How Does Glutathione Work in the Body to Detox?
|How Does Glutathione Work in the Body to Detox||Darrell Miller||05/06/11|
May 06, 2011 10:11 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: How Does Glutathione Work in the Body to Detox
Glutathione a Body Detox
Glutathione belongs to the category of antioxidants that the human body can synthesize. It is an organic compound that is quite pervasive in nature as it is found in many multicellular organisms, microscopic or not. Almost all plants and animals are capable of producing glutathione, and, like human beings, they utilize this substance to neutralize free radicals and detoxify heavy metals.
Scavenges Free Radicals
It is common knowledge that free radicals are harmful to our body. It damages tissues, proteins, and even DNA. Free radicals are highly reactive by-products of cellular respiration. Cells utilize oxygen to power their activities, but in the process produce a group of compounds called reactive oxygen species, which change into radicals, harming cell organelles when not disposed of and raising cellular toxicity.
Glutathione is in the employ of every cell, for it is a fundamental part of the antioxidant defense of cells. Throughout the body, it is usually found in its reduced form, which donates reducing equivalents to reactive oxygen species. Glutathione becomes reactive in the process, but easily reacts with other reactive glutathione to form glutathione disulfide. Antioxidant enzymes manufacture glutathione in the presence of glutathione disulfide. This process constitutes the antioxidant mechanism of all cells.
Detoxifies Liver Metabolites
Metabolism is a complex process. Bioactive compounds in the foods we eat produce metabolites and by-products that are not necessarily good for our health. In fact, most of the drugs and medications we take directly harm us. Fortunately, the liver comes to our defense. For example, alcohol is converted into large amounts of acetaldehyde in its first stage of metabolism, creating effects we usually refer to as hangover.
The presence of glutathione enables the liver to easily recuperate from the damages brought on by harmful metabolites. That being said, glutathione in its reduced form does get depleted. One good example is drug overdose. The analgesic paracetamol, or acetaminophen, is known for its toxic by-product that induces liver failure in the absence of glutathione. Drugs are immediately detoxified in the liver with the help of glutathione. Low levels of glutathione may even result in death as is the case with paracetamol overdose.
Expels Foreign Materials
A number of substances in our diet are considered xenobiotics, or foreign materials, by our body. Most of them passes the alimentary canal undigested and enters the colon together with waste materials. However, there are substances that readily undergo absorption in the small intestines, such as trace elements and heavy metals. They pose considerable threats to health when they enter the systemic circulation in large quantities.
Glutathione is one of the compounds that keep xenobiotics in check. It facilitates the excretion of heavy metals and many known toxins. Glutathione conjugation plays a major role in detoxification and quite common at the cellular level. It makes sure that foreign compounds do not undergo reabsorption once it reaches the kidneys, effectively washing them away through the urine.