Antioxidants help the body fight nasty compounds called free radicals, the main culprits of ageing and disease. Although lots of foods are high in antioxidants, the body is able to make an antioxidant more powerful than any of the ones found in food all on its own.
The body’s most powerful antioxidant
This antioxidant, called glutathione (pronounced glu-ta-thigh-on), is the most potent antioxidant produced in the body; yet, so few people have heard of it. Chemically, glutathione is a tripeptide composed of three amino acids: glycine, cysteine, and glutamate.
Dubbed the antioxidant of wonder, glutathione plays a role in managing health. Low glutathione activity has been associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disease, brain fog, poor concentration, sleep disturbances, increased inflammation, and various skin conditions.
How does glutathione do all of this? Well, glutathione’s primary job is to rapidly scavenge free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Essentially, it goes around devouring compounds that cause damage and disease.
But, glutathione doesn’t just fight off disease, it also plays a major role in how well we age. According to glutathione expert Dr. Jimmy Gutman, people who live to be over 100 tend to have high levels of glutathione activity in their bodies – this has held true across all animal species from mosquitoes to mice. However, the amount of glutathione in our body starts to significantly diminish after the age of 30.
In a study conducted by Dr. Calvin Lang, researchers evaluated the glutathione levels of four different age groups: 20-40, 40-60, 60-80, and 80-100.
As expected, the youngest group had adequate levels of glutathione. Of the second group of subjects (ages 40 to 60), 14% had significantly depleted levels of glutathione and this. This depletion got worse in even older subjects. Of the third group of subjects (ages 60 to 80), 53% had detrimentally low levels.
This depletion of glutathione over time means the body is not able to effectively fight off free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Clearly, there is some kind of connection between advancing age and this powerful antioxidant.
How does glutathione help us stay younger and healthier?
So, you know glutathione is somehow connected to helping people live to be over 100 years old, but how does it do that specifically? How does it help us stay healthy? Here are three of the main benefits of glutathione and why you need more of it.
Glutathione for skin conditions & ageing
Skin is the largest organ of the body. It is a reflection of our internal and external health. When there is an imbalance, it is often expressed on the skin. Ageing also shows up first on the skin, as wrinkles, dryness, or sagginess.
Uncontrolled oxidative stress not only leads to disease, but also exacerbates the appearance of wrinkles and an aged appearance. Maintaining glutathione levels throughout life may be able to help slow some of this down, helping to keep skin tight and youthful.
Here are a few of the ways that glutathione is connected with skin health:
- Low levels of glutathione can often correlate with ageing skin conditions.
- Glutathione helps reduce inflammation and repairs challenging skin conditions, such as acne and rosacea.
- Glutathione is a significant skin brightener because it helps detoxify the liver.
The more glutathione our body has, the more our skin glows and acquires the brightness we are hoping for. Increasing the body’s most powerful antioxidant can rapidly decrease signs of ageing and help repair the skin, so you’re able to age with grace.
Glutathione builds immunity
In the book, Glutathione Your Key to Health by Dr. Gutman, ageing is also associated with a declining immune system. As our immune system ages, our T-lymphocytes undergo serious changes, which makes us more susceptible to illness.
Glutathione is the queen of managing our immune system. Our immune system is designed as a unique set of cells which protect us from potential harm. The activity of immune cells and how healthy they are is determined by how much glutathione there is in the body. We need vibrant, healthy cells to support powerful immunity.
According to Dr. Hyman, a prominent Functional Medicine MD at the Cleveland Clinic, glutathione “is the most essential molecule you need to stay healthy.” When a virus enters the body, there is a release of oxidising chemicals that need to be neutralised. Glutathione must leap into action to reduce the oxidative stress before it causes too much damage.
The reason why we may be susceptible to getting sick, is that age and lifestyle factors deplete glutathione. Our day-to-day habits play an enormous role in how quickly our glutathione levels diminish, increasing the risk of illness.
Lifestyle factors that deplete glutathione include stress, poor diet, chemical exposures, and lack of sleep. Improving your lifestyle can increase glutathione and help keep your immune system strong. The more healthy immune cells we have internally, the better we are protected from what comes at us externally.
Glutathione and sleep
Sleep is one of the most underrated health habits, but also one of the most important for reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Glutathione levels in the brain can play a major role in how well you sleep. People with higher levels of glutathione tend to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed. Additionally, a good night’s sleep can enhance the body’s ability to make glutathione.
The thalamus and the hypothalamus, two areas of the brain that help regulate sleep-wake cycles, can be susceptible to glutathione depletion.
A study conducted by Tokyo Medical University showed that high levels of glutathione promotes sleep and helps other hypothalamic conditions. The study also explains that glutathione helps to detoxify neuronal tissues at different times during sleep. Therefore, it is essential for us to have enough of this wonderful promoter of deeper sleep if we want to have a good night’s rest.
How to naturally (and effectively) increase glutathione levels
Although you may see many glutathione supplements on the market, it is not well absorbed by our body when taken as a dietary supplement.
But, there are many ways you can increase your glutathione levels naturally. One of the most effective ways is via liposomal delivery through the skin. This is an innovative delivery process used in skincare products that helps glutathione penetrate via the skin to revitalise the cells and to deliver glutathione back into the body, where it belongs.
Susona, a skin care brand, has developed a line of clean, non-toxic, science-based liposomal performance skincare products, which we call glutatherapy.™ Founded by Rachel Levine, MSc, an Integrative Health practitioner, the brand saw an imperative need for everyone to have access to absorbable glutathione. By applying liposomal delivery technology to skin care products, Susona’s debut product, the Face Serum is a formula that pairs glutathione with plant-based collagen to enhance absorption and results.
Since liposomal delivery goes beyond the skin and into the body, you get all the health benefits of glutathione and collagen delivered to the skin directly with exceptional results visible on your complexion. You can expect a rapid reversal of wrinkles and fine lines, all while your skin gets tightened and brightened to youthful perfection.