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Did you know that glutathione is not only great for liver health, but it also promotes beautiful, radiant skin?
December 07, 2023 12:12 PM
Did you know that glutathione is not only great for liver health, but it also promotes beautiful, radiant skin?
Glutathione (GSH), often considered as an amino acid but actually a tripeptide, is an antioxidant primarily synthesized in the liver. Composed of cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine, it plays a crucial role in the synthesis and repair of DNA and protein, as well as the synthesis of prostaglandins. With its involvement in various functions like amino acid transport, toxin and carcinogen metabolism, immune system function, prevention of oxidative cell damage, and activation of enzymes, it is undoubtedly the most important tripeptide in the body.
While the benefits of supplementing with glutathione are numerous, two particularly compelling reasons are its positive impact on liver health and beautiful skin, which are the key focus of this article. However, before diving into the specifics of liver health and skin benefits, it's important to review the data on glutathione depletion and absorption.
GSH depletion can occur due to various oxidative stressors such as radiation, v.infections, enviro toxins, household chemicals, heavy metals, surgery, inflammation, burns, septic shock, and dietary deficiencies of GSH precursors and enzyme cofactors. Additionally, research suggests that GSH levels tend to decline with age.
The bioavailability of glutathione as a dietary supplement has encountered challenges in the past. Studies in the 1990s suggested that oral GSH might be inactivated by peptidases in the gut, as the levels of glutathione in the body did not seem to correlate with dietary intake, despite its presence in fruits, vegetables, and meats. Moreover, previous studies showed no significant increase in blood GSH levels when subjects were given high doses of 1,000-3,000 mg. As a result, alternative strategies like supplementation with NAC were used to boost GSH levels.
In 2014, something interesting happened that changed the way we look at the bioavailability of GSH. A groundbreaking study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shed new light on the old research. This study showed that GSH, when taken in its intact form as OPITAC, a yeast-derived glutathione by Kohjin/Mitsubishi, can actually be rapidly transported across intestinal epithelial cells. Once inside, it gets rapidly converted into oxidized glutathione (GSSG) and accumulates in red blood cells and the liver, with only a small presence in plasma. So, although the GSH was indeed absorbed, it didn't show up in blood plasma because it transformed into GSSG and stored in the red blood cells and the liver. The bottom line is, supplementing with GSH is an effective way to boost GSH levels in the body.
This finding was further confirmed in another study that described how OPITAC, as a yeast-derived glutathione by Kohjin/Mitsubishi, is directly absorbed in its electrochemically reduced form in the intestine, then transported in the blood in bound forms, and eventually deposited into the liver in its reduced form.
But here's where it gets even more significant. A six-month randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial involving 54 adults was conducted to investigate the effects of oral GSH supplementation (250 or 1,000 mg/day, as OPITAC glutathione, Kohjin/Mitsubishi) on GSH levels in various parts of the body, including blood, erythrocytes, plasma, lymphocytes, and exfoliated buccal mucosal cells. The results were astounding. After one, three, and six months, GSH levels in blood increased significantly compared to baseline in both dosage groups. At the six-month mark, GSH levels skyrocketed 30-35 percent in erythrocytes, plasma, and lymphocytes, and a mind-boggling 260 percent in buccal cells in the 1,000 mg group (P < 0.05). Even in the low-dose group, GSH levels in blood and erythrocytes increased by 17 and 29 percent, respectively (P < 0.05). This research clearly demonstrates that supplementation with GSH is not only effective for increasing GSH levels in the body but also for maintaining them.
So, to sum it all up, the evidence speaks volumes - supplementing with GSH can have a profound impact on your body's GSH levels, and trust me, that's definitely a good thing!
When it comes to our well-being, the liver is a true superhero. Let's dive into some fascinating details about this essential organ.
Did you know that the liver is not only the largest reservoir of GSH (glutathione) but also a major site of GSH manufacture in the body? Pretty impressive, right? Special cells in the liver work tirelessly to synthesize GSH, which plays a crucial role in detoxification. Speaking of detoxification, the liver is a champion in this field. Its cells have sophisticated mechanisms to break down toxic substances, be it internal or external compounds.
During the detoxification process, the liver attaches or conjugates the toxins to water-soluble substances. This attachment makes the toxic molecules more water-soluble, less harmful, and easier to eliminate via urine or bile. In fact, glutathione conjugation produces water-soluble mercaptates that are excreted via the kidneys, effectively detoxifying acetaminophen and nicotine. Isn't it amazing how this process helps our bodies get rid of harmful substances?
But that's not all. Adequate levels of glutathione are crucial for the elimination of fat-soluble compounds, particularly heavy metals like mercury and lead. What's more, GSH serves as a cofactor for various peroxidase enzymes, aiding in the detoxification of peroxides generated from oxygen radical attacks on biological molecules. It also assists transhydrogenase enzymes in reducing oxidized centers on DNA, proteins, and other biomolecules. Talk about a multitasker!
The practical significance of this liver superhero was demonstrated in a study involving workers exposed to lead. A group of five workers received GSH at 200 mg/day for 30 days, while five others served as the control group. The results were striking. The group receiving GSH showed a significant increase in ALA dehydratase activity (which is inhibited by lead) compared to the control group (p < 0.05). This indicates that GSH could be a valuable solution for treating patients with lead poisoning.
So, let's take a moment to appreciate the remarkable liver and its incredible role in maintaining our health and well-being!
Alcohol consumption is widely recognized for its capability to induce hepatic steatosis, also known as fatty liver disease, and disrupt biomembranes due to hepatic lipid peroxidation. This can lead to various lifestyle-related diseases and even hepatic cirrhosis by diminishing hepatic physiological function. Nevertheless, animal studies have shown that hepatic damage caused by alcohol intoxication can be mitigated by glutathione (GSH), a powerful antioxidant found in cells.
To further investigate the impact of GSH supplementation on the effects of alcohol intake, a human crossover comparative study was conducted. The study involved twenty healthy men and women who were grouped into three categories: placebo, 100 mg GSH (as OPITAC glutathione, Kohjin/Mitsubishi), and 30 mg curcumin. The study evaluated laboratory parameters, including breath alcohol concentration at different time intervals (20, 60, 120, and 180 minutes post-alcohol consumption) as measured by an alcohol checker. Additionally, subjective feelings were assessed through a questionnaire. During the study, all participants consumed whiskey in a quantity equal to their body weight multiplied by 1.25 mL, and were instructed to drink the entire sample within 10 minutes.
The results revealed that the breath alcohol concentration in the group supplemented with GSH significantly decreased compared to the placebo and curcumin groups at 20 (p<0.01), 60 (p<0.01), 120 (p<0.05), and 180 (p<0.08) minutes post-consumption. Furthermore, the GSH group reported lower levels of "sleepiness," "headache," and "upset stomach" in the subjective feeling questionnaire. Importantly, the concentration of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), an indicator of alcohol-induced organ damage, was significantly lower in the GSH group after two months compared to the placebo group.
The oral intake of GSH has demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing alcohol consumption-related stress and improving long-term hepatic function. These findings highlight the potential benefits of GSH supplementation in alleviating the detrimental effects of alcohol intoxication on the liver.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition characterized by the build-up of fat in the liver of individuals who consume little or no alcohol. Unfortunately, NAFLD is quite common, affecting nearly one-third of all American adults. Interestingly, it often presents without readily apparent signs or symptoms, sometimes resulting in complications, and can lead to liver inflammation and scarring as the fat accumulates. Additionally, NAFLD is typically associated with conditions such as insulin resistance, central obesity, reduced glucose tolerance, type-2 diabetes, and elevated triglyceride levels.
Recognizing the substantial role glutathione (GSH) plays in phase 2 liver detoxification, a pilot trial was conducted to examine the therapeutic effects of GSH supplementation in patients with NAFLD. The trial included 29 individuals, and the patients were provided with daily oral supplementation of GSH at a dose of 300 mg (in the form of OPITAC glutathione, from Kohjin/Mitsubishi). The patients' clinical parameters were assessed before and after the GSH supplementation, and liver fat and fibrosis were quantified as well. The primary goal of the study was to determine any changes in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. The results indicated a significant decrease in ALT levels following the GSH supplementation. Furthermore, triglycerides, non-esterified fatty acids, and ferritin levels also showed a reduction. This pilot study provides promising evidence for the potential therapeutic effects of oral glutathione administration, even at practical doses, in patients diagnosed with NAFLD. However, further investigation through large-scale clinical trials is necessary to validate its efficacy.
In summary, NAFLD is a prevalent condition with potential serious consequences, but studies like the aforementioned pilot trial shed light on potential treatment options such as GSH supplementation. The findings demonstrate the need for continued research in order to provide more conclusive evidence and expand our understanding of NAFLD management.
By activating melanocytes in the skin, there is a notable increase in melanin formation, resulting in various blemishes such as freckles, pigmentation, and UV-induced skin spots, commonly known as age spots or liver spots. This is especially prominent after prolonged sun exposure and tanning. Age spots appear when melanin becomes concentrated or "clumped" in areas that have had years of frequent sun exposure. Luckily, there are materials like glutathione that can prevent or improve such pigmentation-related skin conditions.
Another aspect to consider is skin pigmentation, wrinkles, and pores. In a study conducted with eight women in their 30s or early 40s, each supplemented with 100 mg/day of GSH (as OPITAC glutathione, Kohjin/Mitsubishi) for two months, their skin conditions were evaluated using the Robo Skin Analyzer. Several parameters were analyzed, including skin brightness, the amount and area of skin pigmentation, number of pores, and number of wrinkles under the eyes. It was observed that all subjects' skin brightness improved when measured on the second day of the study. Additionally, over the course of the two months, both the amount and area of skin pigmentation decreased, leading to an improvement in blemishes and pigmentation. Not only did glutathione exhibit a whitening effect, but it also reduced the number of wrinkles under the eyes and minimized pores.
Furthermore, a randomized, double-blind, two-arm, placebo-controlled study was conducted with 60 otherwise healthy medical students. The purpose was to investigate whether supplementing with 500 mg of glutathione daily for four weeks would affect the skin melanin index compared to a placebo. Melanin indices were measured at six different sites on the body. The results demonstrated that melanin indices consistently decreased at all six sites in subjects who received glutathione after four weeks. The reductions were statistically significant compared to those who received the placebo at two sites: the right side of the face and the sun-exposed left forearm (p = 0.021 and 0.036, respectively). This improvement was likewise reflected in the reduction of UV spots. Importantly, both glutathione and placebo were well-tolerated. In conclusion, oral administration of glutathione leads to a lightening of skin color in the tested subjects.
Skin lightening is a process that is of interest to many individuals who seek to achieve a more even and radiant complexion. In recent studies, the use of a lozenge containing GSH 500 mg was explored as a means of skin lightening through an open-label, single-arm trial. The focus of this trial was to evaluate the buccal mucosa as a route for GSH administration and its potential in relation to skin lightening. It is worth noting that substances absorbed through the buccal route have the advantage of entering directly into the systemic circulation, effectively bypassing the gastrointestinal tract.
The trial involved thirty Filipino females with Fitzpatrick skin types IV or V who received a daily glutathione-containing lozenge for eight weeks. The results from this trial demonstrated a significant decrease in melanin indices from baseline to endpoint. What is fascinating is that this visible change became evident in as little as two weeks. It is important to highlight that during this trial, there were no recorded serious adverse events, and the laboratory examination findings remained normal. Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that the lozenge containing glutathione was deemed safe and effective in lightening the skin of Filipino women.
In addition to the aforementioned buccal route administration, another interesting approach that emerged from the studies is the topical application of GSH. A double-blind randomized clinical trial35 conducted in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, involved 74 healthy Indonesian women, with an average age of 33.3 ± 5.9 years, to explore the potential benefits of topical GSH. The trial subjects received supervised applications of facial wash twice a day, along with day cream containing sunscreen and night cream. The subjects were divided into three groups based on the active ingredients of the tested products, which included GSH (as OPITAC glutathione, Kohjin/Mitsubishi) at concentrations of 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent, and a control group without GSH.
Throughout the trial, the effects of the tested products on skin color and pigmentation were measured using colorimetry with Chromameter Minolta for L. Compared to the baseline measurements, there were significant increases in lightness (L) detected as early as week 2 for the group using GSH at 0.1 percent concentration. Interestingly, this increase was significantly higher compared to the group using GSH at the higher concentration of 0.5 percent, as well as the group without GSH. It is important to note that hyperpigmented lesions also showed improvement, particularly in the group using GSH at 0.5 percent concentration, which displayed superiority compared to the other groups at week 8. In conclusion, the skin care products containing GSH at 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent concentrations were found to be effective in lightening facial skin.
The findings from these studies shed light on the potential benefits of GSH in achieving skin lightening, either through buccal administration or topical application. It is worth noting that these studies focused on specific populations and more research is necessary to explore its effectiveness and safety across different skin types and ethnicities.
In summary, the administration of glutathione, whether oral, buccal, or topical, has shown promising results in skin lightening and the improvement of complexion. Studies have demonstrated that glutathione not only enhances skin brightness but also reduces hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and minimizes pores. Moreover, its effects have been evident in as little as two weeks, with a sustained impact over longer periods. These benefits were observed across a range of different skin types and ethnicities. However, it is important to highlight that these findings are based on specific populations, and more research needs to be conducted to confirm the consistency of these effects across a broader spectrum of skin types and ethnicities. The studies have also confirmed that the usage of glutathione is well-tolerated with no serious adverse effects reported.
Free Radicals And Cancer, How Do I Combat Free Radicals?
October 12, 2011 01:09 PM
Free Radicals Overview
Free radicals, just the very sound of those words are so dreaded in so many consultation clinics around the country today, this substance has mainly been linked to cancer and its proliferation but what else is there to know about free radicals and cancer. This is what we will be looking at as we go along this article. These free radicals are organic molecules which are primarily the cause for aging, damaged tissues, and a variety of diseases. The main property that causes them to bind with other molecules in the body there by causing damage is because it is unstable. This is the non-stop process that these molecules will do, destroy cells, takes away its vigor and initiate this pro aging process. In a way it is the natural order of things, our world is filled with so many unstable molecules and just like us, there survival instincts kick in and they have to keep stable. Outside the body, that’s all good, no harm for us, but when the same process occurs inside that’s where our own survival instincts come in and helps us think of ways to stop this process of degeneration. With this degeneration process of cells being damaged, it is not far fetch to see these free radicals as the cause of some disease most especially Cancer.
Cancer has been a close second as the top killing disease in America for the past few years now, 2011 is not over yet so there is no ranking out but my guess is, the top 2 will most likely be the same with number one still being heart disease. Cancer is basically characterized by out of control cell growth. There are many classifications of cancer and one thing remains constant, it is characterized or named based on what type of cells it began to damage to cause the eventual cancer. For many of us out there what we do not want to here are malignant tumors in the body and this can occur based on 2 things, when cancerous cells spreads around the body through the bloodstream which is often referred to as an invasion process and the second is when the cancerous cells divide and grow leaving tissues metastasized in a process called mestastasis. Tumors grow and uncontrollably which are lumps of masses that interfere with our normal bodily functions and causes systems to crash like our digestive and nervous systems just to name a few.
Antioxidants has been well known to be one of the best ways to fight cancer, present in many foods, these molecules does its handy work against cancer by going to the source. More research needs to be done in its healing effects but as an effective treatment it has been proven to be an integral part in minimizing further proliferation of damaged cells. Antioxidants have been shown to have an amazing characteristic against free radicals and that it plays an integral role in killing these cell damaging molecules in the body.
List of antioxidants:
This by far a complete list, but it will get you get started with an antioxidant program to help prevent disease caused by free radical damage.
Vitamin C FAQ's
December 27, 2005 05:11 PM
Vitamin C FAQ's
What is Calcium Ascorbate?
Calcium Ascorbate is a buffered salt (mineral) form of the water-soluble antioxidant Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Calcium is reacted with ascorbic acid to buffer the acidic nature of this vitamin, making it more gentle for the special needs of those who may have a sensitive gastrointestinal tract. The pH of this buffered mineral Ascorbate is approximately 6.8—7.4 as compared to ascorbic acid that is about a pH of 2.5. Calcium Ascorbate provides approximately 10% elemental calcium.
What does Calcium Ascorbate do?
Ascorbate (vitamin C) is a reducing sugar (has a reactive ene-diol structure) that is involved in biochemical processes such as hydroxylation of proline and lysine utilized in the formation of collagen and healthy connective tissue. A deficiency in Ascorbate results in a disease called scurvy which manifests as weakened collagen fibers, rotting teeth, delayed healing and open sores on the skin. Ascorbate is involved in many other vital functions such as the mobilization of iron, stimulation of immune system and as an anti-oxidant for scavenging of reactive free radicals.
Is this a necessary vitamin or can our bodies make enough to satisfy our needs?
Many plants and animals do not need to consume foods high in ascorbic acid to meet their need for Vitamin C because they are genetically programmed to produce enzymes that convert glucose into ascorbic acid. Unfortunately humans have only 3 of the 4 enzymes necessary for internal production of ascorbic acid, therefore we must satisfy our physical needs for this important vitamin through our intake of foods rich in vitamin C and/or take a good supplement.
What is the function of the Citrus Bioflavonoids?
Bioflavonoids are biologically active Flavonoid compounds found throughout the entire plant kingdom. Since the discovery of Flavonoids in 1936 when they were first isolated from lemons and called citrin and Vitamin P over 4,000 different types have been characterized. Though there are several forms of Bioflavonoids in the complex the predominant form is Hesperidin. These Flavonoids exhibit beneficial effects on capillary permeability and therefore support blood flow. They are antioxidants that work synergistically with Vitamin C as well as exhibiting anti-inflammatory activity.
Why are there color variations in your different Vitamin C products, and are they safe to take?
Most natural Vitamin C products vary in color from batch to batch and bottle to bottle. There are normally variations in the color of the raw material used during manufacturing, which is a normal occurrence. This is due to natural color variations in the source of the Vitamin C – generally, you will find C supplements to range in color from a light tan color to a light gray color.
Over the course of the shelf-life of a Vitamin C supplement, oxidation can cause a slight change in color, so you may find the light tan C-1000 you bought has changed to a darker tan six months later. This is a normal occurrence, and the product is safe to use up until the expiration date, and even beyond. NOW® is generally conservative with expiration dates, so a Vitamin C product is still safe after the date, it just may not be as effective due to oxidation.
Why does your Ester-C Complex say 625mg on the front of the label but list 500mg on the Supplement Facts panel? The key word is “complex”. Ester-C Complex is a combination of ascorbic acid (natural Vitamin C) and Calcium Ascorbate, which ultimately yields 500 total mg of Vitamin C. It is complexed with Calcium Ascorbate and other metabolites for greater absorption and faster utilization by your body. So the total complex is 625mg of Ester-C Complex, which yields 500mg of natural Vitamin C as ascorbic acid.
NOW Ester-C Pure Powder states the serving size is ½ teaspoon. How much Vitamin C am I getting with this serving size? ½ teaspoon of Ester-C Pure Powder is equivalent to 2000mg of natural Vitamin C and 250mg of Calcium.
Can I pour the powder in NOW® Vitamin C capsules into a liquid instead of swallowing the capsule? Many people do not want to or cannot swallow capsules, tablets or softgels, for various reasons. Encapsulated Vitamin C products from NOW® can be opened and dumped into a liquid for consumption. Juice or water is recommended if you choose this method. However, taking Vitamin C with water on an empty stomach is the recommended method of ingestion. We do not recommend trying this method with Vitamin C in tablet form, although you can grind or smash a tablet into powder form and add to water or juice. If you choose to do this, use a mortar and pestle for best results and minimal loss of product. Why go through the trouble when NOW® carries Vitamin C in a powdered form already. Save yourself time and trouble by ordering this form instead. Disclaimer: This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.