Glutathione is the most important antioxidant in the body and is vital for health but what exactly does it do? Read on to find out more.
What is Glutathione (GSH)?
Glutathione is a tri-peptide that is made up of gamma-glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine, and is also known as gamma-glutamylcysteinelglycine or GSH. Glutathione is a substance that is found in every cell of the body, and has been called the master antioxidant. It is such an important antioxidant as it is actually within the body’s cells and it also regulates the actions of lesser antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E. if the levels of glutathione are too low in the body, other antioxidants are unable to do their job.
Glutathione is the regulator and regenerator of immune cells and it is the most valuable detoxifying agent in the body. It is important in DNA synthesis and repair, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, amino acid transport, detoxification of toxins and carcinogens, enhancement of the immune system, and protection from oxidation and enzyme activations. Glutathione has strong antiviral properties. If there are higher levels of glutathione in the tissues and serum, then the replication of most pathogens are stopped. Conversely, if the levels of glutathione are low, then conditions become much more favourable for viruses.
Glutathione is an essential component of your cells, with low glutathione levels, cells cannot perform many of their functions properly. Although glutathione functions in dozens of roles in our metabolism, the major functions can be summarized in four areas:
- It is the major antioxidant produced by the body. Antioxidants such as vitamins C or E cannot be made by your body and in fact could not work properly if glutathione were not present.
- Our immune systems depend on a steady supply of glutathione. Without it, our immune defenses become weakened.
- It is important in detoxifying many substances including heavy metals, breakdown products of cigarettes and automobile exhaust, many cancer-causing agents, and a multitude of pollutants and toxins we encounter on a daily basis.
- The major source of energy produced in our cells is derived from tiny structures called mitochondria. These mitochondria would literally burn up without the presence of glutathione.