About The Vital Nutritional Compound Glutathione To Your Health

By Tracy Done

Glutathione is a substance produced by the liver which has many beneficial effects on the body. It is not a true amino acid (amino acids are chemicals that make up protein in our systems and that are released by the metabolism of animal protein that we eat) but is a product of the synthesis of three of these important nutrients. Produced by the liver, glutathione works as a detoxifier and an antioxidant.

Studies have discovered that most of our supply of this important substance is found in our liver, where it is produced. It aids in the liver's function of purifying the bloodstream of toxins and of metabolic wastes. It is also found in our bloodstream, our lungs, and our intestines. It aids in the digestion of carbohydrates and in breaking down oxidized fats that the body deposits in our tissues in an attempt to keep them out of circulation.

Glutathione works as an antioxidant to combat the harmful free radicals that come from the foods we eat, pollution in the air we breathe, and toxins found in water and the environment. People who smoke, drink alcohol to excess, or are HIV positive especially seem to benefit from high levels of this compound throughout their systems. It appears to protect the lungs from byproducts of tobacco smoke, shield liver cells from damage from alcohol, and combat some of the effects of the AIDS virus.

Its importance to the nervous system is demonstrated by the reaction of those deficient in this nutrient. People with a deficiency exhibit lack of coordination, mental disorders, tremors, and loss of balance. People suffering from HIV are especially affected by a lack of this antioxidant.

Levels of this essential substance decrease with age, either because the body produces less of it or because more of it is used in the metabolic process. Researchers have called glutathione the 'master antioxidant', even more valuable than Vitamin C. Studies continue to show how effective it is in maintaining health throughout life.

This nutrient is sold in capsule form. It can also be found in amino acid formulas and liquid proteins. However, since it is not ingested in food but rather produced by the body, some health advisers feel that oral supplementation may not be effective. The studies that will answer this question have not been completed. Many experts advocate instead the supplementation of the three amino acids that are used in the production of the compound.

These true amino acids are also easily found. They are present in our food supply, but are easily destroyed by cooking and processing. Supplementation may be the best way to get extra glutathione, but care must be taken to ensure that everything remains in balance. Reputable manufacturers whose products are based on scientific research will have a formula which should give you the right amounts of each nutrient. It is possible to find the actual reports of research if you want to make your own evaluation.

Glutathione is necessary for life and health. However, it should not be taken without the advice of a trained practitioner or without comprehensive study of the role of amino acids in our bodies. There are special forms of these important nutrients that have been clinically tested and found to be superior. There is a lot of information on this subject; just be sure it comes from a reputable source.

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