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Liposomal glutathione is a powerful tripeptide consisting of three amino acids - cysteine, glutamate, and glycine - and is referred to as the "master antioxidant". It is naturally present in most cells of the human body and plays a critical role in maintaining cellular health while also guarding against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to chronic illnesses, aging, and cancer (Pizzorno, 2014). 

This article explores the various benefits of liposomal glutathione, its historical background, and how to enhance its levels using dietary means and supplements in Australia.

Discovery of Liposomal Glutathione

The history of liposomal glutathione dates back to 1888 when J. de Rey-Pailhade, a French scientist, discovered a peculiar compound in yeast cells that he named "philothione" (Meister, 1988). Further studies conducted over the years led to the discovery of its true identity as a tripeptide in 1921 by Frederick Gowland Hopkins, who later won a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his remarkable work on cellular metabolism (Hopkins, 1921).

The structure of liposomal glutathione was determined in 1959 by Vincent du Vigneaud, another Nobel laureate who had already worked on synthesizing oxytocin and vasopressin (Du Vigneaud et al., 1959). Gradually, the importance of liposomal glutathione as an antioxidant and detoxifying agent in the body became evident, and it was thus dubbed the "master antioxidant."

Glutathione formula structure

Antioxidant and Detoxification

Liposomal glutathione serves as a vital antioxidant and detoxification agent in our cells. It neutralizes free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can cause damage to cellular components, such as lipids, proteins, and DNA, thus aiding in maintaining cellular integrity.

The oxidative stress caused by free radicals can lead to the development of chronic diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Therefore, liposomal glutathione plays a crucial role in preventing the occurrence of these diseases by counteracting oxidative damage. This information is supported by Pizzorno (2014) and Sies (1997).

Immune System Support

The immune system's proper functioning is heavily reliant on the support provided by liposomal glutathione. Through its enhancement of natural killer (NK) cells and T-cells, which are responsible for identifying and eliminating pathogens and cancerous cells, liposomal glutathione plays a crucial role in this process (Droge & Breitkreutz, 2000). Moreover, it also aids in regulating the immune response and preventing overactivation, which can lead to inflammation and autoimmune diseases (Fraternale et al., 2017).

Anti-aging Properties

Aging is typically associated with a reduction in the levels of liposomal glutathione and an upsurge in oxidative stress, thereby leading to a decline in health and age-related illnesses (Lang et al., 2002). The administration of liposomal glutathione supplements or enhancing its natural synthesis can effectively decelerate the aging process by minimizing oxidative destruction and bolstering the repair mechanisms of cells (Sekhar et al., 2011).

Detoxification

The liver serves as the main organ for detoxification in the human body, with liposomal glutathione serving as a crucial element in this process. Through its ability to attach itself to harmful substances, liposomal glutathione aids in the removal of these toxins from the body while also shielding liver cells against damage. This role is especially significant in drug metabolism, alcohol detoxification, and exposure to environmental toxins, as it helps to safeguard the liver against any adverse effects that may arise. (Wu et al., 2004).

Respiratory Health

Research has demonstrated that liposomal glutathione plays a crucial role in preserving lung health. This is achieved by diminishing inflammation, stimulating bronchodilation, and averting oxidative harm caused by air toxins and smoking (Gould & Day, 2011). Deficiencies in liposomal glutathione have been linked to respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis (Cantin et al., 2015).

Consumption of liposomal glutathione supplements or augmenting its production may assist in refining respiratory function and easing symptoms related to these conditions.

Cognitive Function and Neurological Health

The contribution of oxidative stress to the emergence of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and multiple sclerosis, has been well-established in scientific literature (Dringen et al., 2000). The role of liposomal glutathione in safeguarding neurons against oxidative harm and in purging the brain of toxic substances has been documented (Aoyama et al., 2008). Boosting liposomal glutathione levels could potentially enhance cognitive function and forestall the development or evolution of neurodegenerative illnesses in Australia.

Diet & Supplementation

Liposomal glutathione is an important antioxidant that plays a critical role in maintaining cellular health, promoting respiratory health, supporting the immune system, safeguarding the liver, and maintaining cognitive function.

Unfortunately, dietary sources of glutathione are limited to only a few foods like asparagus, avocado, and spinach. However, following a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help provide the necessary precursors for glutathione synthesis, such as cysteine, glycine, and glutamate. Consuming foods that are high in sulfur-containing amino acids, like garlic, onions, and sulforaphane-containing cruciferous vegetables, can also support glutathione production (Wu et al., 2004).

While glutathione can be taken as oral capsules, this is not a highly recommended method due to its poor bioavailability. However, studies have shown that oral supplementation can still provide some health benefits (Richie et al., 2015).

A better option is liposomal glutathione, which is encapsulated in a protective lipid layer, thus increasing its bioavailability and efficacy compared to traditional oral supplements (Cacciatore et al., 2010). Intravenous administration of glutathione is the most effective method for rapidly increasing glutathione levels but requires medical supervision and can be costly.

Bulletproof Glutathione Force

Bulletproof Glutathione Force strengthens your immunity and protects your cells to help fight the free radical chain reactions caused by diet and stress.

An alternative to supplementing with glutathione is to take its precursors, including N-acetylcysteine (NAC), alpha-lipoic acid, whey protein and Sulforaphane.

NAC has been used for years to treat acetaminophen overdose by replenishing glutathione stores in the liver (Rushworth & Megson, 2014).

Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that can regenerate glutathione and improve its overall function (Packer et al., 1995).

Whey protein, a popular dietary supplement, is rich in cysteine and has been shown to increase glutathione levels and improve immune function (Lands et al., 1999).

Sulforaphane is known to increase the production of glutathione, a potent natural antioxidant, by activating a specific "switch" in our cells known as the Nrf2 pathway. This switch regulates the activation of genes that are responsible for producing antioxidant enzymes, including those required for the production of glutathione.

Related: Boost Your Health with Broccoli Sprouts: The Top Benefits and Uses

When we consume sulforaphane, it interacts with a protein present in our cells and releases the Nrf2 switch. The released Nrf2 travels to the control center of the cell, also known as the nucleus, and activates the genes that are responsible for producing glutathione and other antioxidants. 

By triggering this switch, sulforaphane helps increase the production of glutathione in our body.

VitalityIQâ„¢ Sulforaphane

VitalityIQ™ Sulforaphane uses stablised sulforaphane that is 70% bioavailable. This is 2x more than other sulforaphane supplements.

In summary, maintaining optimal glutathione levels is vital in promoting overall wellbeing and preventing chronic illnesses. While dietary sources are limited, following a balanced diet and supplementing with liposomal glutathione or its precursors can help increase glutathione levels and provide various health benefits, especially for those in Australia looking for liposomal glutathione supplements.
 

References:

Aoyama, K., Nakaki, T., 2008. Impaired glutathione synthesis in neurodegeneration. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 9(10), 2104-2114.

Cacciatore, I., Cornacchia, C., Pinnen, F., Mollica, A., & Di Stefano, A., 2010. Prodrug approach for increasing cellular glutathione levels. Molecules, 15(3), 1242-1264.

Cantin, A. M., White, T. B., Cross, C. E., Forman, H. J., Sokol, R. J., & Borowitz, D., 2015. Antioxidants in cystic fibrosis. Conclusions from the CF antioxidant workshop, Bethesda, Maryland, November 11-12, 2003. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 36(5), 640-642.

Dringen, R., Hirrlinger, J., 2003. Glutathione pathways in the brain. Biological Chemistry, 384(4), 505-516.

Droge, W., Breitkreutz, R., 2000. Glutathione and immune function. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 59(4), 595-600.

Du Vigneaud, V., Ressler, C., Swan, J. M., Roberts, C. W., Katsoyannis, P. G., & Gordon, S., 1959. The synthesis of an octapeptide amide with the hormonal activity of oxytocin. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 81(12), 3115-3121.

Fraternale, A., Paoletti, M. F., Casabianca, A., Nencioni, L., Garaci, E., Palamara, A. T., & Magnani, M., 2017. Glutathione and glutathione derivatives in immunotherapy. Biological Chemistry, 398(2), 261-275.

Gould, N. S., & Day, B. J., 2011. Targeting maladaptive glutathione responses in lung disease. Biochemical Pharmacology, 81(2), 187-193.

Hopkins, F. G., 1921. The conjugated proteins. Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry, 40(5), 88T-95T.

Lands, L. C., Grey, V. L., & Smountas, A. A., 1999. Effect of supplementation with a cysteine donor on muscular performance. Journal of Applied Physiology, 87(4), 1381-1385.

Lang, C. A., Mills, B. J., Mastropaolo, W., & Liu, M. C., 2002. Blood glutathione decreases in chronic diseases. The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, 139(5), 260-267.

Meister, A., 1988. Glutathione metabolism and its selective modification. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 263(33), 17205-17208.

Packer, L., Witt, E. H., & Tritschler, H. J., 1995. Alpha-lipoic acid as a biological antioxidant. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 19(2), 227-250.

Pizzorno, J., 2014. Glutathione! Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, 13(1), 8-

Guest Author
Guest Author

This article was contributed by a guest author with expert knowledge in their field.



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