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Glutathione (GSH) is the body’s master antioxidant made from amino acids L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid and glycine. Amino acids are protein building blocks and antioxidants protect cells from damage and/or death caused by free radicals.
Low levels of Glutathione are linked to NID – Environmental Illness and Chronic Fatigue. It causes high inflammation, increased toxicity and oxidative stress. A cause of brain fog poor energy and a cascade called “The Cell Danger Response.”
Glutathione’s role in detoxification:
Glutathione plays a key role in detoxification reactions helping with phase II removal of toxins by the liver via that conjugation pathway. Phase II detoxification removes heavy metals, microbes and chemicals making glutathione an important player in the cell self-defense system.
GSH and microbes:
Bacteria, yeasts and viruses have to removed from the body after they are killed or immobilized by the immune system. Detoxification of microbial metabolites is highly dependent on glutathione status.
Glutathione and chemicals:
Glutathione helps to remove harmful chemicals like pesticides, PCBs, bisphenols, fire retardants and phthalates. There are over 100, 000 chemicals polluting our air, water and land.
Glutathione, inflammation and immunity:
Research is focusing more and more on diseases that show signs of inflammation and altered immune function. Chronic inflammation depletes antioxidants, like glutathione, leading to chronic elevations in oxidative stress.
Under physiological conditions where glutathione is low, cells are not regulate immune function. Where this becomes particularly important is the regulation of the immune system in the brain. Our brain is 15% neurons and 85% immune cells.
Glutathione’s role in managing glutamate:
Glutatmate is the most plentiful neurotransmitter and is is important in supporting the brain. Due to the stimulation, or excitement, caused by glutamate, glutathione helps to strictly manage high levels. Glutamate activates the immune system in the brain. Remember, that the brain consists of 85% immune cells. These cells are called glia and will continue being activated if glutamate is elevated. Glutathione mops up excess glutamate, preventing it from making the brain excitable to the point of causing toxicity.
Many of the more severe symptoms associated with Neuroimmune Disease – EI including neurocognitive and impairment and sensory issues have been linked to immuno-excitotoxicity.
Supplements that increase glutathione status
Foods that help increase glutathione status
include foods that contain glutathione e.g. Asparagus, Okra, Spinach, Asparagus (not the most effective way!)
food high in Vitamin C
food high in sulfur
Foods high in Selenium