Our bodies are consistently exposed to pollutants, toxins, and other substances that can damage our bodies. Many of us are aware of antioxidants in foods that can fight off free radicals, but fewer people know about our body’s natural antioxidant power. To protect against damage to our cells from oxidative stress, we naturally produce an antioxidant called glutathione.
In this article, we cover what glutathione is, the benefits of taking glutathione, and the best time to take glutathione for your health.
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is considered the “master antioxidant” of the human body. It is vital to detoxify the body, support metabolism, make new DNA, and protect the body from oxidative stress.
Glutathione is produced in the liver and is made up of the three amino acids glycine, cysteine and glutamic acid. Without an adequate intake of these nutrients, glutathione production is limited and our body’s antioxidant capacity decreases.
Foods and supplements that support glutathione production include nuts, legumes, beans, whey protein, milk thistle, eggs, beef, fish, poultry, flaxseed, spinach and okra, along with cruciferous and allium vegetables such as broccoli, kale, onions, and garlic.
What Are the Benefits of Taking Glutathione?
Circulating levels of glutathione can have implications for our health status. Studies find that glutathione deficiency is associated with higher oxidative stress and increased risk of chronic diseases.
Glutathione production by our bodies naturally decreases with age, but can also be impacted by diet, physical activity, alcohol intake, infections, stress, certain medications, and chronic illness.
Knowing when to take glutathione supplements or choosing glutathione-boosting foods can increase the body’s stores of glutathione, help fight oxidative stress and support overall health.
Some specific benefits of taking glutathione are as follows:
1) May Slow Skin Aging
Our skin is frequently exposed to UV radiation and oxidative molecules that can cause early skin aging. Studies find that oral glutathione supplementation can help improve skin elasticity and decrease signs of skin aging including dark spots.
2) May Support Liver Health
The liver is the major organ involved with detoxifying the body from medications and substances such as alcohol. Glutathione supplementation may help decrease oxidative stress and damage in the liver from chronic liver disease and toxin exposure.
3) Helps Insulin Sensitivity
People with type-2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance may have lower circulating levels of glutathione and decreased glutathione metabolism. Research suggests that oral glutathione supplementation may help increase insulin sensitivity in individuals with and without type-2 diabetes.
4) Supports Immune Function
Multiple studies find that both liposomal glutathione supplements and whey protein supplements may help increase glutathione levels, decrease inflammatory markers, and help immune response in people with impaired immune function.
What Time is Best to Take Glutathione?
To optimize the benefits of taking a glutathione supplement, you may be curious about when is the best time to take glutathione – in the morning, or at night?
Based on what we know about the fluctuation of glutathione levels throughout the day and studies on glutathione intake, the best time for glutathione intake may be at night.
Glutathione’s activity and concentration levels fluctuate according to our circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are our body’s internal clock, operating on a 24-hour cycle to regulate our sleep-wake cycle and the fluctuation of physiological processes throughout the day.
Research suggests that during our nighttime sleep cycle, glutathione activity increases as our bodies attempt to recover and repair from free radicals generated from active metabolism and exposure to stressors. People with high levels of oxidative stress may potentially deplete their glutathione levels during the night.
Taking a glutathione supplement at night may help support glutathione levels during nighttime recovery, especially in cases of sleep deprivation. One study found that a single night of sleep deprivation was associated with a significant reduction in glutathione and other antioxidant levels
Choosing High-Quality Glutathione to Take at Night
Now that you know the best time to take glutathione, it is important to choose high-quality sources of glutathione to support your health. In addition to a healthy diet, whey protein is a great source of cysteine, glutamine and glycine for glutathione production.
Our Vital Whey made with Proserum whey protein concentrate has high Biological Value, providing exceptional amounts of cysteine and glutamine compared to other brands. Vital Whey is derived from grass-fed cows, minimally processed, and is free of GMOs, hormone treatment, pesticides, and chemicals.
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