Glutathione (GSH) is essential to good health and is known as “The Mother of All Antioxidants” and “The Master of the Immune System”.
According to numerous studies, glutathione is a powerful regenerator of immune cells and is easily the most important agent in keeping the body detoxified and healthy. GSH is vitally important in the synthesis of DNA and the maintenance DNA, the synthesis of protein and amino acids, so the body can utilize them effectively. In addition, it is essential in protecting cells from oxidization and activates enzymes vital for the removal of all toxic build up at the cellular level. One unique thing about glutathione is that the body is able to make it in the liver, which is not true of most antioxidants.
Glutathione has many important functions, including:
- making DNA, the building blocks of proteins and cells
- supporting immune function
- forming sperm cells
- breaking down some free radicals
- helping certain enzymes function
- regenerating Vitamins C and E
- transporting mercury out of the brain
- helping the liver and gallbladder deal with fats
- assisting regular cell death (a process known as apoptosis)
- Researchers have found links between low levels of glutathione and some diseases.
Alzheimer's Disease: Research published in the February 2014 Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) pathology is oxidative stress. AD-related increase in oxidative stress has been attributed to decreased levels of the brain antioxidant, glutathione (GSH). The researchers found there is a growing recognition of the involvement of GSH in etiopathogenesis of AD. GSH may well emerge as a linchpin in AD pathogenesis and open new avenues for AD diagnostics as well as targeted therapeutics.
Research published in the January 31st 2018 journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity revealed the reduction in GSH has been detected selectively in the brain regions affected by AD pathology, such as frontal cortex and hippocampus, but not in the cerebellum, and correlated with the extent of cognitive impairments, assessed with Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and clinical dementia rate (CDR) scores. The study said "Interestingly, the magnitude of the changes in the glutathione redox cycle seems to correspond with the disease severity. The data suggested that oxidative stress is an early factor in AD pathogenesis that can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, cell signaling impairments, and increased production of amyloid β (Aβ) peptides.
Macular Degeneration: Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe, irreversible vision loss in people over age 60. It affects more than 10 million Americans – more than cataracts and glaucoma combined. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. There are two basic types of Macular Degeneration: “Dry and “Wet.” Approximately 85-90% of the cases are the “dry” type, while 10-15% are the “wet” type.
The macula is made up of millions of light-sensing cells that provide sharp, central vision. It is the most sensitive part of the retina, which is located at the back of the eye. The retina turns light into electrical signals and then sends these electrical signals through the optic nerve to the brain, where they are translated into the images we see. When the macula is damaged, the center of your field of view may appear blurry, distorted, or dark.
Müller cells are the major glial cells of the retina which are present in both the macula and peripheral retina and play important roles in nerve-cell function, metabolism and activating light receptors in the eye. The importance of Müller cells for normal retinal function suggests that their dysfunction contributes to many eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and macular telangiectasia.
Dr. Mark Gillies, Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Eye Health at the University of Sydney, found much higher levels of cell toxicity in the Müller cells from the macula than in those isolated from the peripheral retina when PHGDH was blocked. Further investigation suggested this could be due to depletion of the protective molecule glutathione alongside a higher level of toxic reactive oxygen species in the macular Müller cells.
The question is how to elevate glutathione levels in the body effectively.
Taking glutathione as a supplement has unfortunately been proven to be not effective. One study gave healthy people 500 milligrams twice a day for a month, however due to the digestive process they were unable to raise the glutathione level in the blood.
In 1995, award-winning microbiologist Marika Mikelsaar, MD, PhD and her team of research scientists at the University of Tartu, Estonia isolated this distinctive probiotic strain. ME-3 is considered by scientists as a "complete glutathione system" due to its ability to produce glutathione in the human body via three different mechanisms. The unique strain ME-3 is proven to stimulate glutathione production naturally in the human body and works as a glutathione-activating agent via three different mechanisms.
Reg´Activ DETOX & LIVER HEALTH™* pairs ME-3 with additional, more familiar liver health nutrients. Many herbal and nutritive approaches to supporting liver health work well on the glutathione system. Consequently, they all complement ME-3’s activities: 1. L-selenothionine (easy-to-digest selenium) – Promotes healthy levels of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which supports liver tissue health* 2. L-methionine & N-Acetyl-cysteine – Act as glutathione precursors* 3. Milk thistle extract (Silymarin) – Supports production of super antioxidant enzymes in the liver*
For more information about ME-3 and Reg'Activ products go to essentialformulas.com
As always it is best to treat any serious health problem through an appointment with your Holistic Practitioner to get specific dosages of supplements and to take into account the rest of your health concerns as to what is most appropriate for you. Appointments (in office or via telephone) are available at the Tree of Life Wellness Center (508-336-4242).
Jane Jansen, Holistic Practitioner
Host of Holistic Healthline Radio