Nutrient Highlight: The Anti-aging Antioxidant

Mary Pardee

Co-Founder, Authentic Self

Glutathione

Glutathione is one of the master detoxification agents in the body. It neutralizes toxins so they can be excreted safely from the body. Glutathione protects neurons in the brain from damage by squelching free radicals and preventing cell death (decreasing inflammation). Glutathione has a particular affinity for mitochondrial DNA and telomeres. Telomere shortening is associated with aging…Bottom line: long telomers = age like George Clooney. Mitochondrial DNA is important for many reasons.

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Why do we need to protect our mitochondria?

 

1. Burn fuel/produce energy

We need to be able to produce energy to perform virtually every function in the body. Optimal energy production allows us to be awake, full of energy and ready to take over the world. Poorly functioning mitochondria means that you cannot efficiently burn energy stores (fat and carbohydrates) for fuel, possibly leading to weight gain and fatigue.

2. Enhance cognitive function

Thinking, short latency, and memory all depend on mitochondrial function. If you can't produce enough energy, then your brain won't function optimally. 

3. Reduce brain fog

Hazy thinking is not normal, we don’t have to live with this.

4. Protect our cells from damage and slow the aging process

5. Reduce light, noise, and smell hypersensitivities.

An inability to tolerate the smell of candles or sensitivity to bright lights can be an indication of suboptimal mitochondrial function. 

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6. TONS of other reasons that deserve another blog article

 

How to optimize glutathione levels for optimal mitochondrial function:

Enhancing glutathione status may help protect your mitochondria, leading to...enhanced memory, shortened latency, improved cognition, decision-making, judgment, and getting all Benjamin Button on the aging process. 

1. Intravenous glutathione

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An infusion of glutathione directly into the vein is the best way to increase stores in the body because you are able to bypass digestion which breaks down glutathione. Find a qualified naturopathic doctor that can get a line in!

For recommendations for doctors in your area- please reach out to me; I would be happy to help you find someone. 

Here are a couple of naturopathic medical clinics that offer IV Glutathione: 

Nature & Science Medicine (Encinitas)

LIVV Natural Health (Del Mar)

Regenerate Health Medical Center (Santa Barbra)

2. N-acetyl cysteine supplementation (NAC) 

This is the precursor to glutathione, taking this can help increase stores in the body. It is essential to get a high quality source for this supplement, don’t bother with a grocery store brand; it is a waste of money.

3. Supplements that enhance your body’s ability to make and recycle glutathione

4. Decrease exposure to toxins

Decreasing the depletion of glutathione in the body and will result in larger stores to protect the brain when needed.

  • Limit/avoid alcohol- alcohol depletes glutathione in the body
  • Choose organic produce- pesticides deplete glutathione stores
  • Acetaminophen (tylenol)- this along with other medications deplete glutathione levels

Reference:

  1. PMID: 26244378