What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a crucial substance produced naturally by the liver to prevent cell damage by neutralizing harmful molecules generated during energy production in processes such as oxidation and metabolism. It is also found in fruits, vegetables and meat. Glutathione is involved in body processes such as tissue building and repair, making essential body chemicals and proteins and boosting immunity. It is therefore an essential element in the body which makes glutathione deficiency treatment a vital topic. The uses of glutathione however are not limited to in-body process only. It can also be administered to achieve numerous health and medical uses such as:
1. It is taken orally to treat cataracts and glaucoma.
2. Used to prevent aging due its antioxidant properties.
3. It is used to prevent/treat alcoholism, asthma, liver disease, hepatitis, cancer, memory loss, Parkinson’s disease, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.
4. Glutathione is used to control diseases that weaken the immunity such as HIV/AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome.
5. It is also inhaled to curb lung diseases.
6. Administered to fight poisoning and maintain immunity.
7. Administered intravenously to prevent poisonous effects of chemotherapy and treating male infertility.
We can now get down to discuss its deficiency and subsequently glutathione deficiency treatment. Glutathione deficiency is a disorder that prevents the production of the essential glutathione. Research shows that almost all chronic conditions (HIV/AIDS, all cancers, asthma, diabetes, cataracts,etc) are characterized by glutathione deficiency. Its deficiency has various symptoms including:
1. Increased oxidative stress.
2. Greatly reduced ability of the body to detoxify leading to unhealthy accumulation of toxins and metals.
3. Inability to repair DNA.
4. Abnormal cell mutation.
5. Reduced supply of oxygen to cells.
6. Eventual cell death.
3 Stages of Glutathione Deficiency
Glutathione’s deficiency is categorized into three stages, namely the mild stage, moderate stage and the severe stage.
Mild stage: This is the initial stage of glutathione deficiency which results in destruction of the red blood cells which are crucial for the transportation of oxygen to body tissues. It therefore leads to the reduced supply of oxygen to cells.
Moderate stage: Mostly occurs after childbirth and its effects include hemolytic anemia and elevated acidity in blood and body tissues.
Severe stage: Only people with serious chronic conditions and those undergoing harsh treatment such as chemotherapy are severely depleted of glutathione. They however respond very quickly and positively to even the slightest increase in glutathione levels. Neurological symptoms are experienced during this stage such as seizures, slowing down of physical reactions, movement and speech, loss of coordination, intellectual disability and in some cases recurrent bacterial infections such as in AIDS patients.
Treatment of Glutathione Deficiency
Since it has been established that glutathione is essential in important body functions, it’s also equally if not more important to figure out glutathione deficiency treatment, or rather, how to boost glutathione levels.
1. Eating foods with high glutathione levels – As the most natural method of raising glutathione levels, eating fruits and vegetables rich in glutathione such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower as well as common spices such as cinnamon and turmeric is critical not only for those suffering from glutathione deficiency but also those willing to prevent the risk since prevention is better than cure. These fruits, vegetables and meats are also rich in cysteine which is a crucial building block in forming glutathione in the body and whose deficiency is the main cause of glutathione deficiency due to its shortages. It is however worth noting that these foods are best taken raw since cysteine rarely survives cooking.
2. Taking supplements – Supplements rich in glutathione such as liposomal, magnesium and selenium, another antioxidant which elevates glutathione levels are also key. Vitamins E & C supplements, which also act as antioxidants, contribute in boosting glutathione while also recycling it in the process.
3. Glutathione can also be boosted by administering intravenous glutathione which is administered by a doctor to patients experiencing severe deficiency.
Glutathione is a crucial substance that helps us live long, healthy lives that are resistant to disease. Glutathione deficiency treatment can also be achieved more successfully by avoiding substance that deplete it such as fuels and pollutants, metals such as mercury, pesticides and herbicides, food preservatives, chlorine present in treated water and synthetic food dyes. Some of these are very difficult to avoid, but hey, it’s better to be safe than sorry!