What Is Glutathione? What Are Its Benefits?

What Is Glutathione? What Are Its Benefits?

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that is composed of three amino acids: glutamine, glycine, and cysteine. Every cell of the body contains glutathione, and by researching the effects that glutathione levels have on a variety of diseases, scientists continue to discover its benefits.

Functions of Glutathione

Like all antioxidants, glutathione serves many essential functions for the body. These include: 

  • Making DNA
  • Forming sperm cells
  • Breaking down some free radicals
  • Supporting immunity 
  • Helping the liver and gallbladder process fats
  • Regenerating vitamins C and E
  • Transporting mercury out of the brain

Despite the body’s ability to make glutathione, levels tend to decrease as you get older. Poor nutrition, stress, and environmental toxins can also lower glutathione levels. 

Benefits of Glutathione

Benefits of maintaining your glutathione levels, either through a healthy diet and exercise or through topical, oral, or intravenous supplementation include:

Antioxidant Activity 

Antioxidants help counteract free radicals, which contribute to aging and some diseases. Therefore, powerful antioxidants like glutathione can protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals.

Reducing Cell Damage from Liver Disease

Antioxidant deficiencies can worsen the fatty liver disease, contributing to further cell death. Conversely, glutathione may improve the protein, enzyme, and bilirubin levels of patients with chronic fatty liver disease. 

Reduced Insulin Resistance in Older Patients

A study examining the role that glutathione plays in weight management and insulin resistance connected low glutathione levels to less fat burning and higher rates of fat storage. Increasing glutathione levels may help older patients manage symptoms of insulin resistance.

Reduced Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

While further research is still needed, a study connecting the effects of intravenous glutathione treatments on Parkinson’s disease symptoms, including tremors and rigidity, reported improvement for patients. 

Assistance in Fighting Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases can cause chronic inflammation and increase oxidative stress. Glutathione may help in reducing oxidative stress by eliminating free radicals and protecting cell mitochondria.  Scientists are still uncovering the ways that glutathione can benefit our overall health. Meanwhile, you can work to maintain your natural glutathione levels through a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and avoiding environmental toxins.

CoQ10, Creatine, and Neuroprotection: What is the Link?

CoQ10, Creatine, and Neuroprotection: What is the Link?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant occurring naturally in the body. It is critical to the growth and maintenance of cells and is found to be lower in individuals with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. Research shows that taking CoQ10 supplements in combination with creatine may benefit individuals with these neurodegenerative conditions – but why?

CoQ10 & Creatine

Both CoQ10 and creatine are commonly found in meat and seafood. The body produces creatine naturally as well, in the kidneys, liver, and pancreas. It is an amino acid located in the brain and muscles, where it is used for energy. Together, both CoQ10 and creatine have neuroprotective effects. When taken in conjunction, they have been shown to improve motor performance and reduce DNA oxidative damage. They work by protecting against dopamine depletion and reducing lipid peroxidation, or the cellular damage caused by free radicals. CoQ10 and creatine have also been shown to reduce the volume of lesions found on the striatum, a part of the brain responsible for many aspects of cognition, including motor and action planning and decision making. In conditions like Parkinson’s disease, this area of the brain is compromised, resulting in symptoms such as tremors and slow movement. With Huntington’s disease, the degeneration of brain cells in this area causes progressive dementia.

How Should I Take CoQ10 & Creatine?

While CoQ10 and creatine can be ingested through food, they are found in minimal amounts in nutritional sources. Thus, eating more meat or seafood alone is unlikely to help you produce more of the antioxidant and amino acid. With that said, findings suggest that they can be taken as supplements as a form of combination therapy to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Moderate daily doses of CoQ10 (500-800 mg) in contrast with high doses (2,700 mg) in particular have been shown to yield mild to moderate improvements in symptoms like fatigue and muscle tone. Creatine has been shown to provide benefits for patients suffering from muscle-related pain. Before taking either CoQ10 or creatine, it is important for patients to discuss proper dosages and potential symptoms with their physicians for their ensured safety.

 

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