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7 Ways to Boost Your Glutathione: raw foods, vital whey and more

Bursting onto the health scene as “the master antioxidant,” glutathione has been in the spotlight recently for its ability to enhance the immune system and increase energy.  With this rise in popularity has come a boisterous parade of glutathione supplements to pharmacy shelves, all packaged in clinical-looking pill bottles and marked with claims of their incredible health benefits. Often discussed using dizzyingly-complex scientific jargon, it can be exceedingly difficult to sort through the convoluted information available on glutathione. Amidst the mishmash of sales pitches, are there any wholesome, all-natural ways to boost your levels of the antioxidant glutathione? Let’s take a bit of time to discuss what glutathione is, its role in health and how to keep your glutathione at peak levels using real food and lifestyle practices.

traditional foods

Glutathione in Review

Glutathione is a substance found in every cell in the body, where it acts as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals and prevent cellular damage. Chemically, glutathione is a simple molecule composed of three protein building blocks or amino acids- cysteine, glutamine and glycine. While certain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals also act as antioxidants, glutathione is different because it is intracellular and produced inherently within a well-nourished and healthy body. Proper glutathione levels are actually required so that the other antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, selenium and carotenoids, can be properly utilized within the body. Not solely an antioxidant, glutathione is also essential in other vital biochemical functions such as energy utilization, immune system activity, detoxification and disease prevention. Natural glutathione production is easily disrupted however, and stores can become quickly depleted by the ravages of poor diet, stress, medications, infections and radiation and other toxins. Therefore, in a modern world that is often tumultuous and oh-so-far from natural, taking special care to maintain proper glutathione levels in the body is of particular importance. For detailed information on the importance of glutathione and causes of deficiency see our blog What is Glutathione and Why Do We Need It?

Glutathione Supplements: Do They Work?

superfoods supplements

If glutathione is so fantastically important, it makes sense that we should be able to incorporate a bit extra with a simple supplement and wallah! feel instantly revitalized. The problem with this desirably convenient solution however, is that oral glutathione supplements have repeatedly performed poorly in studies testing their absorption. Although some practitioners have reported a success with intravenous glutathione formulations, this method is invasive, expensive and often inaccessible to the average individual. 

Another concern with glutathione supplementation is that by introducing large quantities of artificial glutathione, the body’s natural system for production will be disrupted. When a surge of compounds is introduced via synthetic supplementation, the body may cease its own production under the false perception that there are already adequate stores available. Over time, this mis-signaling could lead to a dependency on supplements as natural production screeches to a halt.

7 Simple Ways to Enhance Glutathione Production

While scientists clamor away, trying to find a marketable form of artificial glutathione, there are many effective ways to enhance glutathione levels naturally. By supporting the body with the proper nutrients and movement that it needs to reside in a state of harmonious balance, one can optimize glutathione production over the long-term.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

nutrient dense foods

Including an array of fresh, organic produce in the diet is helpful in providing the body with the nutrients it needs to create glutathione. Sulfur-rich vegetables such as garlic, onions, parsley and cruciferous vegetables are particularly helpful in addition to avocados, squash and tomatoes. Be aware that cooking reduces the glutathione content of vegetables by 30-60%, and canning eliminates it completely.

High Quality Whey Protein

vital whey

Nondenatured, native whey protein contains the highest levels of the full range of naturally-occurring glutathione precursors: covalent bonded cysteine, lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, and active peptides. Not all whey proteins are created equal: be sure that whey is from grass-fed cows, cold-processed and without sweeteners or other additives as these factors have a deleterious effect on the delicate glutathione-boosting proteins. We incorporate it by adding into our Radiant Life Superfoods Smoothie Recipe in the morning.

Healthy Exercise and Recovery

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Glutathione production is dependent on adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the molecule which supplies cellular energy.  Kick start your energy system by including a healthy amount of physical activity into your routine. Ironically, exceedingly strenuous exercise can lead to extensive cellular damage and free radical production however. So, contrary to the popular “no pain, no gain” dogma, take care to practice healthy fitness and discover the balance that currently works for you, including adequate rest and recovery. Rebounding is one very effective way of enhancing cellular metabolism, while minimizing injury risk.

Raw Milk and Raw Eggs

weston a price foundation

Fresh, raw milk and raw eggs promote glutathione production, however these benefits are completely lost during pasteurization. High-heat processing obliterates the useful proteins, cofactors and cultures. Obtain raw milk and eggs from pastured chickens at a trustworthy local farm. For resources on finding farms near you, connect with the Local Chapter Leaders at the Weston A Price Foundation or visit realmilk.com

Red Meat and Organ Meats

desiccated liver

Alpha lipoic acid, as found abundantly in red meats and organ meats from grassfed animals, has been shown to help regenerate glutathione and support the sustained activity of vitamins C and E in the body. If you are leery about incorporating actual organ meats into your diet, desiccated liver is a helpful way to reap all of the benefits of organ meats without the sensitivities about taste or texture.

Organic Turmeric

premier research labs turmeric

This delicious Indian spice contains curcumin, an active compound known for its potent healing qualities. In addition to acting independently as an antioxidant and antiseptic, some studies have indicated that curcumin may be very helpful in enhancing glutathione metabolism. Incorporate turmeric into your diet by adding it into soups, stews and salad dressings or by using the capsule form. Be sure to find a high quality source of turmeric that is organic, properly ground, and additive free.

Stress Reduction

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While practicing methods to promote glutathione production, it is also important to actively minimize the factors contributing to its depletion. Chronic low-level stress is one of the primary means by which glutathione is lost. Our bodies simply weren’t designed to handle the prolonged cortisol and adrenaline release experienced as a result of unchecked stress responses. Find a means to reduce stress through practices of mindfulness, yoga, time spent outside, reading or laughter. Although simply stated, finding a way to manage stress can be very difficult. It is one of the most genuinely healing steps you can take towards vibrant wellness.

Resources

The Biochemical Magic of Raw Milk and Other Raw Foods: Glutathione 

Glutathione in Whey

Curcumin Induces Glutathione Biosynthesis 

The Biological Activity of Undenatured Whey Protiens: Gluathione Synthesis 

*All articles and information on this website are for educational purposes only. They are not to be regarded or relied upon as medical advice. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. Results may vary per person. Consult your health practitioner if you have health problems.

Comments

It is fantastic to see articles focusing on the importance of Glutathione for our health. While it is extremely beneficial to support glutathione production through dietary additions that provide vital precursors so we can produce it endogenously. There is a supplement that overcomes the absorption shortcommings of conventional Glutathione oral supplements. It is Acetyl Glutathione, improving absorption dramatically, it encases the glutathione molecule in a lipid like structure that ushers it past the stomach lining and straight into the cells that need it. Preventing the glutathione from being broken down before we can absorb the benefits. Combine Acetyl Glutathione with precursors like Acetyl L Cysteine and R-Alpha Lipoic Acid and you can increase glutathione levels hugely through simple oral supplementation.
Posted @ Friday, August 09, 2013 4:21 PM by Jeff
great to know about protein glutathione in foods. how far can one utilize the benefits from natural sources, what's the role of glutathione in skin care....would like to know the impact on skin.
Posted @ Saturday, September 14, 2013 10:58 AM by Rachel
Loved reading, very informative, thank you
Posted @ Sunday, November 24, 2013 3:05 AM by Sadhna Chaman
Dear Sir, 
Thank you very much for exc. educ. article.  
When you write again next time, please show us where to buy nondenatured whey protein powder.? 
There are several stores around here but sales clerks aren't knowledgeable and not very helpful. 
Thank you very much. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
mike
Posted @ Friday, December 27, 2013 9:32 PM by mike
Very nice article Sir.. 
 
Thanks..
Posted @ Tuesday, January 07, 2014 1:28 AM by Mugs
Hi Mike! I use this onefrom Vital Whey. In all of my research, it is the best brand that I could find, especially as it is derived from fresh milk. If you are looking at the store, you may need to check each label for specific terms like nondenatured, low-heat, biologically active etc. It is tedious, but probably the only way you will get good answers.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 07, 2014 9:20 AM by Kayla Grossmann
Is there good whey in the fresh whole raw cow and goats milk that I drink?
Posted @ Monday, January 27, 2014 12:35 PM by Edith Kaplan
Hi Edith! There certainly is. If you tolerate dairy in its whole form, raw milks are a great option for getting whey into your diet. I mentioned them above alongside eggs (but didn't put in a picture). The only concern is that whey is less concentrated in these foods, and thus you must drink a significant amount of them to reach therapeutic levels. This should not be problematic for most, but if levels are low, sometimes a stronger formulation is needed.
Posted @ Friday, January 31, 2014 5:56 AM by Kayla Grossmann
wife suffers from cfs for years,now trying teitelbaums rx'ribose,lcarnitine and glutathione,organic produce, so on 
? we prefer soy milkfor her and almondcoconut milk for me as she is lactose intolerent is there a sub. for whey protein(dairy?)pea protein?maybe.thank you for all your help, we have been seeking answers for 10 years+ty again for your consideration in this matter dennis walker nw usa
Posted @ Sunday, February 23, 2014 4:16 PM by dennis walker
Great information!
Posted @ Thursday, March 13, 2014 8:49 PM by Varvara
I believe and have found in research that we lose 1% glutathione levels for every year we age. Therefore, Its most important to maintain 100% glutathione levels as we age for proper brain function... I have no problem drinking raw organic brown eggs from the best source possible. I also combine that with Turmeric and Milk thisle...I started about a year ago with the raw eggs for breakfast but got headaches so I cut down a bit.
Posted @ Friday, March 14, 2014 7:00 PM by mike
 
Thank you for the good article on glutathione. It was posted by someone at Enenews dot com, which is a website reporting on Japan's nuclear meltdowns (Fukushima) and how the radiation blanketed the U.S., and so we all need protective sources from radiation. 
 
Here is a short video showing radiation from Japan's meltdowns blanketing the U.S. 
 
you tube /watch?v=yuUYUJwNmag  
 
And here is a Forum on Enenews of ways to mitigate damage from radiation: 
 
http://enenews.com/forum-best-practices-combating-effects-radiation 
Posted @ Monday, April 28, 2014 8:11 AM by Dee
There is a product called Immunocal which is listed in the PDR in the U.S. and the CPS in Canada. Dr. Gustavo Bounous discovered the three missing building blocks to help the cells produce glutathione. Research paid for in part by the National Research Council of Canada .. check outwww.makehealthhappen.net for Dr. Oz and naturopath. Immunocal also covered by Medicare and Medicaid in some states for use in hospitals.....fabulous results take a look....connect with me later...also has U.S. and Canadian gov't method of use patents for Cancer, HIV/Aids and the Immune System...
Posted @ Tuesday, August 19, 2014 5:59 PM by Lynne Kay
Glutathione rich foods and healthy life style
Posted @ Thursday, September 11, 2014 12:58 PM by Judy Gottlieb
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