What is Glutathione?
Our Body’s Master Antioxidant and Best Kept Secret
Glutathione is the body’s own natural antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize free radical activity in the body, and are vitally important for the function of a healthy immune system.
GSH is depleted by oxidative stress, which usually occurs by illness, infection, trauma, medication or surgery.
“Antioxidants are well documented to play vital roles in health maintenance and disease prevention. GSH is our cell’s own major antioxidant. Why not use what is natural?”(1)
Glutathione (GSH) is a tripeptide composed of the amino acids Cysteine, Glutamine, and Glycine. These molecules are found in a larger ratio in non-denatured whey protein compared with any other proteins ingested by humans. Both Cysteine and Glutamine are principle players in the coordinated T-cell response of macrophages and lymphocytes(2).
GSH is naturally found in all the cells of mammals. It provides the principal intracellular defense against oxidative stresses. GSH levels decrease with an insufficient nutrient intake, non-denatured protein specifically. Cysteine in the combined molecule of Glutamine and Cysteine (glutamylcysteine dipeptidesU) is the rate limiting step for GSH production. The natural conformation of the proteins is essential for producing intracellular Glutathione. Therefore the consumption of proteins that are low in Cysteine limit GSH production and availability.
True non-denatured Whey Protein Concentrate is the optimal nature prescribed precursor (required for the production) of Glutathione (GSH). It contains non-denatured Cysteine and Glutamine, the amino acids required for intracellular GSH production. It naturally contains the full range of proteins that enhance immune function including the protein bound fats that, in whey protein isolates, have been removed.
There are many whey proteins to choose from. The critical factors are: How was the whey produced? What are the actual amounts of the important proteins measured by independent lab analysis? These questions are addressed in our FAQ Page and throughout our website.
For more research details see Whey Protein Report, Glutathione by: David Marshall Jr.,O.D., Ph.D.
Glutathione “….since it is this protein more than any other that has been thought to provide a protective function for a number of organ systems, including the crystalline lens of the eye, the retina, prostate gland, and the immune system.”(3)
Non-denatured Whey Protein is acknowledged by the medical establishment as a dietary supplement that supports immune function and detoxification. It is now listed in the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR).
Immune Depressed individuals have lower GSH levels when fighting disease. Lymphocytes, cells vital for your immune response, depend on GSH for their proper function and replication. Immunology 61: 503-508 1987. Cellular depletion of Glutathione has been implicated as a causative, or contributory factor in many pathologies including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cataracts, arteriosclerosis, cystic fibrosis, malnutrition, aging, AIDS and cancer (Bounous et al., 1991). In addition, Glutathione is essential in supporting the immune system, including natural killer cells (Droege et al., 1997) and in the maintenance of T-lymphocytes (Gutman, 1998).
GSH plays a role in eliminating many carcinogens as well as maintaining immune function towards providing stronger anti-tumor defenses.Cancer Letters 57: 91-94 1991
It is known that as we age, there is a precipitous drop in GSH levels. Lower Glutathione levels are implicated in many diseases associated with aging, including Cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, arteriosclerosis and others. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 47: 1021-28 1994
Athletes Benefits to Increase GSH levels
Strong muscular activity generates oxyradicals leading to muscle fatigue and poorer performance. GSH neutralizes these radicals. Whey proteins promote muscular development. Sports Medicine 21; 213 – 238, 1996. Recent research indicates that propensities toward many degenerative diseases and aging itself are related to the capacity of the cell to robustly recover from oxidative insult. The capacity of a cell to recover from such insult can be determined by measuring the intracellular stores of Glutathione. (Noelle et al., 1981)
Antioxidants are well documented to play vital roles in health maintenance and disease prevention. GSH is our cell’s own major antioxidant. Why not use what is natural? Biochemical Pharmacology 47:2113-2123 1994
Low GSH has been demonstrated in neurodegenerative diseases such as MS (Multiple Sclerosis), ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, among others. The Lancel 344: 796-798 1994
Toxins, Pollution, Radiation
GSH detoxifies many pollutants, carcinogens and poisons, including many in fuel exhaust and cigarette smoke. It retards damage from radiation such as seen with loss of the ozone. Annual Review of Biochemistry 52 : 711-780 1983. The liver is the main detoxification organ of the body. In the liver we find very high concentrations of GSH, as it is a major factor in numerous biochemical detoxification pathways. Numerous studies have demonstrated that patients with compromised liver function due to alcohol abuse have significant reduction of GSH in the liver. (Lamestro, 1995)
Low Glutathione levels with poor survival in AIDS patients. Much literature has been written demonstrating the role of enhancing GSH levels in AIDS. Proc. National Acad. Science USA 94: 2967-72 1997
1. Biochemical Pharmacology 47:2113-2123 1994
2. Droege W, Holm E. Role of cysteine and glutathione HIV-wasting and other diseases associated with muscle wasting and immunoglobulin function. FASEB J 1997; 11:10771089
3. WHEY PROTEIN REPORT,Current Concepts on Whey Protein Usage, Prepared for The Cleveland Eye Clinic,by: David Marshall, Jr., O.D., Ph.D., Consult