Glutathione – the natural jack of all trades
Glutathione is currently one of the most discussed dietary supplements and is now traded as a kind of superfood. Not without reason, because glutathione in its reduced form is one of the body’s most important intracellular antioxidants. It has numerous important functions for our health – from supporting the body’s own detoxification to preventing oxidative stress to maintaining our overall health and protecting the immune system. Accordingly, a deficiency of reduced glutathione can manifest itself through a wide range of physical ailments. But what is glutathione anyway, how does a deficiency occur and how can we prevent it?
What is glutathione anyway?
Glutathione is a central molecule in our body. It is vital for us, as it is involved in numerous biochemical processes in our organism. Glutathione, also γ-L-glutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine, is a tripeptide formed from the three amino acids glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine. Our body can produce glutathione itself – provided that all the necessary building materials are available. For the biosynthesis, i.e. for the building of glutathione, our body needs other cofactors in addition to the three amino acids mentioned, such as vitamins B2 and B3, zinc, selenium and alpha lipoic acid.
The mode of action of glutathione has been known since the early 1920s. Glutathione is a component of almost every cell and all organs, especially the liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen and eye lenses, which are exposed to strong oxidation via sunlight.
Glutathione is found in several forms in our body. Its effective form is glutathione sulfhydril (GSH), which is also known as reduced glutathione. It is in this form that it is usually found in dietary supplements. In the reduced form, glutathione is one of the body’s most important intracellular antioxidants. Due to its sulfur core, reduced glutathione belongs to the so-called thiols, i.e. to the sulfur-containing molecules.
Tasks & effect of glutathione
Glutathione is a very powerful antioxidant that performs many important tasks in our body. Among other things, it is involved in the body’s elimination of harmful substances via biotransformation. These are the metabolic pathways in which the dissolution and conversion of fat-bound toxins into their water-soluble, excretable substances takes place. It also acts as a regulator of cell division, helps repair damaged DNA, increases the activity of immune cells, regulates inflammatory responses, and plays a critical role as a scavenger of free radicals in our cellular metabolism.
The health benefits and the positive effects on our body and our well-being are accordingly great:
- … slows down aging processes.
- … strengthens the immune system.
- … supports detoxification in the liver and cells.
- … has an anti-inflammatory effect.
In addition, glutathione also has a very special task: it is needed to reactivate other important antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E and alpha lipoic acid when they have been depleted by fighting free radicals. Glutathione therefore occupies a central role in our body’s antioxidant system, which is why it is also known as the “master antioxidant”.
Can we also absorb glutathione through food?
Reduced glutathione is also present in our food. Animal food sources include raw milk, liver and kidneys. Also, many plant foods such as avocados, watermelons, asparagus, potatoes, oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, watercress, almonds, cashew nuts, walnuts, and especially leeks such as chives, garlic, and its wild form, wild garlic, can help our bodies increase their ability to synthesize glutathione on their own.
However, due to our modern eating habits and the increasing stress on our food, we only take in a small amount of glutathione through our food every day, which does not cover our needs by far. In addition, the GSH content of foods decreases rapidly due to processing, storage and cooking.
“The most effective medicine is the natural healing power,
that lies within each of us.”
How does a glutathione deficiency occur?
In infants and young children, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, as the bones are not sufficiently mineralized, remain soft and become deformed.
As with all other nutrients, our modern lifestyle with stress, an unbalanced diet and increasing environmental pollution plays a major role in a glutathione deficiency – to be precise, a deficiency of GSH within our cells.
This is because GSH is always used up faster than it is produced by the body or supplied via food when oxidative stress is extreme in the short term or increases permanently. Such a permanent load of oxidative stress can lead to premature aging and diseases caused by a depletion of the GSH pool. This GSH depletion is associated with, for example:
- Environmental stress (e.g., from toxins, chemtrails, toxins in vaccinations, UV radiation, nanoplastics, heavy metals, electrosmog from EMFs, etc.)
- acute and chronic diseases
- the individual constitution
- lifestyle (e.g. due to bad nutrition, extreme sports, smoking or stress)
- synthesis inhibition due to the lack of cofactors such as vitamins, sulfur groups, selenium, zinc or vital amino acids (L-cysteine, L-methionine)
Glutathione deficiency and the consequences
Since a too low glutathione level affects the entire antioxidant system of our body, a deficiency can manifest itself through a variety of health complaints and even diseases:
- Loss of performance, chronic fatigue up to chronic fatigue syndrome and burnout.
- Increased susceptibility to infections and inflammations
- Symptoms due to impaired brain function (e.g., seizures or loss of coordination)
- Metabolic acidosis (hyperacidity)
- DNA damage
- An increased risk of diseases promoted by mitochondrial dysfunction, which in turn is associated with glutathione deficiency (e.g., fibromyalgia, Lyme disease)
If you want to know whether you suffer from a glutathione deficiency, you can have your glutathione level determined in your whole blood or red blood cells. The best way to do this is to ask the doctor you trust or an alternative practitioner.
A good and sensible way to increase our GSH level is to take a high-quality food supplement with reduced glutathione, as contained in our Glutathione comp.
Glutathione – optimal effect in synergy
Another limiting factor for a healthy GSH level are the cofactors involved in reduction (recycling) and resynthesis. We briefly present the most important ones.
provides additional cysteine as a basic building block for the body’s own glutathione synthesis. Cysteine is often a limiting factor and responsible for inhibition of synthesis.
Alpha lipoic acid
a sulfur-containing fatty acid, is considered an important antioxidant in our body. Because it can cross the blood-brain barrier and is also both fat and water soluble, alpha lipoic acid is a component of every cell. It renders free radicals harmless, protects blood vessels and the cardiovascular system. Together with glutathione, alpha lipoic acid forms the perfect detoxification and antioxidant duo.
as a trace element is an important building block and activator of numerous enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase.
B vitamin complex of vitamins B1, B2 and B3
These B vitamins have important functions for glutathione metabolism. In particular, vitamin B2, which is contained in its bioactive form as riboflavin-5-phosphate, is significant for the function of glutathione reductase, which is responsible for the regeneration and new formation of reduced glutathione in the body.
Selenium and methionine also play an important role in the formation and recycling of glutathione, both in new synthesis, resynthesis and regeneration.
Glutathione comp – the highly effective glutathione complex from dr.reinwald vital
Our specially developed complex preparation Glutathione comp supplies you daily not only with high-quality glutathione, but also with the important cofactors N-acetylcysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, zinc, selenium as well as vitamins B1, B2 and B3, so that it can optimally unfold its effect.
With only two capsules daily you benefit from the synergistic effects. All nutrients are 100% vegan and have a carefully selected premium quality! To really push your glutathione level, we recommend additionally taking MyAMINO® with the 8 essential amino acids as well as SulfoCLEAN®, our organic sulfur complex.
You feel addressed or have questions? Our friendly team – consisting of therapists and alternative practitioners – will be happy to advise you on the subject of glutathione or our new product Glutathion comp. Call now or use our chat.