There’s no shortage of health professionals and products telling us how important antioxidants are for maintaining wellness. The glutathione antioxidant (GSH), in particular, has been getting increasing attention for its position as the “Master” or “Mother” of all other antioxidants. But it isn’t always clear exactly how these substances help us and even fewer people understand how critical glutathione’s antioxidant powers really are.
Antioxidants are Crucial to Our Health
Antioxidants are defined as “man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage” and they form a central part of our natural detoxification system.
Our cells are constantly at work digesting food, fighting foreign invaders, carrying oxygen to our tissues, and more. This work produces unstable molecules called free radicals. These are also generated when we experience trauma from injury, disease, or the many toxins that come with modern life.
Free radicals steal electrons from other molecules, damaging them in the process. Left unchecked, this can damage cell DNA and disrupt our body’s functions. We call this oxidative stress.
While some free radical activity is normal, oxidative stress can be a real health concern. Research has linked it to a variety of problems from acne to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Parkinson’s Disease.
Antioxidants, however, limit oxidative stress by disarming free radicals so they can be safely eliminated.
Understanding Glutathione Antioxidant Power
The glutathione antioxidant is the second most abundant molecule in the body and the first line of defense against oxidative stress.
Our bodies create glutathione using amino acids from our food. From there, it processes toxins out of the body, gobbles up free radicals, boosts cellular function, and encourages cell turnover. This means glutathione not only prevents oxidative stress but also helps to heal the damage it leaves behind.
Glutathione Protects Our Antioxidant Supply
While glutathione does a lot of detoxifying on its own, it also supports other antioxidants!
After an antioxidant donates electrons to neutralize free radicals, GSH can donate electrons to that antioxidant so that it can attack another free radical. This helps us make the most of our supply. That’s why GSH is often called “The Mother of All Antioxidants”.
Glutathione Recycles Itself
When GSH donates electrons to a free radical, it creates a neutral water molecule (H2O) and a positively charged glutathione molecule. This joins with another used glutathione molecule to create GSSG (also called oxidized glutathione).
GSSG molecules stay dormant until they can grab electrons from other antioxidants and split into two recycled GSH molecules that go hunting for free radicals all over again.
Thus GSH is also called “The Master of All Antioxidants”: it decides when to boost other antioxidants and when to use them to boost itself. Combine this power with GSH’s ability to go anywhere in the body and it’s obvious why having enough glutathione is highly important for maintaining good health.
Getting Enough Glutathione (And Other Antioxidants)
As we age, our need for the glutathione antioxidant often increases just as our ability to synthesize it diminishes. If you’re concerned about getting enough GSH, there’s ways to help!
While eating certain foods can promote GSH production (see Auro founder Dr. Nayan Patel’s Glutathione Revolution for more details and easy diet plans), you may also be interested in Auro’s patented Glutaryl spray, an easy-to-use formula created with innovative sub-nanotechnology for maximum absorption.
It’s clear that antioxidants, and glutathione in particular, certainly deserve the attention they get as important players in keeping our bodies humming along. We hope this brief introduction has helped you better understand just how they work and why it’s good to ensure you have plenty of them!