The molecule we’re talking about here is no snake oil—it’s an important antioxidant that you’ve probably barely heard of. It’s glutathione, a substance that is naturally produced in the liver and found in meat, fruits, and veggies.
Glutathione (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own”) might be a mouthful to say, but it’s becoming a household name nonetheless. It is known as the “mother of all antioxidants” and the "great protector," and it’s not hard to see why—there are so many glutathione benefits!
It is a protein composed of three amino acids—glutamine, cysteine, and glycine. These three amino acids are made naturally in the liver and used in every cell.
However, aside from collagen supplements, many doctors are recommending also taking glutathione supplements as it is one of the most important molecules you need to stay healthy and youthful.
Read on to find out which are the best skin care products to support your glutathione levels and enhance your skin.
What Does Glutathione Do?
As an antioxidant, glutathione plays a role in protecting cells against oxidative stress that damages cell membrane amino acids. Glutathione (GSH) not only fights free radicals (those evil organic molecules that are responsible for aging, tissue damage, and diseases) but also recycles used anti-oxidants in the body.
It is critical for immune function and controlling inflammation. It is the master detoxifier and the body’s main antioxidant, protecting our cells and making our energy metabolism run well.
The caveat is that glutathione gets depleted with age, poor diet, pollution, toxins, infections, and radiation, among other lifestyle factors.
Top British medical journal, The Lancet, found the highest glutathione levels exist in healthy young people, and low levels of glutathione in healthy elderly, and lowest in sick elderly. 1
A deficiency of glutathione may lead to a multitude of diseases and health conditions:
- Premature aging, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease
- Chronic infection, auto-immune disease, and fatigue
- Cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma
- Heart disease
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, kidney health problems
- Skin aging, wrinkles, grey hair 2
How Glutathione Works
According to Dr. Hyman MD, the benefits come from the sulfur (SH) chemical groups it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule. It acts like flypaper and all the bad things in the body stick onto it, including oxidative damage and toxins like mercury and other heavy metals.
As a detoxifier, it binds metals and other toxins and transforms them into compounds that can be excreted via bile or urine. Once bound, these toxins become water-soluble and can be transported out of cells. 3
Normally glutathione is recycled in the body—except when the toxic load becomes too great due to aging and overexposure to chemicals, pollutants, and sun damage.
However, the binding of toxins to glutathione creates a demand on the body to make new glutathione. Deficiency of this antioxidant happens when a tissue or system cannot keep pace with the demand.
But there’s good news! Glutathione is produced naturally in your body and the liver harbors the body's largest supply!
Glutathione Benefits for Skin & Health Benefits of Glutathione
What is glutathione good for? Glutathione is an antioxidant associated with so many health benefits that it’ll make your head spin.
1. Healthy Levels of Glutathione Support Immune Function
Having strong immune cells is key to good health. What are the benefits of glutathione when it comes to having a healthy immune system? L-Glutathione benefits immune function by fighting infections and preventing diseases like cancer. Glutathione plays a role in all cells of the body, including our immune cells, which fight disease.
Glutathione’s role in strengthening the immune system is two-fold. First, glutathione increases the count of T-cell lymphocytes, or white blood cells. White blood cells are the star players that work to destroy bacteria and viruses.
Secondly, glutathione stimulates the activity and production of natural killer cells. Say what?! A natural killer cell is no Charles Manson or Ted Bundy—it only kills the bad guys. A type of lymphocyte, natural killer cells rapidly eliminate virus-infected cells from the body. Take that, disease!
2. Removes Free Radicals & Heavy Metals From The Body
All antioxidants capture and remove free radicals from the body. So, why is glutathione the leader of the pack? Because it is found in every cell of the body, say the experts.
Gustavo Bounous, MD, director of research and development at Immunotec and a retired professor of surgery at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, says that glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants because it’s naturally found in our cells.
You heard that right. Glutathione is in an advantaged position for fighting excess toxins because it is intracellular. Glutathione also teams up with other antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium to support them in destroying free radicals.
But that’s not all. The role of glutathione is to remove heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and mercury from the body. Heavy metals enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or absorption. Long-term, low-level exposure to heavy metals is detrimental to your health. It can lead to problems like diabetes, fatty liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, and kidney damage. Glutathione binds to heavy metals in the body and moves them out of the tissues. So, the first step to eliminating heavy metals from your body is to raise your glutathione levels.
3. Detoxifies The Body (Glutathione Benefits Liver)
We’re constantly bombarded with toxins in our daily lives from cigarette smoke, household cleaners, plastic food containers, pesticides, fertilizers, pollution, UV rays, blue light, prescription drugs, you name it. While it might be healthier to abandon your modern lifestyle and move to an isolated forest to subsist on foraged nuts and berries, that’s not a realistic or even desirable plan for most. One of our best defenses against the toxins in the modern world is, you guessed it—glutathione.
According to studies, glutathione has multiple detoxification functions. Glutathione binds to toxins, pulls them out of the cells, and carries them to the liver where they are processed and then excreted through the kidneys, lungs, or bowels. 5
More helpful reading on the effects of smoking on the skin
4. Glutathione Skin Benefits: Lightening & Brightening
You don’t have to become a sun-deprived hermit to lighten your complexion. To get porcelain-like skin, consider brightening your skin tone with glutathione treatments. Glutathione converts melanin to a lighter color and deactivates tyrosinase, an enzyme that helps to produce the pigment.
In countries like the Philippines, glutathione treatments have been used for many years to brighten skin, achieve a more even skin tone, and diminish blotches and scars. One randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of glutathione supplementation showed a lightening in skin color among its subjects after just 4 weeks of orally administering glutathione. Another study showed that taking reduced glutathione benefits those who are taking the antioxidant for its skin lightening properties. Not only did participants who took the antioxidant have generally lighter skin than those in the placebo group, but they also experienced L-glutathione (reduced) benefits like fewer wrinkles and improved skin elasticity. 6, 7
5. Decreases the Signs of Aging Skin (Protects Against Oxidative Stress)
Age may make you wiser, and it certainly makes a bottle of wine more flavorful, but it doesn’t do your skin any favors. As you get older, your skin starts to break down, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, dryness, discoloration, thinness, and a lot of other icky symptoms. While aging isn’t totally avoidable, you can turn back the clock and achieve a more youthful, radiant complexion with the aid of glutathione.
Glutathione is one of the world’s lesser-known anti-aging secrets. Glutathione supplements may protect the skin against high levels of oxidative stress and oxidative damage and detoxifies the skin and body, helping to reverse acne and wrinkles. Glutathione supplements may also protect skin cells from UVA and UVB rays and HEV light, and the role of glutathione is to repair wound tissue.
One randomized, double-blind clinical trial suggests that glutathione, when taken orally (250grams per day) had positive, anti-aging beneficial effects on skin properties, including improved skin elasticity and a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 8
Does blue light damage skin? RenewSkin Inc. has the answers!
Other than glutathione skin benefits, supplementing with glutathione has also been shown to help:
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease—Having a deficiency of antioxidants can affect cells in the liver, which can lead to fatty liver disease. Supplementing with glutathione may help keep liver cells healthy. Learn more about skin problems related to liver disease here.
Autism spectrum disorders—A few studies have shown that glutathione supplementation in autism spectrum children may help improve their naturally lower levels of this antioxidant. More research is needed on the glutathione benefit for children with autism spectrum disorders.
Insulin resistance—Glutathione may help improve and lower high blood sugar in patients with diabetes and insulin resistance.
Cystic fibrosis—N-Acetylcysteine, a byproduct of glutathione, has been shown to help patients with cystic fibrosis.
While supplementing with glutathione can provide a range of benefits, other antioxidants, such as French Pine Bark, can also help fight oxidative stress throughout the body. LAC Masquelier’s French Pine Bark Extract delivers powerful antioxidant benefits and anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic properties to protect, preserve, and enhance youth, vitality, and quality of life. Just one tablet daily can help stimulate blood flow and ensure that harmful waste and toxins don’t cause excessive build-up.
3 Ways to Boost Glutathione Levels
Now you know how important this glutathione is to your health and maintaining youthful skin!
Unfortunately, our body alone can’t make enough glutathione to counteract the negative effects of modern living. We’re all susceptible to the perils of oxidative stress. But there’s hope. You can optimize levels of this antioxidant bad boy with a healthy diet and supplementation.
Studies have demonstrated the anti-aging effects of the oral administration of glutathione. So, what are you waiting for? Here’s what you can do to defend yourself against aging and free radicals to take back your health and rejuvenate your skin. 7
1. Consume Foods That Support Glutathione Production
When your intake of sulfur amino acids is insufficient, you may experience lower levels of glutathione in your liver and lungs. A diet rich in glutathione may help boost your low glutathione levels. Cruciferous vegetables that are high in sulfur include:
Selenium-Rich Foods: Precursor to Glutathione Synthesis
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and we need selenium to create glutathione. Food rich in selenium includes:
- Brazil nuts
- tuna, halibut, sardines
- animal meat protein
Cysteine-Rich Foods and Supplements:
Whey protein provides a great source of cysteine and the amino acids necessary for glutathione synthesis. It is the precursor to glutathione synthesis.
More helpful reading from RenewSkin Inc.: Ketogenic diet skin
2. Exercise To Boost Glutathione
According to Dr. Hardick, exercise is one sure way to boost glutathione naturally. The first longitudinal study measured the effect of exercise on glutathione levels and it shows a positive connection. 8
It is recommended that a combination of cardio and weight training is most effective to boost glutathione production naturally.
More helpful reading: How to get rid of flabby arms
3. Take Glutathione Supplements & Glutathione Supporting Supplements (Glutathione Pills Benefits)
Sometimes it is hard to determine how much glutathione you have from the food you eat. One of the most effective ways to ensure you have a good supply of glutathione is by taking glutathione supplements.
Oral glutathione supplements are known as L-glutathione, reduced glutathione, or GSH. Taken by mouth, a glutathione supplement benefits us by neutralizing toxins, strengthening our immune cells, and slowing the signs of aging. Glutathione supplementation can also help to reduce melanin production and lighten the skin naturally.
There are also other supplements besides glutathione itself that you can take to increase glutathione levels. The health supplement N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) is shown to naturally increase the production of glutathione. NAC is actually a precursor to glutathione. One clinical trial of glutathione showed that it is helpful in treating psychiatric disorders like addiction, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. 9, 10
Dr. Hyman MD also recommends taking whey protein and alpha lipoic acid because both of them can help stimulate glutathione production.
Whey protein provides a great source of cysteine and the amino acid building blocks for glutathione synthesis.
According to Dr. Hyman, Alpha Lipoic Acid is a close second to glutathione in importance in our cells and is involved in energy production, blood sugar control, brain health, and detoxification. The body usually makes it, but given all the stresses we are under, we often become depleted
There is also some evidence that vitamins C and E can help increase glutathione levels. 11
Studies have shown that vitamin C raises glutathione in red blood cells and improves the overall antioxidant capacity of the blood. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that has been shown to prevent cell damage from reactive oxygen and protect glutathione-dependent enzymes.
A family of antioxidants including vitamins C and E (in the form of mixed tocopherols) work together to recycle glutathione. 12
What does vitamin C do for your skin? RenewSkin Inc. explains.
Glutathione Health Benefits from Topical Treatments (Glutathione Cream Benefits)
Topical glutathione treatments are a clinically proven way to effectively lighten the skin and improve the skin’s condition. According to one 10-week study, the application of glutathione lotion led to a significantly lower skin melanin index as well as improved moisture, suppressed wrinkles, and smoother skin.
However, oral glutathione supplementation is more effective if you want to treat the whole body and experience a wider range of benefits rather than just treat a specific area.
Glutathione Injection Benefits (Glutathione Infusion on Leg Arterial Disease)
Intravenous glutathione has also been shown to benefit patients with peripheral obstructive arterial disease. A randomized, double-blind study tested the effect of glutathione infusion on how far patients could walk without experiencing pain when compared to a placebo. Researchers concluded that clinical glutathione benefits leg arterial circulation, cutaneous microcirculation, and pain-free walking distance in patients when compared to patients who received a placebo. 13
The Best Solution to Detoxify, Fight Aging, & Reduce Hyperpigmentation
Taut Bright is hands down the best defense against aging and skin discoloration. This powerful proprietary formula contains L-glutathione, L-cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, and vitamin C that helps stimulate the production of glutathione and replenish its supply in the liver.
The combined active ingredients are designed to protect the skin from free radical damage, reduce the signs of aging, and stimulate collagen production. This means fewer fine lines and wrinkles—just smooth, rejuvenated skin.
So, there you have it. The aging process might take a toll on your body and make you look prune-like if you’re not extra careful, but taking a supplement that contains glutathione and other antioxidants that support glutathione production can keep you looking and feeling your very best.
For the best results, take two capsules of Taut Bright per day. It’s that simple! Say goodbye to dark spots, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, and hello to flawless, luminous skin with Taut Bright!
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Support Your Skin’s Health & Appearance with Taut
Give your skin a makeover from the inside out with our Taut Premium Collagen Intense Transformation + Taut Bright. We’ve designed this unique bundle so you can firm, tone, and smooth fine lines and wrinkles and simultaneously enhance your skin’s natural luminosity and glow.
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