Glutathione is a substance found in every cell in the body, where it acts as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals and prevent cellular damage. Chemically, glutathione is a simple molecule composed of three amino acids- cysteine, glutamine and glycine. While certain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals also act as antioxidants, glutathione is different because it is intracellular and produced inherently within a well-nourished and healthy body. Proper glutathione levels are actually required so that the other antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, selenium and carotenoids, can be properly utilized within the body. Glutathione is also essential in other vital biochemical functions such as energy utilization, immune system activity, detoxification and disease prevention.
There are many effective ways to enhance glutathione levels naturally. By supporting the body with the proper nutrition and movement that it needs to reside in a state of harmonious balance, one can optimize glutathione production over the long-term. A nutrient rich plant-based diet is helpful in providing the body with the nutrients it needs to create glutathione. Sulfur-rich vegetables such as garlic, onions, parsley and cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts are particularly helpful. Be aware that cooking reduces the glutathione content of vegetables by 30-60%, and canning eliminates it completely. Learn more about cooking methods and inflammation on our FengFit Foods blog.
Glutathione production is dependent on adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the molecule which supplies cellular energy. Kick start your energy system by including a healthy amount of physical activity into your routine. Exceedingly strenuous exercise can lead to extensive cellular damage and free radical production so take care to practice healthy fitness and discover the balance that currently works for you, including adequate rest and recovery. Rebounding is one very effective way of enhancing cellular metabolism, while minimizing injury risk.
When it comes to patient care there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. Dr. Lu-Jean Feng works on an individual level with each and every patient and may recommend specific supplements to optimize a patient’s glutathione production, such as curcumin or a mitochondrial formulation to help promote cellular energy production. She may also recommend a Certified Personal Trainer to optimize your workouts and reduce fitness related injuries. Call our office to learn more about our individualized patient care.