Out of the many antioxidants found to be beneficial in the body, glutathione happens to be the most powerful. It’s made up of amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid. The last two are readily available in the body for the formation of glutathione but cysteine is not. Cysteine is one of the precursors of glutathione. That means that glutathione cannot be formed without cysteine. You can get cysteine from your diet and its commonly found in garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, red peppers and eggs.
Functions of Glutathione
Glutathione is the body’s most powerful antioxidant because it directly neutralizes free radicals and maintains vitamin C and E in their active states.
Glutathione plays an essential role in the body’s cellular processes. It is used in all the biochemical and metabolic reactions that occur in the body such as DNA synthesis and repair, protein synthesis, enzymatic activity.
The immune, nervous, gastrointestinal and respiratory systems are directly affected by the state of the glutathione system in the body.
It is therefore a powerful immune booster as it plays a specific role in the detoxification of many cancer-causing substances in our environment. It detoxifies xenobiotics and other endogenous compounds by forming conjugates with them. These conjugates are usually excreted in the bile.
Low levels of glutathione in the body have been associated with the formation and progression of many diseases including cancer. Studies have shown that patients with cancer, serious chronic illness, AIDS and many other diseases have reduced glutathione levels.
Glutathione levels can be increased by eating a lot of cysteine rich foods. These can include raw food such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions and garlic. You can make delicious salads with these foods and your body will benefit highly from it.