Basic Information About Glutathione
Glutathione is considered the master antioxidant of the human body. Essential for keeping the body healthy and disease-free, glutathione’s main purpose if the neutralizing and eliminating free radicals. The elimination of free radicals protects cells from oxidative stress, supporting healthy body functions.*
This master antioxidant is a tripeptide that is comprised of three amino acids. Glutamate, cysteine and glycine are the three amino acids that are chemically bonded together to make glutathione. This peptide is similar to that of a protein that is comprised of amino acids, but the peptide bond is a shorter molecule.
All cells have a certain level of GSH present in them. However, it is the liver that maintains the overall level of glutathione in the human body. This is where the synthesis of glutathione takes place and is then transferred into the red blood cells. A deficiency in the synthesis or export of this tripeptide has been linked to aging-related issues.*
Synthesis of Glutathione
The synthesis of GSH is a complicated process and one that will not be discussed here in detail. Only the basics of glutathione synthesis will be discussed so that one can understand the basics of that is required to maintain and/or raise their levels of it in their body.
The pre-cursors of synthesis are the amino acids glutamate, glycine and cysteine, with cysteine being the most important amino acid. There are two enzymes in the cytosol of cells that are involved in the glutathione synthesis process. They are glutamylcysteine synthetase and glutathione synthetase. The synthesis of glutathione has been determined by research to be controlled by the availability of glutamylcysteine synthetase which is found in the amino acid cysteine.
Cysteine can be found in high protein foods and through products like Triotein. It is important to understand that inadequate levels of cysteine in your body will hinder GSH synthesis thus lowering the levels of glutathione in your body.
The human body is a complicated machine with many processes happening simultaneously. Many of these biochemical reactions involve two things; reduction and oxidation or as they are also known as redox reactions. Every biochemical process has some form of by-product other than the desired result and they are essential for every living organism. How the unwanted by-products are dealt with, is what will determine the over the health of the organism.
When discussing facts about glutathione, it must be understood that it plays a critical role in redox reactions within the human body and exists in two forms, oxidized and reduced in a cell. The reduced state of participates in biochemical reactions transferring electrons to other molecules (i.e. free radicals). This process is called reduction.
It is helpful to understand that all redox reactions include both a reducing and oxidizing step. During glutathione’s role in a reduction reaction, GSH is oxidized to glutathione disulphide or GSSG. The cells also contain the enzyme, glutathione reductase, which quickly replenishes glutathione (GSH) so that it can then continue to work in additional redox reactions.
Functions of GSH
It is through the redox reactions that the importance of antioxidants is seen. If left untreated, the oxidized cells would become damaged by the exposure to oxygen. The oxygen molecules produced are highly reactive and can quickly damage healthy cells. It is through the presence of antioxidants that these highly reactive oxygen molecules are stabilized and rendered safe to our cells.
GSH called the master antioxidant has this name as it is the primary cellular antioxidant. It neutralizes the reactive oxygen molecules and protects the cells from oxidative stress and damage. It can also detoxify any other foreign compound that is a by-product of the redox reactions.
While the main role of glutathione is an antioxidant, it plays other roles in cellular function. It participates in the synthesis and repair of DNA, the expression and repair of genes into proteins, nutrient metabolism, cellular communication and many actions of the immune system. The importance of maintaining the proper amounts of glutathione cannot be stressed enough.
With many GSH products on the market, it can be confusing as to which supplement is best for raising your levels safely and effectively. To start, any orally taken supplement has been clinically proven to not substantially increase the levels within the human body. The enzymes in the human digestive tract break down the GSH and release the amino acids into the body in a form that does not work towards proper synthesis.
The best way that has been researched and proven to increase glutathione production is by undenatured whey protein. The product that has been proven to be the best at this is the lactose-free whey protein called Triotein. The whey protein allows the three essential amino acids to reach the liver intact, thus being available for successful synthesis.
Triotein has been proven to be the best whey protein for increasing the levels of glutathione. All-natural and pure, Triotein has zero side-effects and allows the body to naturally produce the amounts of GSH required for sustained health. Triotein delivers what the body requires to protect the trillions of cells that comprise the human body. Many clinical studies are being conducted on the health benefits of GSH. You can read more on them here at PubMed.gov.*
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.