Glutathione - Your Master Cell Protector

Living to a ripe old age is no longer as unreachable as it seems. Our Principal Health Coach Jessica See shows us that the secret weapon - glutathione - is easily available in our cells and in the foods all around us.

How would you like to wake up every morning feeling like you’re 28 again? I don’t know about you, but I plan to stay as I was when I was 28, living life with the same vitality, stamina and zest. My friends think I’m crazy, as I go around telling everyone I have just turned 51. Why are you so happy, they say. Well, I love to hear the typical reactions to my declaration - “Oh, you don’t look 51!” and my response to that is: “Thank you, I have found the fountain of youth, want to know what it is?”

So, is there really a fountain of youth?  How do you turn back the clock and ensure you stay young and vibrant? First, you must understand why and how we age. Gerontologists have come up with several different theories, but one thing they all agree on: The key enemies to our cells are free radicals - atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Free radical damage within cells has been linked not only to ageing but also to a range of disorders including cancer, arthritis, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. 

So, how do we get rid of free radicals? Most of you would know the answer to that - load up on antioxidants! However, I bet most of you, would also look a bit blank if I tell you that fountain of youth may just be present in every cell in your body, and glutathione is its name!

The typical reaction to that is: “Gloota, what?”

Glutathione (gloota-thigh-own) is known as the body's master cell protector. In fact, in his talk show, Dr Oz calls it “the most powerful antioxidant that you have never heard of. It is the key to fighting off diseases you fear the most.”
Glutathione is essential for life; in fact, it’s one of the four essential elements needed for life - the other three being oxygen, water and nutrients.

Scientists have long known of the critical role glutathione plays in protecting cells. Pub Med, maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, has more than 100,000 articles (some 50,000 more than on vitamin C) substantiating its health benefits.

Well, if you have never heard of glutathione, read on. It's time you learned more about what this wonder molecule can do for you.

Glutathione is produced naturally in our cells from three amino acids: glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine. As an antioxidant, glutathione is present in every cell in your body to protect them from free radicals and oxidative stress, produced by the body through normal metabolism, as well as that caused by environmental pollutants, diet, stress, and even exercise, just to name a few.

Just as a car generates exhaust when it burns gasoline to produce energy, the body's natural processes generate "exhaust" as well, in the form of free radicals. These in turn can start chain reactions of oxidative stress that damage cells. Preventing these chain reactions is critical, as oxidative stress has been associated with more than 75 major diseases and disorders. Antioxidants halt these chain reactions.

Glutathione acts in three main ways: It neutralizes dreaded free radicals, enhances the immune system and detoxifies the liver.

Glutathione protects the cell’s engine, called the mitochondria, from bacteria and viruses as well as toxins.
It’s considered “the mother of all antioxidants,” because all other antioxidants, including vitamin C and vitamin E, rely on it to give them a second life. It is also an endogenous antioxidant, working inside the cells, while the others are exogenous.

The average antioxidant has a short life span, sacrificing itself whenever it wipes out a free radical. But glutathione not only brings spent antioxidants back from the dead but also is able to recharge itself, explains Leslie Fuller, ND, an educator at the National College of Natural Medicine and practitioner at the Nature Cures Clinic, both in Portland, USA.

Unfortunately, the production of glutathione in our bodies slows as we age, leaving us vulnerable to oxidative stress and its associated ailments. If you are stressed, lack sleep, or suffer from prolonged illness, you are likely to be utilizing glutathione at an even faster rate, further aggravating the situation.

If it's so important, you may, by now, be wondering why you have never heard of glutathione before. The reason is, glutathione supplements have not been very effective for a reason. Simply popping a glutathione supplement is not the answer because the fragile tripeptide structure of glutathione makes surviving the digestive tract a near impossibility. (That’s why glutathione has not been given as much attention as it deserves and so few people know about its importance.)

The key to the glutathione dilemma is to give the body what it needs to produce glutathione naturally in the body. There are many foods that you can take to help accelerate its production particularly watermelon, asparagus, spinach, avocado and squash, are high in a plant version of glutathione that the body converts to replenish its supply.
Another plant substance, called cyanohydroxybutene (found in broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage) helps restock the body’s glutathione supply. “We’ve always been taught that broccoli and other cruciferous veggies are important to the detox protocol, but we didn’t fully understand why,” says David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM, author of Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment (Hay House, 2011) “Now we know that it’s because they enhance glutathione production.”

It has been found that green tea, fish oil and resveratrol (found in red wine) also contains substances that switch on genes responsible for making glutathione.

Another way to boost your glutathione level is to increase your cysteine intake. A sulfur-rich amino acid, cysteine is abundant in eggs, garlic, turmeric and whey protein.

Now, for those who need a more immediate boost in glutathione level, the good news is: Recently, after 25 years' research, a renowned medicinal chemist created history when he managed to design a vehicle to deliver cysteine straight into the cells. Dr Herbert Nagasawa's breakthrough compound which he calls RiboCeine, solves the difficult challenge of protecting the fragile cysteine and delivering it directly to the cells, thereby increasing glutathione levels by an unprecedented 300% (tested in a liver cell system)!

For more information, go to: or write to me at

Article by Jessica See, clinical nutritionist, health coach and founder of Health Coach International Pte Ltd. To register for a free talk on how to increase the glutathione level in your body, email or SMS <your name><GSH> to 9876 7669 if you are in Singapore.

“Glutathione (GSH) is the body’s most powerful healing agent – much more than just another antioxidant. It also protects us from bacteria, viruses, toxins, pollutants and even cancer. It maintains our immune system in tip-top shape – as long as our cells get the building blocks they need to produce this remarkable molecule.” - Dr Jimmy Gutman, author of  Your Body’s Most Powerful Protector - Glutathione.

‘Without glutathione, other important anti-oxidants such as vitamins C and E cannot do their job adequately to protect your body against disease.’ Breakthrough in Cell Defense, Dr Allan Somersall, Ph.D, MD with Dr. Gustavo Bounous, MD, FRCSC.

‘No other antioxidant is as important to overall health as glutathione. It is the regenerator of immune cells and the most valuable detoxifying agent in the body. Low levels are associated with early aging and even death.’ - The Immune System Cure, Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe & Patrick J.D. Bouic, Ph.D.