to view so many essential
nutrients that we can easily get from diet as something that we should
instead be getting as a supplement. Perhaps supplements may be needed
for people who have some genetic deficiency that prevents their body
from making its own. Otherwise a supplement can never be as effective as
getting it in food.
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One of my doctors treats fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue, as well as
all kinds of immune problems.
She uses injections of glutathione to treat her patients and many
improve a great deal with the injections.
10 Apr 2010 6:49 PM
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Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are invented labels for poor health
caused by lack of exercise, poor nutrition and sub-optimal stress
management.
10 Apr 2010 8:43 PM
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Glutathione enhancement is the next frontier on the anti-aging landscape.
You can't take glutathione because it is broken down in the GI tract.
View complete info on a breakthrough formulation that has been changing
lives for the past three years.
http://www.ImmuneMax.com
Bob Canner
Biological Sciences, University of Michigan
12 Apr 2010 6:05 PM
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Absolutely, Bob Canner! You took the words right out of my keyboard! I
am a stage 3 cancer survivor with severe complications from 30 rounds of
radiation. One of my health care professionals introduced me to a
cutting edge product which boosts Glutathione that has changed my life.
I've been using it since the Fall of 2009 and I can now say I HAD severe
complications, because it has diminished greatly. Brain fog? History.
Lack of sleep? So last year. Inflammation so horrible in my lower
extremities that I couldn't wear shoes? A mere nasty memory. My energy
is finally sustainable enough to re-enter the job market. Check out the
link. You will find a plethora of information from some amazing medical
professionals.
And no, I have never met Bob Canner.
Furthermore, you will not find a better diet than the UltraMetabolism
diet created by Dr. Mark Hyman. I have his books and follow his life
plan. When I slack, oh my gosh, I feel it.
These two factors, the Max products and Dr. Hyman's regime, our years of
age just become yet another revolution around the Sun. Unless we are
dead, we are going to age. (and that's a great big ol' duh, good
buddies!) But we do not have to succumb to the ravages of cellular
starvation. There are options, folks.
And I have never met Dr. Mark Hyman either.
Just sayin'.
12 Apr 2010 8:10 PM
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One word: MSM. @ Trader Joe's, vitacost.com, or any health food store/
vitamin shop.
http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=1352428
8 Jun 2010 9:30 AM
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Unfortunately, much of the MSM sold in pill form is not that great. It
took me a while in the 90028 hollywood zip code to find the right MSM.
The real stuff, that actually washed the full body inflammation out of
me (didn't cure me, but it is helping me safely) after ten years of
chronic full body nightmare pain from l4/l5 disc injury, torn lumbar
muscle, DDD, and sacroiliitis , is called 99.9% pure MSM, optiMSM. I
bought the powder form and mix it into a glass of water in the AM.
I am not sure what Trader Joe has, but I I assume (maybe incorrectly...)
that they are the small bottles of pills for under twenty bucks.
These, unfortunately, are a big waste of you time.
Try a store like kalahealth.com to buy your MSM, or search other health
sites that can guarantee, and back up, the MSM you are buying. Because
the cheap pills are not absorbed enough to do much good. People with
serious problems might wind up wasting their money, their time, and
worst of all for us in these conditions.... their hope.
The real deal stuff WORKS. At least, after ten years of hobbling from
age 17 to 27 thus far, it helped me more then all the prescription crap
and injections have.
Best to you,
Chris
10 Jun 2010 12:44 AM
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Super User 111 Fans // <javascript:void(0)> www.GarmaOnHealth.com
Another insightful post by Dr. Hyman.
Have been reading his bountiful advice for a bit over a year now. Am
drawn to this information because it's what I've been able to confirm
over many years from my own reading and experimentation. That said, the
good doctor does add quite a bit to my understanding.
Bottom line is that following his prescriptions will help you live a
more healthy and vital life. No question about it!
jgarma
www.GarmaOnHealth.com <http://www.GarmaOnHealth.com>
10 Apr 2010 6:58 PM
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592 Fans // <javascript:void(0)> eat, read, sleep, read and be happy
jgarma, you are a very wise guy. Good comment and insight and I agree
with you. Be happy and lead a healthy life.
10 Apr 2010 8:32 PM
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Loose
I wonder what role GMO foods play in the scheme of things. Industrialy
produced foods are grown so quickly it's hard to imagine there being any
vitamins let alone much nutrient. I have very little faith in the FDA
looking after the interests of the consumer. My advice, if you want to
eat healthy, raise your own food in a garden.
12 Apr 2010 4:33 PM
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2,941 Fans // <javascript:void(0)> Hay House Author, Speaker & Health
Expert
Dr Mark Hyman is right on with glutathione. I use it every day in liquid
form. It helps keep arteries elastic and pliable. And it can also be a
very supportive nutrient for cancer patients. Correcting the diet is
bottom line but high quality nutrients and glutathione can protect
against oxidative damage and age-related diseases. CarolineSutherland.com
12 Apr 2010 7:20 PM
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This whole quest for getting healthy nutrition can be summed up quite
simply: Eat healthy. Period. How many doctorates does it take to figure
that out? Health can't be found in drive-throughs, carry outs, packaged,
canned or frozen meals. It doesn't come in a liquid or pill. It comes
from the earth. It's found at produce stands and at the market. Our
constant need for instant gratification is killing us.
12 Apr 2010 8:11 PM
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You're right, and not at the same time. What is "healthy" is constantly
up for debate, by "people with doctorates" who need to utilize science
in order to do their best to attempt to explain "healthy". So, yes, it's
all about eating healthy and exercising. But, although it's easy to do
on a relatively basic level--e.g. we know mcdonalds is much less healthy
than a nice brown rice, chicken, and salad meal--but it will be a
LOOOOOOONG time before we know all we need to know about "healthy
eating" at the molecular level. In other words, the research must continue!
14 Apr 2010 6:07 AM
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