It seems the latest and greatest to cure all of our health woes is invented every month… But maybe the answer exists in your body already.

Glutathione is the most abundant antioxidant in our bodies. In fact, virtually every organism on Earth has some glutathione in its cells.

And for good reason. This “master” antioxidant protects the human body like few others. Without adequate levels of glutathione, you are at risk of dangerous medical conditions, including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.

But when glutathione levels are healthy, that’s when the magic happens. You can not only prevent health problems, but possibly experience amazing energy, glowing skin, a strong heart, and a sharp brain.

Sound too good to be true? Keep reading to learn about the research that backs this up.

What is glutathione?

Glutathione is a potent antioxidant found in both plants and animals. Often called the “master antioxidant,” glutathione also boosts (recycles) other antioxidants, like vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as alpha lipoic acid and CoQ10.

Glutathione is a tripeptide, which means a very small protein composed of three amino acids:

There are two different forms of glutathione:

  • Reduced glutathione (GSH, or L-glutathione) is the active form. It repairs oxidative damage and oxidizes, becoming—

  • Oxidized glutathione (GSSG) is the inactive form, which can be recycled back into active GSH.

Glutathione and Mitochondria

Glutathione protects your mitochondria, ensuring your cells are able to make the energy your body needs.

Mitochondria are the “power plants” of your cells. Every one of your cells has mitochondria, which convert glucose, amino acids and fats into energy.

But mitochondria can also sense danger when cell energy levels drop, and are even involved in sending the final “death” message (apoptosis) when a cell is damaged beyond repair and needs to die.

Mitochondria need to be protected, and the “knight in shining armor” who guards our source of energy is none other than glutathione.

Glutathione makes sure that heavy metals, organic toxins, and free radicals generated during normal metabolism don’t damage the mitochondria.

What causes glutathione deficiency?

Age is the most natural reducer of glutathione levels. However, there are a number of environmental factors and medical conditions that increase your risk of deficiency.

Environmental risk factors of glutathione deficiency include:

  • Exposure to chemical toxins (including pollution)

  • UV radiation exposure

  • Cadmium exposure

  • Chronic stress

  • Excessive alcohol use

  • Smoking

  • Poor diet

  • Certain medications (like Tylenol)

Certain illnesses are known to decrease glutathione levels. Researchers are still determining whether low glutathione causes some of these diseases, or the other way around.

The most common low glutathione-related diseases are:


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