Glutathione: Your Body’s Most Powerful Antioxidant

Today we’re talking about one of my favorite anti-aging molecules, a powerful antioxidant called Glutathione. It is your body’s most powerful antioxidant manufactured in all of your cells, but particularly important in the liver. People who are most physically active will naturally have the highest levels, and this is directly linked to having fewer illnesses. You may have heard about the production of free radicals and oxidative stress, and these are important concepts in aging and disease. I’d like to just take a minute to explain.

Oxidation is what happens when an electron is removed from an atom or a molecule. The result of this change can be destructive, a familiar example would be the rusting of iron. In our bodies, we obtain energy by burning fuel from food with oxygen that we breathe, and this metabolic process generates some dangerous byproducts called “free radicals”. These are atoms or molecules that have lost an electron by oxidation. Free radicals are capable of scavenging electrons from another molecule that they bump into in an effort to achieve stability. This creates even more unstable molecules in their neighbours, causing a bit of a chain reaction which is called “oxidative stress”. Oxidative stress is the total burden placed on our bodies by the constant production of these free radicals in the normal course of our metabolism. Plus, various other environmental insults, like exposures to radiation and toxins in our food and water, air and smoke, and smog, and tobacco. Fortunately, our bodies have defenses against oxidative stress in the form of specific molecules that know how to neutralize free radicals by donating an electron to them which cutoffs the chain reaction early in its course.

Glutathione is the most powerful of these molecules in your body. We also have elaborate repair mechanisms to take care of oxidative damage to the DNA, and the proteins in the cell membranes, and so on. Basically your health depends on the balance between the oxidative stress that you undergo and your antioxidant defenses. Aging and age related illnesses, these degenerative diseases are a reflection of our inability of our antioxidant defenses to keep up with oxidative stress over time. This damage leads to such chronic illnesses as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, chronic fatigue, and Alzheimer’s.

The bottom line is it’s a good thing to have plenty of glutathione. The product that I take on a daily basis to boost my glutathione levels is a supplement called Immunocal. You’ve heard me speak about this before. It’s proven to raise intracellular levels of glutathione. It’s a specially formulated whey protein isolate that raises glutathione in the body using cystine, which is the precursor molecule to glutathione. Other products that you might find at the health food store do not have the same bio-availability as Immunocal and will likely be destroyed by the stomach acid before being absorbed into your bloodstream.

In a perfect world we would not need to take supplements, but with so many negatives in our environment such as pollution, toxins, pesticides, processed food, viral illnesses, and stress, we need more than just eating right, rest and exercise to stay healthy.

Health Canada has validated the health claims of Immunocal in its ability to maintain a strong immune system, to increase muscle strength and performance which is linked to healthier aging and resistance to health challenges, including infections.

For more information about Immunocal, please call the office today.

Dr. Grant Pagdin

Dr. Pagdin is a leading expert in regenerative medicine in Western Canada. Dr. Pagdin is board-certified with the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (ABAARM) and a Member of the Interventional Orthopedics Foundation. His primary interest is preventative and anti-aging medicine using stem cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments.

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