Even though it feels like spring just started (looking at you, New York), summer will be here before we know it. That means vacations, rooftop bars, backyard barbecues—and, sure, maybe a bit of detoxing while we’re at it.
You probably don’t need an expert to tell you that juice “cleanses” or the slick-labeled detox du jour won’t do all that much for your health—or that eating clean and green as much as we can and getting the right essential vitamins is the better strategy. But leading functional medicine practitioners from Will Cole, D.C., IFMCP to Mark Hyman, M.D. to Frank Lipman, M.D. have all noticed one major missing piece: We don’t talk enough about glutathione, one of our body’s most powerful tools for detoxing, immunity, and free radical support.
Scratching your head and going, “gluta-what now”?
You’re not alone. Here’s what you need to know.
Glutathione (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own”) is a molecule that your body makes. It’s a tripeptide made of three amino acids—cysteine, glycine, and glutamine—and it plays a critical part in protecting the body against damage-causing toxins from pollution, stress, what you eat and drink, and everyday life.
This guy juggles so many health-boosting jobs that scientists, doctors, and nutritionists simply call glutathione the “master antioxidant.” When it comes to helping your body detoxify, glutathione works in your GI tract and intestines to neutralize toxins before they’re absorbed, and in your liver and kidneys to break down toxins that your body has already absorbed.
Glutathione has some serious power when it comes fighting harmful free radicals, repairing their damage on our cells, and strengthening other antioxidants like vitamin C and E. And glutathione also helps keep your immune system cells strong, too.
Keeping glutathione’s good thing going
You might have seen glutathione on a supplement bottle before, so as you might have guessed, a number of factors like stress, pollution, and how you eat can deplete your levels. And even if you’ve got the healthiest lifestyle out of everyone you know, you’re still producing less and less of it as you age.
Here’s the thing with glutathione: To eliminate all the bad stuff in our body, it uses sulfur like flypaper to stick to toxins, waste, and heavy metals, sacrificing itself in the process. So your body needs to continually generate more glutathione, otherwise the toxic build up can wreak havoc on your health.
Getting glutathione—or any of its building blocks—from food can up your levels a bit, particularly sulfur-rich foods. Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and grass-fed meats are some examples. Keep in mind, though, that cooking raw veggies destroys nearly all of their usable glutathione (so more reason to have the salad at your summer grilling parties).
So, what about those glutathione supplements?
To really know you’re getting enough of the master antioxidant, supplements containing glutathione can help. Setria® Glutathione is made by a fermentation process and is a vegetarian form of glutathione that supplement brands use in their products. For example, Pure Encapsulations’ glutathione supplement uses this specific branded ingredient (you can see the Setria logo on the bottle).
Setria’s has been clinically studied and shown to significantly increase the body’s level of glutathione. Ultimately, it’s more of a direct way to keep up your levels of the vital antioxidant and reap its benefits, from fighting oxidative stress to boosting your body’s natural defense system—all important things that promote healthy aging in the long run. You can tell if your favorite brand contains Setria® Glutathione by looking for the Setria label on the bottle (here’s a list of brands that have it).
Now that you’ve got the gist on glutathione, you can relax even more while counting down to another sunny season of Summer Fridays (thank you, New York). This time, it’s all about having the original natural detox on your side.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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