To achieve healthy, smooth and beautiful skin, it must be protected from harmful environmental stressors as much as possible. One key protector for our skin is an antioxidant called glutathione. Glutathione benefits for the skin are widespread, and the good news is that upping your glutathione levels is easier than you think.
The biggest stressor that our skin faces regularly is the sun. During summer many of us are spending hours outdoors and our skin will need protection.
Whether your time is spent watching little league baseball games, hanging by the pool or exercising outside — we will all be facing our share of UVA and UVB rays whenever we spend time outside.
Taking care of your skin should be on your radar. The skin is the body’s biggest organ that serves many important functions. Protecting the skin from damage is essential to preventing long-term damage and looking your best.
For example, signs of premature skin aging such as wrinkles, age spots and decreased elasticity can be detected as early as your 20s or 30s, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
There is a lot you can do to promote youthful skin, from wearing sunscreen to eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and foods that support glutathione production. Read on to learn several glutathione benefits, its role in skin health and how to up your levels of glutathione naturally.
What Does Glutathione Do for the Skin?
You may be wondering what is glutathione good for? Glutathione (also known as GSH), our body’s “master antioxidant” has been widely researched for its ability to protect cells against foreign invaders and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is damage caused by unstable molecules around us called free radicals, which are triggered by exposure to UV rays from the sun. These free radicals are the reason why skin starts to look saggy and wrinkled as we age.
Because GSH is made up of three key amino acids: glutamine, cysteine and glycine, it is present in virtually every cell of the body. It helps play a role in energy production, protects DNA, and helps the body naturally detoxify. It may play a role in longevity as well, and it’s been seen that those who live longer tend to have higher levels of glutathione in their cells.
The ability of GSH to fight free radicals is also especially prominent in the skin. When the skin is damaged by these molecules this leads to inflammation, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. Restoring glutathione levels with a healthy diet can help keep some of these skin aging signs at bay.
Researchers also found that intracellular GSH is involved in protecting human skin cells against a wide range of solar radiation damage from the sun. In another study, results suggest that a significant fraction of UVB damage can be healed by GSH inside the cells. This study highlights the major role of GSH in protecting human skin cells from the sometimes damaging action of sunlight.
Glutathione and Skin Care
You might be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to harness glutathione benefits for skin and glutathione antioxidants is not to take a GSH supplement.
One of the best ways to enjoy glutathione skin benefits and naturally increase your levels of GSH is to provide your body with the key precursors it needs, that is, the nutrients needed to produce it. These three precursors are the amino acids glycine, cysteine and glutamine. This is because while glutathione supplements have benefits, they are poorly absorbed and don’t work as well as allowing your body to make this powerful antioxidant on its own.
How to Optimize Glutathione Production
To experience all the glutathione benefits that are possible, maintain a healthy diet and consume enough good quality protein daily. Good sources of protein include high-protein foods like beans, nuts, meat, chicken, fish, tofu, eggs and dairy.
Taking a protein concentrate is another great way to get in enough good quality protein. Whey protein contains cysteine, glutamine and glycine which are the three amino acids necessary for glutathione production.
A whey protein concentrate like our Proserum®, contains exceptionally high amounts of non-denatured cysteine, glutamine and a full range of proteins that enhance immune function.
To reap the benefits of whey protein and enhance your body’s natural glutathione levels, consider adding it to your daily routine.
Whey can be enjoyed in smoothies, protein bars, and other recipes. For ideas, visit our recipe collection.
When selecting a whey protein, always choose high-quality whey concentrate for the most benefits. Our Vital Whey is derived from cows that are grass-fed on natural pastures. It is GMO- free, hormone treatment-free, pesticide and chemical free and undergoes minimal processing.
Our Vital Whey comes in three delicious flavors: natural, vanilla and cocoa.
Whey is just one way to enhance glutathione production in the body. Eating a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and quality protein give your body the nutrition it needs to produce this powerful antioxidant.
With your glutathione levels up, your body and beautiful skin will thank you!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does glutathione protect against oxidative stress? Yes, one of the biggest glutathione benefits is its role as a powerful antioxidant. In doing so it protects your body from free radicals that cause oxidative stress. It does this especially by protecting you from damaging UVA and UVB rays from the sun.
- How can I protect my skin from oxidative stress? Eating a balanced diet with plenty of good quality protein sources helps support your body’s natural glutathione production. Foods like meat, chicken, fish, tofu, beans, eggs and dairy are all quality sources. Taking a daily whey protein powder is also especially beneficial as it contains the amino acids glutamine, cysteine and glycine which are involved in making glutathione.
- Does glutathione cause oxidation? No, glutathione acts as an antioxidant in the body. Glutathione is present in a ratio of both oxidized and reduced forms, but both are protective.
- Albrecht S, Jung S, Müller R, et al. Skin type differences in sun‐induced oxidative stress. Br J Dermatol. 2019;180(3):e71-e71.
- Lang CA. The Impact of Glutathione on Health and Longevity. J Anti Aging Med. 2001;4(2):137-144.
- Tyrrell RM, Pidoux M. Endogenous glutathione protects human skin fibroblasts against the cytotoxic action of UVB, UVA and near-visible radiations. Photochem Photobiol. 1986;44(5):561-564.
- Tyrrell RM, Pidoux M. Correlation between endogenous glutathione content and sensitivity of cultured human skin cells to radiation at defined wavelengths in the solar ultraviolet range. Photochem Photobiol. 1988;47(3):405-412.
- Forman HJ, Zhang H, Rinna A. Glutathione: overview of its protective roles, measurement, and biosynthesis. Mol Aspects Med. 2009 Feb-Apr;30(1-2):1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2008.08.006. Epub 2008 Aug 30. PMID: 18796312; PMCID: PMC2696075.