Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Your Immune System Repairman

Glutathione at your service.
Every once in a while, a true breakthrough in healing comes along that somehow is ignored by the mainstream press.

Meet glutathione.
As a master detoxifier and antioxidant, glutathione occurs in every cell in the body but is most active in the liver. It becomes easily drained because it is neutralized by the major toxic invaders of our time: chemicals, molds, radiation, drugs, and electromagnetic radiation. A continuous supply of glutathione is needed to zap all types of metabolic wastes and other toxic substances like prescription drugs and over the counter meds like Tylenol. It is interesting to note that in people with cancer, AIDS and other serious diseases, glutathione levels are severely diminished, suggesting that this antioxidant plays a key role in immune system define.

Based on research from leading integrative physicians throughout the country, glutathione should be the first line of treatment for the so-called incurables: autism, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, multiple environmental sensitivity, and Parkinson’s. Whether administered by a glutathione “push” or IV to bypass the GI tract, the master antioxidant is targeted directly to tissues like a guided missile. It can also be inhaled and administered through a nebulizer, for which, like the “push” and IV, a doctor’s prescription is required.

You are more likely to find doctors, who are more alternative, affiliated with organizations like the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) at www.acamnet.org and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) at www.aaem.com.

Like most antioxidants, glutathione works by supplying an extra electron to unpaired free radical molecules, returning them to a benign state. But in giving up an electron, the glutathione itself becomes a free radical. With the help of hormones like the sleep antioxidant/hormone melatonin, glutathione becomes recharged and renewed and able to regain its antioxidant status to fight another day. Like your friendly resident handyman, it can repair free radical damage on the spot.

To boost glutathione levels, think dietary protein. Because glutathione is comprised of three particular amino acids (cysteine, glutamine, and glycine), one of the best ways to stimulate production is with one or two daily servings of whey— the gold standard when it comes to quality protein. You may remember from my last blog how whey protein fights off insulin resistance, builds muscle tissue (thanks to it’s rich source of branched chain aminos) and helps pare off the pounds faster and sculpts the body better than any other protein source out there.

But not any whey will do!

Here’s the scoop: The sulfur-rich naturally-derived cysteine is the key ingredient for glutathione production. Since cysteine –like glutathione— is so scarce in the diet these days, this makes whey a natural for cysteine supplementation. If cysteine undergoes any heating or processing, it is denatured and becomes cystine. So far, so good? The heating changes the chemical integrity and therefore changes the effectiveness into a different amino acid with completely different qualities. Cystine cannot build glutathione and that’s the ingredient that is found in all other wheys on the market due to the heating factor.

The Fat Flush Whey Protein is formulated and produced with this in mind and is therefore NOT heated. This provides non-denatured and naturally occurring cysteine along with healing lactoferrins and glycoproteins not found in the heated version of whey so popular in the marketplace.

Other dietary sources of glutathione include asparagus and the “fragrant” cruciferous veggies —kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli— that are rich in other sulfur-bearing compounds that contribute to the dietary synthesis of this amazing antioxidant.

Supplements like alpha lipoic acid and selenium amp up glutathione levels, too. One of the reasons I take three daily Melatonin before bed is because each tablet of this time-released formula provides a respectable 50mcg of selenium (which totals 150mcg in my case) and 25mg of the viral antioxidant zinc (75mg with three tabs) to help restore maximum levels during sleep when the body is in prime time for restoration.

My ideas for the best protocol to succeed in maximizing your glutathione levels, therefore enhancing overall health and immunity this year would include the following:

* Alpha lipoic acid (the universal antioxidant used to treat hepatitis – 100-200mg, 3 times a day (dramatically lowers blood sugar, so if you are hypoglycemic cut the dose in half with each meal.)
* N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC – synthetically derived source of cysteine)— 600mg 1-2 times daily
* Selenium— 200-300mcg daily
* Non-denatured whey protein— 20 grams 1-2 times daily
* Also make sure your multivitamin contains methylated cobalamin (the preferred form of B-12) which plays a role in the production of glutathione.

Glutathione is your immune system’s warrior. Keep it well nourished and it will reward you with super health and protection during 2012.

-Edge On Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman