Glutathione17 years, 2 months ago
Posted on Dec 30, 2005, 8 p.m.
By Bill Freeman
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Glutathione is a tripeptide composed of the three amino acids
Glutathione is a tripeptide composed of the three amino acids &emdash; glycine, glutamic acid (glutamate), and cysteine. Dietary glutathione can be found in fruit and vegetables, especially asparagus, avocado, and walnuts, fish, and meat.
ROLE FOR ANTI-AGING:
Glutathione has been called the "master antioxidant," in addition to its own potent antioxidant powers glutathione helps to recycle other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Thus, glutathione can help to protect against cancer and other diseases caused by oxidative damage. Glutathione also plays an important role in the regulation of immune cells, and is a potent detoxifying agent. Low levels of glutathione have been associated with hepatic dysfunction, immune dysfunction, cardiac disease, and premature aging. It is also important in DNA synthesis and repair, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, and amino acid transport. Several studies have shown that glutathione has antiviral properties. Research has shown that glutathione inhibits activation of the HIV virus, therefore it may be beneficial to people with HIV and AIDS.
There are no known symptoms of glutathione deficiency, however some medical conditions are associated with glutathione deficiency, for example diabetes, low sperm count, and liver disease. Heavy smokers may have low levels as certain chemicals in tobacco smoke increase the rate at which the body utilizes glutathione.
THERAPEUTIC DAILY AMOUNT:
Refer to dosage instructions on packaging. People with a proven glutathione deficiency should be treated by a doctor, and may require intravenous or intramuscular injections. Some research suggests that taking oral glutathione may not be the best way of raising blood glutathione levels. One study showed that healthy people could raise their blood glutathione levels by nearly 50% by taking 500mg of vitamin C each day for 2-weeks. Other nutritional compounds that may help to boost glutathione levels include: alpha lipoic acid, glutamine, methionine, S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), and whey protein.
MAXIMUM SAFE LEVEL:Not established
People with kidney or liver disease should consult their doctor before taking supplementary glutathione.