Not your normal antioxidants: Glutathione and Sulfur
Written by: Detrick Snyder
One is an antioxidant and the other a mineral, but you won’t find either on a nutritional label. Why are these two so important? How do you eat to increase your levels and your oxidant-fighting capacity? Well let’s talk about it next!
First, antioxidants. A trending term for vital vitamins that come from the healthy, nutrient dense foods you eat. Many antioxidants that come from foods are critical for health - for example, the aronia berry extract in Resync Recovery is the best source of anthocyanin antioxidants ever discovered - but your body's front line defense from oxidation doesn't directly come from food, but instead from your body itself.
When your body is in a state of oxidative stress - whether the positive short-term form like exercise, or the chronic oxidative stress of aging (especially after 40) - reactive chemicals called “free radicals” are formed faster than your body can get rid of them. These fast-moving chemicals burn through your body wreaking havoc. Low levels are critical for keeping your body responsive and healthy, and when they get out of hand your body has antioxidant systems centered on glutathione that neutralize, process, and get rid of those free radicals.
Your ability to resist oxidative damage starts with the protein “glutathione”, one of the most powerful antioxidants in your body.
Where can I get more glutathione? Is it as easy as taking a supplement?
Not exactly! Since glutathione is a protein, your body digests it like it does the protein in beans or meat. Using glutathione supplements doesn’t really raise your glutathione levels much, if at all. 250mg or more per day for a month might raise your glutathione levels like it did in a Penn State study, but another study from Bastyr shows that it might not.
Our body’s detoxification systems are so individual that your best bet for keeping on top of oxidation is with what you eat. Master your diet to clamp down free radicals. Let’s look at how your body creates glutathione, and then we can see how we eat to help those antioxidants get recycled or eliminated effectively.
What’s the most important building block for glutathione?
It’s the common tie between cooked cabbage, hot springs, and well water. “Sulfur” might conjure a peculiar smell, but in fact it is a vital mineral to support your antioxidant system. You can absorb sulfur and other important minerals through your skin, which makes the case for a weekend of self-care at a sulfur springs spa, but you can also eat your way to antioxidative health. Sulfur usually comes in two forms, alone in its elemental form and wrapped up in the amino acids cysteine...