Many of us have become aware of the term; we have purchased the buzzword products; but perhaps not know the exact mode of action and benefits of said terminology. Antioxidants! We hear about them with blueberries, with supplements, with beauty products. However, what is an antioxidant?

An antioxidant is a substance that removes potentially damaging free radicals in a living organism. Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells and optimal vitality occurs when these cells are protected and continuously repaired. Free radicals cannot be avoided; in fact they are a natural part of digestion, after effect of exercise, and even breathing results in oxidative stress, or free radical damage. Glutathione is one of the most important of the antioxidants responsible for a majority of the cellular protection from free radical damage. Glutathione is of vital importance. It will help to squelch free radicals and prevent cellular damage.

Managing free radical damage with such an important results in:
 anti-aging
 enhances the immune system
 cellular detoxification
 cancer protective, by preventing irregular cell proliferation.
 Protective effect on the lungs, ie. Asthma; lung inflammation
 Dampens histamine response with seasonal allergies
 Liver detoxification of toxins, virus, bacteria
 And many, many other wildly important functions

Typically we are taught to include antioxidants from an outside source, for the effect protective effect it will have on the body. For example, Vitamin’s C and E and blueberries. However, the body will internally make this master antioxidant. Three amino acids are required to internally produce Glutathione: glutamine, glycine, and cysteine.

We can enhance it’s production by: practicing mindfulness and decreasing stress; moderate amount of exercise; adequate hours of quality sleep; a whole foods diet, avoiding processed food to assist optimal function of the liver.

There are times however, when our intracellular glutathione production is diminished due to stressors or aging, or a chronic inflammatory health concern. At this point it is extremely beneficial to supplement Glutathione. All supplements are not created equal. Many low quality supplements will be a waste of resources. The gut will break down the glutathione, resulting in ineffective absorption. When looking to incorporate glutathione look for one of these forms.

1. Liposomal Glutathione – the glutathione is encased in fat molecules and bypasses the corrosive environment of the stomach; the molecule will remain in tact and allow for digestive absorption.

2. S-Acetyl-Glutathione – this form also prevents breakdown in the digestive tract allowing for absorption

3. Intravenous Glutathione – in chronic cases of inflammation, toxic load, viral/bacterial load, pulmonary distress, often a rapid and immediate boost of available glutathione is necessary. In which case bypassing the entire digestive system and IV injection is the preferred method for quick relief.

4. Nebulized Glutathione – this is an aerosol version of the potent antioxidant. When a patient is experiencing a high level of pulmonary distress, nebulized glutathione is the quickest route of administering glutathione. The inhaled mist offers quick relief to inflammation of the mucus membranes of the lungs.

Glutathione is the mother of all antioxidants, unique in the fact that we can internally produce it. But as we know, in the early stages of healing, often the body is already in a state of distress and supplementation is a necessary option. Eventually, as the body is skillfully guided back to balance and wellbeing, we can once again rely on healing – inside out.

In health,
Dr. Neetu