Richard Morgan’s interview with Dr. Alan Green on Modern Healthspan titled “The Importance Of Maintaining Glutathione As We Age | Dr Alan Green Episode 5”
Summary of important points:
m0:25 – There’s a good research paper out of Baylor medical school testing people in the 70-80 year old age group showing that they were very low in levels of glutathione. Glutathione is a tri-peptide, 3 amino acids stuck together, including cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine. (6)
m1:13 – Everyone has plenty of glutamic acid but older people are deficient in glycine and NAC. In this study, they use a combination of glycine and NAC with very good results. The results were from raising glutathione levels, resulting in much better mitochondrial function.
m1:50 – Participants had better grip strength, better walking speed, better cognitive function, better insulin sensitivity. Conclusion was that older people do very well if they can maintain levels of glutathione that younger people have.
m2:35 – Older people seem to use up more glutathione and can’t make enough to keep up with all the oxidation stress they produce. They can’t make enough glycine and cysteine from their diet. NAC and glycine are called non-essential amino acids but the body can’t make enough.
m3:50 – Older people had to take .1 gram of glycine and .13 gram of cysteine.
Glutathione has anti-aging properties that regulate oxidative stress and reduce mitochondrial dysfunction
Glutathione (GSH) is the most powerful antioxidant we know of and a critical regulator of oxidative stress. Increasing glutathione in the body not only supports your liver and its detoxification abilities but has been shown to be an important strategy for prevention of oxidative stress-related diseases.
Both oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are implicated as factors in aging. Glutathione has been shown to improve mitochondrial impairment, systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, insulin-resistance, genomic-damage, cognition, strength, gait-speed, and exercise capacity, as well as lowering body-fat and waist-circumference.
Oxidative stress (OxS) and mitochondrial dysfunction are implicated as causative factors for aging (6)
We previously reported that inducing deficiency of the antioxidant tripeptide glutathione (GSH) in young mice results in mitochondrial dysfunction, and that supplementing GlyNAC (combination of glycine and N-acetylcysteine [NAC]) in aged mice improves naturally-occurring GSH deficiency, mitochondrial impairment, OxS, and insulin resistance. (6)
GlyNAC supplementation for 24 weeks in OA corrected RBC-GSH deficiency, OxS, and mitochondrial dysfunction; and improved inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, insulin-resistance, genomic-damage, cognition, strength, gait-speed, and exercise capacity; and lowered body-fat and waist-circumference. (6)
Glutathione also offers support for:
▸ Liver tissue protection
▸ Healthy fat metabolism
▸ Free radical damage
▸ Strengthening immunity
Glutathione has poor bioavailability but liposomal glutathione is a game changer
Since bioavailability of glutathione is poor, many people have turned to precursors of glutathione like glycine and N-acetylcysteine (NAC). However this approach is not as effective at raising glutathione levels as liposomal glutathione. This is because liposomal glutathione is much more bioavailable, being able to pass through the GI tract intact without getting broken down by bacteria and enzymes. The introduction of liposomal glutathione has literally been a game changer in maximizing glutathione levels.
Clinical researchers wanting to improve glutathione concentration levels have also turned to liposomal glutathione to achieve sustained bioavailability. Results from two recent studies showed that liposomal nanoformulation absorption is more effective for raising blood glutathione levels in humans than non-liposomal glutathione. 1
Both studies report a very rapid decline in bioavailability of non-liposome-encapsulated glutathione compared to liposomal glutathione. Because glutathione can be broken down rapidly in the digestive tract, it was important to use a glutathione supplement that was formulated to survive exposure to digestive enzymes and be well absorbed. Liposomes surround each molecule and protect the core ingredients from the digestive system while increasing its transport and uptake by your cells.
Liposomal glutathione is also a sustained-released liposomal delivery system which allows for superior absorption of glutathione. Known as the “Master Antioxidant,” glutathione levels decrease as a result of aging, stress and exposure to toxins. Liposomal glutathione ensures that maximum levels of glutathione can be attained.
Other studies show liposomal glutathione effectively increase glutathione levels
The results of a recent study demonstrated increased body stores of glutathione (GSH) after oral administration of liposomal GSH in humans. 2 Since GSH is subject to destruction in the acid environment of the stomach, researchers tested that oral liposomal GSH might be an effective means of GSH delivery in vivo.
In addition, liposomal GSH had positive effects on several GSH-related parameters including decreases in biomarkers of oxidative stress and enhancements in immune functions.
Finally, liposomal GSH was highly tolerated and its administration was not associated with any signs of adverse effects. (3)
The results from these additional studies provide supporting evidence for the use of oral liposomal glutathione as an intervention strategy for enhancing tissue glutathione levels for use in disease therapy or prevention.
Liposomal glutathione effects were often greater than previously observed for non-liposomal glutathione. (4)
Glutathione contributes to detoxification, reducing cellular damage and genetic mutations
Glutathione is a tripeptide composed of three amino acids – glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid.(1) Glutathione is a naturally occurring intracellular antioxidant found abundantly in nearly every cell in your body. Glutathione plays such a crucial role in our bodies, it’s even been dubbed “the mother of all antioxidants.” There is increasing awareness of its utility in mitigating body toxin load. (3)
Glutathione contributes to detoxification by binding to electrophiles that would otherwise cause cellular damage and genetic mutations.
Glutathione conjugation (facilitated by a family of glutathione transferase enzymes) helps contribute to detoxification by binding electrophiles that could otherwise bind to proteins or nucleic acids, resulting in cellular damage and genetic mutations. (6)
Low glutathione levels have been implicated in impairment of DNA synthesis and DNA repair. Glutathione has also been shown to be important for regulation of inflammatory genes important for the immune system and for the proper functioning of T-cells.
Low GSH availability can impair DNA synthesis since GSH acts (via thioredoxin) as a coenzyme for ribonucleotide reductase, an enzyme required for the synthesis of DNA (4)
GSH has been shown to regulate or influence the expression of several genes, notably inflammatory genes under the control of transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and activator protein 1 (AP-1), even in settings where there is no marked overproduction of ROS. In addition, GSH has been shown to regulate T-cell signaling by controlling phosphorylation of phospholipase C γ 1 (PLCg1), which is required to stimulate the calcium flux that occurs early in the T-cell receptor-signaling cascade. (4)
Glutathione plays a critical role in your body, including:
- Scavenging and neutralizing harmful free radicals
- Acting as a signaling molecule and modulating your immune response
- Regenerating other important antioxidants like Vitamins C and E
- Supporting mitochondrial function (the powerhouse of your cells)
- Transporting toxic heavy metals, like mercury, out of your cells
- Regulating cellular proliferation and apoptosis (programmed cell death)
Glutathione depletion is indicative of oxidative stress and occurs in various pathological conditions as well as extreme exercise activity. Raising blood glutathione concentration has the potential to prevent chronic disease and to improve recovery from exercise. (5)
Oral Glutathione Supports Skin Elasticity
Glutathione showed trends in increased skin elasticity at various sites, both sun-exposed and sun-protected skin in a recent study.
“In summary, we have shown that oral glutathione, 250 mg/d, in both reduced and oxidized forms have various beneficial effects on skin properties and is possibly an anti-aging agent, at least in middle-aged female subjects.” (5)
1 – Glutathione
2 – Glutathione
6 – Glycine and N-acetylcysteine (GlyNAC) supplementation in older adults improves glutathione deficiency, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, genotoxicity, muscle strength, and cognition: Results of a pilot clinical trial
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