Update March 2019
There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of glutathione unless you’ve done some biochemistry courses, work in medicine, or are a serious supplement aficionado.
Glutathione benefits health in many ways so there’s been a lot of interest in taking it as a supplement. Because glutathione is involved in detoxification and is an antioxidant, researches are looking at it as a way to support healthy aging.
This has potential benefits as glutathione decreases with age (1).
As a specific player in the cells’ detoxification process, glutathione helps to resist the stress of everyday life. It also has a central role in liver function and liver health. Historically, taking a regular glutathione supplement hasn’t been effective at improving glutathione status until now (2).
What is glutathione?
Glutathione, or glutathione sulf-hydryl, is not technically one of the 50 essential nutrients you need everyday for optimal health.
However, it is absolutely essential for most of life on earth. Every cell in the body needs glutathione. In fact, as levels of this important compound decline, so does the life of the cell, and eventually tissues and organs (3).
Glutathione is a molecule made up of the three amino acids glutamate, glycine and cysteine (4). These amino acids come the breakdown of the protein we get in our diet.
It has two main roles which will be explained in a little more detail. Your body produces glutathione on its own. Glutathione is incorporated into important antioxidants: glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase.
Glutathione levels in the body may be reduced by a number of factors, including poor nutrition, environmental toxins, toxin burden and stress. As mentioned, levels decline with age so maintaining adequate levels is hugely important.
What does glutathione do?
Glutathione is referred to as the master antioxidant.
The good news is that your body produces glutathione but the not so good news is that many things we face in everyday life deplete glutathione levels.
These include pollution, toxins, aging itself, poor diet, medications, stress, alcohol and infections.
Having lower levels of glutathione can leave your cells susceptible to increased oxidative damage [think of a rusty nail or a browning apple core] (5).
Glutathione and disease
Lower levels are associated with:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Plaque development
- Chronic infections
- and more….
Glutathione levels have been shown to decrease further with disease progression.
The role of glutathione in detoxification
Glutathione is also central for normal detoxification by the liver. Other vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and countless plant compounds are too. I outline this in my post Your Ultimate Guide to Detoxes and Cleanses.
In fact, Tylenol poisoning is due to the depletion of glutathione which occurs as the liver detoxifies the Tylenol; the glutathione is simply used up.
Glutathione is needed for the removal of heavy metals as well including lead, mercury, arsenic and more not to mention all the other 80,000 toxic industrial chemicals found in the environment today. All have to be detoxified by the liver.
Glutathione. The master antioxidant
Glutathione also is critical to the antioxidant network; a cooperative relationship of various antioxidants that all work together to regenerate each other; a process referred to as recycling.
Antioxidants are compounds that your body makes and that you can get from food. They essentially help to ‘rust proof’ your body and help to turn on disease-fighting genes (6).
Glutathione plays a big role in recycling antioxidants such as vitamin C, E, CoQ10, and lipoic acid. Glutathione also recycles carotenoids like alpha & beta carotene, lycopene, lutein and astaxanthin and other phytonutrients found in plant foods.
Glutathione supplementation has even been show to benefit the skin. A randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled study found that glutathione improved skin properties, specifically reducing discolouration (7).
Glutathione for a strong immune system
Glutathione is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system. The cells of the immune system are the first line defense against cancer.
It is so helpful that has even been shown to help those with compromised immune systems such as HIV/AIDS (8).
It has also been shown to help with autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system gets confused and attacks the body’s own cells and tissues. Glutathione helps to temper the immune system (9).
Protects against the damage from diabetes-related high blood sugar
Having high blood sugar from diabetes reduces glutathione stores over time. This can lead to oxidative stress and tissue damage.
A study found that dietary supplementation with the amino acid precursors of glutahione, cysteine and glycine, boosted glutathione levels. It even lowered oxidative stress and damage in people with uncontrolled diabetes, despite high sugar levels (10).
- Protects cells from the damage caused by harmful free radicals (11) (both oxygen and nitrogen-based) (12).
- Promotes optimal cellular health
- Supports a healthy liver and normal detoxification (13).
- Recycles other antioxidants like vitamins C & E, and polyphenols/flavonoids (14).
- Supports a healthy immune system (15).
- Neutralizes potentially toxic heavy-metals (16).
- Acts as an antioxidant (17).
What are liposomes and why are they better?
A liposome is a very tiny sphere comprised of a outer wall of fat. They have an inner “payload” of any of a number of water-soluble substances like vitamin in the diagram above for example.
Of particular interest is that the outer fat wall is made of essentially the same fat that makes up normal cell membranes throughout the body: phospholipids. Largely because of this, liposomes have actually been studied as artificial models of cells.
However, liposomes are vastly smaller than any of the cells in the body, allowing them to pass into the cells without difficulty.
What really makes the liposome so special is that can deliver its contents [vitamin C, lipoic acid, carnitine or glutathione] directly into the cells of the body without the consumption of energy. Normally transportation of a compound into a cells requires energy, but not with liposomes.
Furthermore, it protects those contents from digestion or oxidation before the final delivery into the cells. When a nutrient can be delivered into the cells of the body, without being degraded before delivery, and not consume energy in the process, the effects of that nutrient can be optimized in a way that even intravenous delivery often does not match.
What is the advantage of liposomal glutathione?
If you’re looking for the best glutathione supplement, Lypo Spheric glutathione is it.
This is best regular glutathione supplements are not absorbed well. Relatively little reaches the target cells and tissues intact. Because glutathione is a tripeptide, it will be broken down into its three main amino acids: cysteine, glycine and glutamine.
Once absorbed, these amino acids then have to be reassembled – an inefficient process.
Regular glutathione supplements are not effective at increasing blood, or cellular levels of glutathione.
Until recently, the only way to increase glutathione levels directly was to go to a medical office for expensive IV glutathione injections.
Fluorescent microscopy demonstrating increased absorption
Liposome encapsulation overcomes all these bioavailability and cellular uptake restrictions because liposomes do not rely on specialized carrier transport system. Instead, due to their size and composition, they are able to passively absorb through the intestinal wall and through cellular membranes.
The advantage of liposomal Gluathione
Liposome-encapsulated nutrients provide a greatly enhanced bioavailability delivery into the bloodstream) and greatly improved delivery into individual cells.
This is demonstrated in studies using fluorescent microscopy using LivOn Lab’s liposomal technology confirming passage of fluorescent dye-tagged containing liposomes across cellular membranes and into cultured cells.
This has the advantage of delivering 450 mg of the active form of intact glutathione into the lymphatic system first after which the glutathione enters the blood stream and is available for immediate use/action by your body cells including the liver.
A study looking at the effectiveness of the form of glutathione found in Lypo-Spheric Glutathione at increasing body stores of glutathione found increase between 3-35% over a 6 month period (18).
One sachet of LivOn Lab’s liposomal glutathione provides 450 mg of non-GMO, high quality absorbable glutathione sulf-hydryl (GSH) and 1000 mg of non-GMO essential phospholipids.
Purchase Lypo-Spheric Glutathione here
Download the Glutathione brochure
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