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Ron Peters MD

Your  life  depends  on  a  very  small  molecule  called  glutathione  (GSH)  that  is  found  in  every  cell  of  your  body.    It  is   made  of  three  amino  acids  and  it  serves  three  life  sustaining  functions:

  1. Glutathione is the most  important  and  abundant  antioxidant  inside  all  the  cells  of  the  body,  serving  to  neutralize  free   radicals.  
  2. Essential  for  the  immune  system  to  fight  infections  and  kill  cancer  cells.
  3. Detoxifying  chemicals  and  heavy  metals,  and  removing  them  from  the  body.

What  medical  science  knows  about  glutathione

Intracellular  GSH  plays  a  central  role  in  the  functioning  of  all  immune  cells  and  is  required  for  T  and  B  cells   to  differentiate  into  fully  active  cells.   Glutathione  plays  a  critical  role  in  maintaining  cellular  energy  (ATP)  production  by  protecting   mitochondria  from  the  oxidative  damage  from  oxygen  metabolism,  and,  reducing  the  damaging  effects   of  mercury,  lead  and  other  heavy  metals  that  can  disturb  and  even  destroy  mitochondria.  

The  highest  concentration  of  glutathione  is  found  in  the  liver,  making  it  critically  important  in  the   detoxification  and  elimination  of  free  radicals.  Accumulation  of  these  dangerous  compounds  can  result  in   oxidative  stress,  which  occurs  when  the  generation  of  free  radicals  in  the  body  exceeds  the  body’s  ability   to  neutralize  and  eliminate  them.

Normal  production  of  glutathione  depends  on  the  function  of  a  biochemical  cycle  called  the   remethylation  of  methionine.  When  this  cycle  is  compromised,  the  production  of  the  many  products   associated  with  the  cycle  slow  down.  Methylation  is  involved  with  a  wide  range  of  functions  including   protein  production,  DNA  regulation  and  neurotransmitter  production.  Methylation  is  required  for  the   production  of  melatonin.  

The  importance  of  the  methionine  cycle  has  been  shown  in  research  on  autistic  children.  Several   biological  markers  pointed  out  that  interruption  of  this  cycle  leads  to  decreased  production  of   glutathione.  It  appears  that  decreased  availability  of  methylcobalamin  is  part  of  this  defect  as  injections  of   methylcobalamin  help  restore  the  methionine  cycle  in  the  situation.  In  a  twist  of  biochemical  irony,   glutathione  appears  to  be  needed  to  maintain  the  production  of  methylcobalamin  and  the  function  of  the   methionine  cycle.  

Glutathione  is  used  as  a  cofactor  by  multiple  peroxidase  enzymes,  to  detoxify  peroxides  generated  from   oxygen  radical  attack  on  biological  molecules.   Glutathione  protects  DNA  and  other  essential  body  proteins  because  it  is  used  as  a  cofactor  by  several   transhydrogenase  enzymes  which  reduce  oxidative  damage.  

Glutathione  S-­‐transferases  are  enzymes  that  conjugate,  or  attach,  glutathione  to  hormones  such  as   estrogens,  exogenous  chemicals  (e.g.,  arene  oxides,  unsaturated  carbonyls,  organic  halides),  and  diverse   xenobiotics  in  order  for  them  to  be  excreted  from  the  body.  

The  liver  is  the  largest  glutathione  reservoir  where  it  is  part  of  the  P450  detoxification  pathways.   Glutathione  is  carried  in  the  bile  to  the  intestinal  luminal  compartment.  Epithelial  tissues  of  the  kidney   tubules,  intestinal  lining  and  lung  have  substantial  P450  activity.  

Mercury  has  a  high  affinity  for  thiol  (sulfhydryl  (-­‐SH))  groups.  The  thiol-­‐containing  antioxidant,  glutathione   (GSH),  provides  the  major  intracellular  defense  against  mercury-­‐induced  toxicity. Glutathione  and  its  metabolites  also  interface  with  cellular  energy  production  and  neurotransmitter   syntheses  through  several  prominent  metabolic  pathways.  Glutathione  availability  down-­‐regulates  the   pro-­‐inflammatory  potential  of  leukotrienes  and  other  eicosanoids.    

Glutathione  depletion  has  been  documented  in  a  variety  of  degenerative  conditions,  including  asthma,   chronic  obstructive  pulmonary  disease (COPD),  autoimmune  diseases  like  lupus  and  rheumatoid  arthritis,   diabetes,  Parkinson's  disease,  Alzheimer's  disease,  atherosclerosis,  and  the  aging  process  in  general.   When  GSH  levels  are  fully  depleted,  the  cell  will  die.  

Supplementing  elderly  people  with  GSH  makes  them  feel  stronger  and  healthier  with  an  increase  T-cell   function.   Chronic  viral  infections,  such  as  hepatitis  C,  are  associated  with  GSH  depletion  in  circulating  immune  cells.   Schizophrenia  and  bipolar  disorder  are  associated  with  lowered  glutathione.  Accruing  data  suggest  that   oxidative  stress  may  be  a  factor  in  bipolar  disorder,  major  depressive  disorder,  and  schizophrenia.   Glutathione  (GSH)  is  the  major  free  radical  scavenger  in  the  brain.  

Diminished  GSH  levels  elevate  cellular   vulnerability  towards  oxidative  stress;  characterized  by  accumulating  reactive  oxygen  species.   Replenishment  of  glutathione  using  N-­‐acetyl  cysteine  has  been  shown  to  reduce  symptoms  of  both   disorders.

  Research  on  33  people  over  60  years  old  showed  that  those  with  the  highest  GSH  levels  in  their  blood  had   fewer  illnesses,  lower  cholesterol,  lower  blood  pressures,  and  healthier  weights  than  those  with  lower   levels.   Glutathione  does  over  27  different  things  for  the  body.    

Studies  indicate  it  has  a  positive  benefit  for  over  68  different  diseases  or  conditions,  including  Alzheimer’s   disease,  autism,  cancer,  chronic  fatigue,  COPD,  diabetes,  HIV,  multiple  sclerosis,  Parkinson’s  disease,   stroke,  ALS,  Huntington’s  disease  and  cystic  fibrosis.    

How  you  can  increase  glutathione  in  your  body:

Watermelon  and  avocado  are  the  richest  food  sources.  GSH  is  also  found  in  cruciferous  vegetables,  like   broccoli,  Brussels’  sprouts,  cabbage,  cauliflower,  and  kale.   Raising  GSH  levels  through  direct  supplementation  of  glutathione  is  difficult.  Research  suggests  that   glutathione  taken  orally  is  not  well  absorbed  across  the  gastrointestinal  tract.  In  a  study  of  acute  oral   administration  of  a  very  large  dose  (3  grams)  of  oral  glutathione,  Witschi  and  coworkers  found  "it  is  not   possible  to  increase  circulating  glutathione  to  a  clinically  beneficial  extent  by  the  oral  administration  of  a   single  dose  of  3  g  of  glutathione.

 Liposomal  glutathione  is  a  new  method  for  elevating  glutathione  levels  in  the  body.    It  can  also  be   nebulized  directly  into  the  lungs.   High  quality  whey  protein  has  been  shown  in  numerous  studies  to  increase  glutathione  content  within  the   cell.   A  daily  dose  of  vitamin  C  500  to  1000  mg  daily  will  elevate  and  maintain  tissue  levels  of  GSH.   N-­‐acetyl-­‐cysteine  1000  mg  daily  between  meals  will  increase  GSH  levels.    

According  to  a  group  of  researchers  in  France,  vitamin  D  increases  glutathione  levels  in  the  brain  and   appears  to  be  a  catalyst  for  glutathione  production.  The  amount  of  activated  vitamin  D  in  the  brain  is  tied   to  how  much  vitamin  D3  one  has,  either  ingested  through  supplements  or  created  in  the  skin  via  sun   exposure.  This  suggests  taking  vitamin  D3  supplements  and/or  getting  adequate  sun  exposure  boosts   glutathione  production.  

Alpha  lipoic  acid  has  also  been  shown  to  restore  intracellular  glutathione.   Silymarin,  an  extract  of  the  seeds  of  the  milk  thistle  plant  has  also  demonstrated  an  ability  to  replenish   glutathione  levels.

Dr Ronald Peters Md practices in Scottsdale AZ
13951 N Scottsdale Rd Suite 100

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