Glutathione is one of life’s most powerful antioxidants. According to the American Chemical Society, it “exists in every cell of most organisms, including all animals and plants.” In humans, the liver manufactures glutathione using the amino acids glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid and sends it out so that it can assist with a variety of bodily functions, including tissue generation and repair, as well as the synthesis of various chemicals and proteins. In addition, glutathione plays an important role in the body’s immune system, helping the body to fight free radicals and more! Take a look at how glutathione helps boost the immune system:
Fortifies Natural Killer (NK) and T Cells
NK and T cells are types of lymphocytes (white blood cells). They protect the body from infection, seeking out and killing invading viruses and other pathogens using their ability to distinguish normal parts of the body from dangerous intruders. Glutathione stimulates the production of T cells and strengthens NK cells, thereby equipping the immune system to better fight infection and disease.
Inflammation is a key component of innate immunity. It is the process by which the body attempts to immediately protect itself when mechanical and chemical barriers (like our skin and mucus) and/or fever fail to keep invaders out. When viruses, bacteria or other harmful matter (such as free radicals and oxidants) damage cells, the body initiates a process to repair them. It sends out white blood cells, chemicals and other substances, causing blood vessels to release fluid into the surrounding tissue so that the foreign intruder is — in part — trapped and, thus, contained. It’s called inflammation. When harmful invaders are too numerous to control, the body enters a state of chronic inflammation and overall immunity weakens as the body becomes tired of constantly trying to protect itself. Glutathione helps boost the immune system by aiding detoxification. In short, it enables the body to find, “catch” and eliminate the toxins that play a part in inflammation. The result: the body is no longer constantly stressed and better able to wage a strong immune response against future threats.
Regulates Cell Death
Apoptosis (also known as “programmed cell death”) is a necessary step in homeostasis, ensuring that the body doesn’t hold onto critically damaged cells (like old cells or cancer cells) or allow them to multiply unchecked. It is a vital part of the body’s natural immune response, with its initiation triggered by a complex sequence of physiological events, including the depletion of certain chemical factors (one of which is glutathione).
Of particular importance is the fact that while part of the immune response, apoptosis does not induce an inflammatory reaction; it simply rids the body of that which it does not need without exhausting or otherwise overloading the body’s ability to function normally. However, when apoptosis goes awry (occurring too often or too seldom), certain issues can arise, such as autoimmune diseases; immunodeficiencies; bacterial and viral infections; stroke; and heart disease (to name but a few). Having enough glutathione in the body helps regulate normal cell death and other immune processes so that the body is not abnormally at risk for disease.
Want to Learn More?
Glutathione helps boost immune system processes, thus protecting the body against infection and disease. Unfortunately, toxins stemming from poor diet, environmental pollutants, stress, infections and aging can all overwhelm the body’s natural reserve of nutrients; they can especially deplete the body’s supply of glutathione, leaving it susceptible to uncontrolled cellular degeneration and disease. To learn more about using a glutathione infusion to help replenish the body’s natural store of glutathione so that your or a loved one’s health is protected, please contact the Institute of Natural Health today.