Posted on November 19, 2011 This is most important molecule you need to stay healthy and prevent disease — yet you’ve probably never heard of it. It’s the secret to prevent aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more, and necessary to treat everything from autism to Alzheimer’s disease. There are more than 89,000 medical articles about it — yet most MD’s aren’t familiar with it, let alone know how to address the epidemic deficiency of this critical life-giving molecule. What is it? It is the mother of all antioxidants, the master detoxifier and maestro of the immune system: GLUTATHIONE (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own”). The good news is that your body produces its own glutathione The bad news is that poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all deplete your glutathione. This can leave you susceptible to unrestrained cell disintegration from oxidative stress, free radicals, infections and cancer. And your liver gets overloaded and damaged making it unable to do its job of detoxification. Really, What is Glutathione? Glutathione is a very simple molecule that is produced naturally all the time in your body. It is a combination of three simple building blocks of protein or amino acids — cysteine, glycine and glutamine. The secret of its power is the sulfur (SH) chemical groups it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule. It acts like fly paper and all the bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins like mercury and other heavy metals. Normally glutathione is recycled in the body — except when the toxic load becomes too great. And that explains why we are in such trouble. There are genes you can test for to see if your production of glutathione has been impaired. GSTM1 is just one of these genes and one of the most important genes needed in the process of creating and recycling glutathione in the body. One-third of our population who suffer from chronic disease, are missing this gene. When the glutathione becomes depleted, we can no longer protect ourselves against free radicals, infections, or cancer and we can’t get rid of toxins. The British medical journal, the Lancet, found the highest glutathione levels in healthy young people, lower levels in Healthy elderly, lower still in sick elderly and the lowest of all in the hospitalized elderly. Tips to Optimize your Glutathione Levels Consume sulfur-rich foods. The main ones in the diet are garlic, onions, and the cruciferous vegetables; broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress etc. Try bioactive whey protein. This is great source of cysteine and the amino acid building blocks for glutathione synthesis. I am not a big fan of dairy, but this is an exception — with a few warnings. The whey protein MUST be bioactive and made from non-denatured proteins ( denaturing refers to the breakdown of the normal protein structure). Exercise boosts your glutathione levels and thereby helps boost your immune system, improve detoxification and enhance your body’s own antioxidant defenses Take Glutathione Supporting Supplements. One would think it would be easy just to take glutathione as a pill, but the body digests protein — so you wouldn’t get the benefits if you did it this way. The main supplements that need to be taken consistently to boost glutathione, beside a good multivitamin and fish oil, are N-acetyl-cysteine, Alpha lipoic acid, Methylation nutrients; folate and vitamins B6 and B12. Selenium, antioxidants, and Milk thistle (silymarin) has long been used in liver disease and helps boost glutathione levels. In my practice I give glutathione injections, and / or use patches that increase the bodies ability to increase glutathione production So use these tips and see how they work to help you optimize your glutathione levels. When you do, you will take one more step to lifelong vibrant health.