Monday, October 12, 2015

So What The Heck Is Glutathione?

Simply put, Glutathione is the cornerstone of the human immune system.

There, I said it.  Now let that sink in.

-"the cornerstone of the human immune system."

The human body is one of nature's finest miracles and researchers are still unlocking many of its secrets.  Recent discoveries have shed important light on the role glutathione plays in maintaining health and fighting disease.

Most individuals have never heard of glutathione (GSH), however, given the accelerated course of research publications on the subject and the large impact it will have in future health care, the term "glutathione" will shortly become integrated into our everyday language, the same way we use the words "antioxident" or "cholesterol".

Think of GSH as an "AID" for the immune system-Antioxident, Immune Booster and Detoxifier.  This small protein, produced naturally in the body, maintains these three crucial protective functions.  In fact, your life depends on it!  Without GSH your cells would disintegrate from unrestrained oxidation.  Your body would have little resistance to bacteria, viruses and cancer, and your liver would cease functioning from the accumulation of toxins.

In the last thirty years the volume of research on GSH has grown immensely.  A huge variety of theoretical papers, bench-top laboratory experiments, epidemiological studies, animal projects and-most important of all-clinical trials on humans, has linked GSH to an extraordinary variety of illnesses.  The list is long and would be hard to believe were it not for the strength and credibility of the research.

Hundreds of articles have described how elevated GSH levels help combat the infirmities of aging, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, cataract formation, macular degeneration and cancers of aging (e.g. prostate cancer).  GSH depletion is linked with the major causes of morbidity and mortality in North America, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and infectious disease.  Cancer specialists, pulmonary doctors and physicians dealing with AIDS and hepatitis are paying special attention to natural GSH modulation, as more traditional means have proven less than efficient.

GSH is the body's master antioxidant.  Advances in the study of antioxidants have grown to the point that a whole new branch of medicine has developed called "Free Radical Biology" which focuses on oxidant/antioxidant balance.  These scientists have elaborated upon several hundred different disease processes where antioxidants play a vital role.  The shelves of natural food stores and pharmacies are resplendent with a large array of different antioxidants offered.  What's extraordinary is that none of these antioxidants can work without the presence of GSH.  GSH is responsible for recharging and recycling all of the 4,000-plus antioxidants known to science.

There are over 100,000 articles on GSH in Pub Med, which is the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature.  It is the world's leading source of research on scientific and medical articles.

So if GSH is so good for you, how do you raise your levels?

It is vital to clarify one particular aspect of the glutathione story.  When people find out about GSH they want to go to their health store, buy some and "take" it.  Although it can be found as a supplement, eating GSH has negligible effects on your health.  It is quickly broken down in your digestive tract and eliminated.  GSH MUST be manufactured within your cells-which is exactly where it appears-in every cell of your body.  The only way to accomplish this effectively is to give your body the building blocks (precursers) it needs to manufacture GSH for itself.

Some pharmaceutical drugs such as NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine) have been developed to provide these precursers, but there are also natural ways to raise GSH levels.  The most effective way to raise GSH as borne out by medical research is by feeding the individual specific cysteine and cysteine-rich proteins as found in undenatured whey protein isolates.  Immunocal, initially developed at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, is a nutraceutical product specifically based on whey proteins designed to raise GSH.

This type of natural approach to addressing health concerns is a welcome complement to traditional medicine, which has traditionally marginalized nutritional therapy.  The key to bridging this gap between Western Medicine and Natural Medicine lies in appropriately studying supplements with solid research.

-GSH is a small whey protein that exists naturally in almost every cell of your body
-We could not exist without GSH.  Low levels are associated with sickness and death
-There is a constant demand on your GSH levels from pollution, exercise, aging, infections, stress and
 countless diseases.
-Raising your GSH is not as simple as eating glutathione
-GSH is produced within your cells, therefore, your cells need to have building blocks (precursers)
 to manufacture GSH
-Immunocal is the only natural protein supplement patented to raise GSH

"No other antioxidant is as important to overall health as GSH.  It is the regenerator of immune cells and the most valuable detoxifying agent in the body.  Low levels are associated with early aging and even death."  -The Immune System Cure, Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe & Patrick J.D. Bouis, Ph.D.

"It is well known that aging is accompanied by a precipitous fall in glutathione levels.  Lower GSH levels are implicated in many diseases associated with aging, including cataracts, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, atherosclerosis and others."  Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 47: 1021-26 1994

"Raised GSH levels fight the oxidation of circulating fats in the bloodstream, including cholesterol, retarding the process of plaque formation in the arteries-the underlying cause for most heart disease and stroke."  Nutrition Reviews 54: 1-30, 1996

"Diabetics are prone to infections and circulatory problems leading to heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.  GSH protects against the complications of diabetes."  Clinical Science 91: 575-582, 1996

"GSH protects the body from the inflammation of gastritis, stomach ulcers, pancreatitis and inflammatory bowell disease including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease."  Gut 42: 485-492 1998

"Immune depressed individuals have lower glutathione concentrations.  Healthy people also drop their glutathione levels when fighting disease.  Lymphocytes, cells vital for your immune response, depend on glutathione for their proper function and replication."  Immunology 61: 503-508 1987 

"GSH deficiency contributes to oxidative stress and therefore appears to play a key role in the pathology of many diseases..." Glutathione in Health and Disease  Dr. Patricia Kongshavn, MSC, Ph.D. January 2005

Immunocal is scientifically proven to raise glutathione. 

If you are interested in trying Immunocal you can order it directly from any of the Immunocal links on this post.  Just hover and click.  If you have any questions about the product feel free to email me directly at


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