Erika Schlick is a health coach certified by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She gained much of her knowledge through experience as she collaborated with the best doctors in the San Francisco Bay area to find remission from Lyme Disease, Autoimmune Diseases, food allergies, toxic mold exposure, heavy metal poisoning, and leaky gut. A key element in her healing process was learning about the benefits of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body and found in many healthy foods. They prevent cell damage caused by “free radicals”, protect people from cancer, fight inflammation, and cure chronic disease.
There are several antioxidants, but the one Schlick says everyone should know is glutathione. “Glutathione is the mother of all antioxidants,” she explains. “It has the unique capacity to enhance the way we use other antioxidants.”
Glutathione is composed of three amino acids:
Glutathione boosts the body’s immune system
Glutathione maintains a robust immune system ready to fight infection. The antioxidant accomplishes this in two ways.
First, glutathione assists your T-cells to function properly and multiply,” Schlik remarks. “T-cells are your immune system’s frontline soldiers. Secondly, it stimulates the production of your immune system’s natural killer cells.”
Glutathione reduces inflammation
Chronic health issues can cause constant inflammation as the body fights perceived infection. At these times, the body continues to battle invaders even when none are present.
“This inflammatory response causes cells to secrete cytokines,” says Schlick. “Luckily, glutathione blocks the production of most inflammatory cytokines.”
Glutathione promotes detoxification
Glutathione is an essential component of the body’s detoxification process. Liver disease develops when that organ is faced with too much oxidative stress. Sufficient glutathione is able to neutralize this stress.
“Glutathione’s mercury-binding abilities enable it to carry toxins to the urine for elimination,” says Schlick. “In a nutshell, without glutathione, we would not be able to neutralize toxins effectively.”
Glutathione promotes anti-aging
Glutathione is proven to slow down the aging process. This powerful antioxidant prevents rampaging free radicals from oxidizing cells by neutralizing them before they cause damage.
“Have you ever squeezed lemon juice over your fruit to prevent it from turning brown?” Schlick asks. “Glutathione does for our cells what the lemon juice does for an apple. It prevents free radicals from ‘browning’, or oxidizing, our cells.” The longer we can prevent browning, the slower our cells will age.”
Glutathione enhances physical wellness
“Glutathione benefits the whole body,” Schlick says. “It boosts athletic performance and assists us as we recover from workouts. It supports brain health and prevents the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It even encourages gut health by promoting the growth of healthy gut lining.”
Glutathione supports overall wellness throughout the mind and body. Its ability to deliver physical and psychological health leaves no doubt regarding its status as the master antioxidant.
How to ensure the body has enough glutathione
The body naturally produces glutathione, but levels decrease with age, poor diet, infection, and chronic stress. Fortunately, increasing glutathione levels is possible through diet and supplements.
Several foods naturally contain glutathione or glutathione-boosting nutrients; however, cooking can reduce glutathione content by up to 60 percent. Some foods that will boost levels of this antioxidant include:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Alpha-lipoic acid-rich foods such as beef and organ meats
- Selenium-rich foods such as seafood, eggs, and whole grains
“You can take glutathione as a supplement,” remarks Schlick, “but it is generally not metabolized well by the body.”
In place of glutathione supplements, Schlik recommends N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC). NAC is easily absorbed and assists in the body’s natural production of glutathione. Glutathione truly is the master antioxidant. It strengthens the immune system, reduces inflammation, supports healthy liver function, slows down the aging process, and promotes overall physical and mental wellness. For further information on antioxidants and other holistic wellness tips, readers can visit Schlik’s blog, The Trail to Health.