Who would not like to get their hands on a naturally occurring substance that functions as an antioxidant, an immune system booster, and a detoxifier? Something that may help your body repair damage brought on by stress, pollution, radiation, disease, medications, poor diet, aging, injury, trauma, and burns?
They’re speaking to glutathione, a principle endogenous (body’s own) antioxidant. Most of glutathione’s antioxidant activity is mediated by enzymes. Enzymes may effect a chemical reaction move hundreds of times faster. It’s like super turbo charged antioxidant action on steroids compared to an antioxidant species acting by itself.
Three basic classes
Availability of this amino acid cysteine can restrict production of glutathione. Two supplements effective in creating cysteine available for glutathione production are N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and whey protein. It’s usually believed that whey protein makes cysteine accessible as the dimer form of cysteine (called cystine) and possibly another glutathione precursor, gamma glutamyl cysteine.
The metabolism of glutathione involves not only production but also recycling and regulation. Supplements like alpha lipoic acid (ALA), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and selenium are proven to boost glutathione levels by encouraging these other facets of glutathione metabolism.
Taking glutathione orally is extremely common but available evidence indicates that this is among the least effective techniques of supplementation. Various delivery methods have been attempted to increase effectiveness. Glutathione is available in IV form. Additionally, there are nasal and sublingual products. Liposome enclosed glutathione taken orally in liquid form is a promising idea but there is not a lot of evidence of its efficacy.
Metabolism of glutathione
Glutahione is made up of three amino acids linked together. They’re cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. Various enzymes in the cellular level place them together to produce the glutathione molecule.
Production of the enzyme which places cysteine and glutamic acid collectively is inhibited by glatathione. As the glutathione level increases production of the enzyme cuts back. This manner, the glutathione level is controlled.
The basic intention of glutathione is to promote the chemical reaction of loss. This offsets the chemical reaction of spontaneous oxidation that frequently has a negative impact on the body. Also, many toxic molecules can be neutralized by loss. When something is diminished, two molecules of glutathione join to form an oxidized double molecule known as a dimer. There’s another reducing agent known as NADPH. If the body has some of it to spare, then it may use it to convert the dimer back to reduced glutathione.
Problems with supplements?
Glutathione taken orally is probably not an effective nutritional supplement. Most is broken down by digestion. The little bit that reaches the blood isn’t absorbed very well. Other delivery methods such as IV, liposome-enclosed, nasal or sublingual might be more effective.
However, even if a direct shipping product is successful, it may disrupt normal glutathione metabolism to some degree. As was stated earlier, glutathione production is governed by the glutathione level. If glutathione is introduced artificially, the body will reduce its own production and might become more reliant on this artificial origin. Long term use of an immediate shipping merchandise may create more difficulties than it solves. So it is much better to take N-acetyl (NAC).
What is best for you?
- Speed. Why do you need a glutathione supplement? Is it to tackle a particular condition? Is it for overall wellness with the purpose of promoting longevity? Is it to increase athletic performance or for bodybuilding? Fast acting supplements are NAC and possibly liposome-enclosed GSH. Whey protein provides a less tumultuous but slower acting supplementation.
- Convenience. Whey protein is a well-validated, long term solution, but it’s certainly less convenient than carrying a capsule.
- Quality. Whey protein powders change a whole lot concerning protein composition. This not only effects price but very likely impacts effectiveness of the glutathione supplementation.
- Affordability. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) capsules are less costly than most other choices.
- Long term effects. Evidence indicates that long term use of NAC can lead to pulmonary arterial hypertension. Long-term use of glutathione supplements on various human populations deserves additional research.