There’s one antioxidant above all others that keeps you healthy by boosting your immune system. It’s the king of antioxidants – and one that your own body produces. It supercharges your immune system and flushes your body clean of toxins. Yet chances are your doctor doesn’t even know it exists.
When you’re young you produce it in spades. But as you age, your body produces less of it. In fact, you produce less with each passing year. And modern living depletes your stores even quicker. Poor diet… toxins… drugs… stress… all fight to bring down this super molecule.
Without it, you’re wide open to free radical damage, infections and oxidative stress. That’s why sick people are always found to be totally deficient in it.
“I have discovered that deficiency is found in nearly all my sick patients,” says Dr. Mark Hyman. “[This antioxidant] is critical to preventing disease and maintaining health.”
The good news is that it’s easy to replenish your supply with simple lifestyle changes.
Master Molecule Behind Good Health
This super antioxidant is called glutathione. It is formed from proteins and amino acids. And it contains sulfur chemical groups. Glutathione attracts and traps toxins and free radicals in your body… and then flushes them out.
When you’re young and your body is working right, glutathione powers your immune system by breaking down oxidative stress and free radical damage.
“In my practice, I test the genes involved in glutathione metabolism,” says Dr. Hyman. “Nearly all my very sick patients are missing this function. The one-third of our population that suffers from chronic disease [are all deficient].”
How Glutathione Works
Glutathione strengthens your immune system and helps you fight infections and illness. One recent study shows how powerful its immunity-boosting function is… In fact, the same research shows that glutathione can actually help treat AIDS.
That’s because glutathione is your body’s best antioxidant… boosting all the other antioxidants.
Glutathione repairs free radical damage. It protects our cells and maintains healthy energy metabolism. Plus, it’s always working to detox our bodies. All the toxins in our bodies stick to glutathione, and it transports them into bile and waste… which we excrete from our bodies.
But this process breaks down as we get older… or get bombarded with toxins and oxidative stress. And as our glutathione levels weaken, we can’t flush out toxins… or fight free radicals or infection.
“Preventing disease and aging well depend on keeping [your] levels high,” says Dr. Hyman.
That’s why people who are ill – or older – are always deficient in this super antioxidant. A leading medical journal reports that the lowest levels of glutathione levels are found in hospitalized seniors. The highest levels are recorded in healthy young people who exercise regularly and live a healthy lifestyle.
While you produce less of this antioxidant as you age, simple lifestyle changes can restock your supplies. There are three options for increasing your levels. These include diet, exercise, and supplements.
Diet Boosts Production
Plenty of healthy foods help your body to produce more glutathione.
The best foods are those rich in sulfur. Your best bets are garlic, onions, and cruciferous vegetables. These include:
Working Out Your Glutathione
Daily exercise helps your body to produce more glutathione. Modest cardio exercise combined with light resistance training can help you kick-start production.
“Start slow and build up,” says Dr. Hyman. “Try walking or jogging, or play various sports. Strength training is also helpful.”
He suggests that 20 minutes of cardio, every other day, is all you need to get started. You can try 20 minutes of any activity that appeals to you, including:
On alternate days, he recommends 15- 20 minutes of light strength-training exercises. Check out our article here for an easy guide on cardio and strength-training exercises.
Five Supplements to Boost Your Levels
The bad news is that you can’t just take a pill to supplement your glutathione levels. But you can take different nutrients to increase your production of this molecule.
“Supporting [your] levels with supplements is the most important thing [you] do for personal health,” says Dr. Hyman.
The five best supplements that boost glutathione production include:
1. Methylation nutrients. These nutrients are your best option for boosting glutathione production. They include folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. When taking these supplements, you should make sure that you take folate in the active form of 5 methyltetrahydrofolate; B6 in the active form of P5P; and B12 in the active form of methylcobalamin.
2. Alpha lipoic acid. This is an essential supplement for cell health. It boosts energy production and detoxes your body. It also controls blood sugar and protects your brain. While our bodies make this nutrient naturally, our levels decrease under stress.
3. Selenium. This mineral helps to produce new glutathione.
4. Vitamins C and E. Both of these antioxidants, when working together, help to boost glutathione’s ability to recycle other antioxidants.
5. Milk thistle. This simple herb not only boosts glutathione levels… it also fights liver disease.
When taken together, these supplements help to rebuild your glutathione levels. And high glutathione levels are your best defense against disease and aging.
To your health,
Managing Editor, Natural Health Dossier “Health Watch”