What is GLUTATHIONE?

Posted on January 4, 2011

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WHAT IS GLUTATHIONE?

“Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant and best kept secret to maintaining health.” – Theodore Hersh, M.D., Harvard graduate, Professor of Medicine, Emeritus, Emory University.

Glutathione is a small molecule made up of three amino acids, which exists in almost every cell of the body. The presence of Glutathione is required to maintain the normal function of the immune system. Glutathione is involved in detoxification, it binds to toxins, such as heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides, and transforms them into a form that can be excreted in urine or bile. Glutathione is also an important antioxidant. In preliminary research, Glutathione intake has been associated with protection against some forms of cancer, higher Glutathione levels have also been associated with good health in older adults.

Glutathione neutralizes the harmful effects of free radicals. Glutathione helps to protect the mitochondria (the cell’s energy production unit) and the cell membrane. Glutathione also helps to protect against DNA damage. Glutathione are necessary for supporting the immune system, glutathione is required for replication of the lymphocyte immune cells.

Studies show that Glutathione acts as a Tyrosinase Inhibitor. Tyrosinase is an enzyme that catalyzes the biosynthesis of melanin which is the culprit for skin darkening.

Glutathione is already a substance that exists in your body. It’s just that until recently we didn’t know how to raise glutathione levels. Now when I talk about glutathione to a medical convention, for example, I’ll put a slide on the wall with 20 or 30 different things that glutathione does inside of your cell. But for most people, if they could remember three things, using the acronym A I D, then they can really start to understand why this has such an impact on so many different pathologies:

  • A, stands for antioxidants
  • I, part stands for the immune system boosters
  • D, this area of detoxification

So let’s take a look at each of these key functions separately:

  1. First, Glutathione as an antioxidant. Because glutathione is the major antioxidant produced naturally in the body, many scientists will refer to it as the ‘master antioxidant’. In fact, most of the antioxidants most people are familiar with, such as vitamin C or E would not be able to work properly if it were not for glutathione. To understand how an antioxidant works, it’s important to understand a little bit about free radicals and the damage they can have on the body, also known as oxidative stress.A good example of oxidative stress that everybody understands is that if you get a piece of metal and take the protective coating off the metal, that metal oxidizes. And pretty soon, if you leave it alone, that metal will get rusted and it’ll bore a hole right through that metal, or if you get a brand new apple and you take the peel off that apple, oxidative stress occurs-that apple will turn brown. Well, if you come back a week later, that apple will be a bit mushier, and if you come back a month later, there may not be an apple there. And so that’s all mediated by free radical damage. That’s what we call oxidative stress.These are very damaging substances which can destroy cell components in a matter of micro seconds. So it’s very important then, that these be quenched or neutralized right away and this is one of the important rules of glutathione.
  2. The second most important role of glutathione is to boost the immune system. Now science still has a lot to learn about the immune system, but one thing we’ve come to understand is how to fuel it. Glutathione has been described, literally, as food for the immune system.To have a food product, which I think is the most important development we’ve offered to people and their health, their wellness issue, probably since penicillin, so 60 years. And I don’t say that lightly because I think it’s very exciting to re-tool and let the body do it’s own healing. Because that’s almost always, including intensive care, what we’re able to offer. We offer support systems until the body heals itself. Now we are providing it with extra building blocks.
  3. And finally, glutathione is a safe and natural detoxifier. It works in the body to eliminate toxins and helps support individual cells and organs.The way it operates, it detoxifies, it links with the poison through an enzyme called conjugate and when they link the poison become soluble and if a poison is soluble it is no longer poison, it leaves the body through the urine for example lead, carbon and also carcinogen. We would raise glutathione levels in an emergency setting in people who are suffering from certain overdoses. And what the glutathione would do in that case is to allow the person to get rid of these toxins themselves, from their body. Now I knew that this was good in acetaminophen overdose, but what most people don’t understand is that glutathione is also critical for getting rid of heavy metals like mercury, like lead, like pesticides, like herbicides, like the break down products of cigarette smoke, like automobile exhaust, and a dozen other well known carcinogens in our environment.

L-GLUTATHIONE , N-ACETYL CYSTEINE (NAC)


One of the best anti-oxidants is an amino acid called L-glutathione. I’m not alone in considering it one of the most powerful cancer-curbing, age slowing nutrients ever discovered. However, because of the way the body metabolizes and manufactures relates nutrients, glutathione cannot be discussed apart from N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), a form of the amino acid cysteine. NAC RAISES L-GLUTATHIONE LEVELS IN THE BODY, SOMETHING THAT EVEN ORAL SUPPLEMENTS OF GLUTATHIONE ITSELFS CANNOT DO.

——- Dr, Robert C. Atkins’M.D. Vita Nutrient Solution