If you haven’t heard of glutathione yet chances are you will be hearing a LOT about it soon.
I must admit that although I consider myself fairly well read I was essentially in the dark myself about this powerhouse of an antioxidant until a very intriguing study crossed my desk recently.
More on that study in a moment, but first let me tell you a bit more about this powerful molecule that’s naturally produced by the body. Glutathione is literally found inside every single cell in your body. This unique feature makes it hands down your body’s most important antioxidant.
Antioxidants, as you probably already knew, are important for maintaining good health because they help neutralize the free radicals that build up in your body causing damage and disease.
Try this. Take a moment to look in the mirror. Are you beginning to see signs of aging showing up on your face? Is your skin starting to look a bit more dull, thin, and uneven? Are the telltale wrinkles starting to creep in? Do you see dark patches of skin and are dark circles under your eyes becoming the norm rather than the occasional result of a sleepless night?
All of these outward signs of aging…known as oxidative damage… that can be seen on the face are due in large part to the free-radical damage that’s occurring inside as we age. And in one of those cruel twists of fate, our body’s ability to produce the powerful free-radical-fighting glutathione begins to diminish as we age.
Now before I get back to that study I mentioned, I have a confession to make. While I’ve never thought of myself as “vain” or overly concerned with my appearance a couple of recent events have made me acutely aware of the passage of time and the impact it’s having on my skin.
So when I learned about glutathione and its critical role in combating the signs of skin aging it was like a lightbulb going on in my head. I realized that this all-natural nutrient really could be the “missing link” in beauty science, which brings me to that intriguing study I mentioned earlier.
The results of the placebo-controlled study, published in June of last year in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment, are quite promising. Over a four-week period, researchers at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Thailand gave 60 volunteers either 500 mg a day of glutathione or a placebo.
At the end of the four weeks the volunteers who took the glutathione showed a measurable improvement in and overall lightening of skin tone. Darker spots on their faces and arms were noticeably faded, and the researchers even reported some shrinkage in pore size and an increase in general skin evenness.
And were not talking camouflage here. Were talking about stopping the signs of skin aging in their tracks.
Obviously, the findings are still emerging on glutathione’s role in beauty science, but frankly I’m already sold. Making my aging skin look and feel better with something my body already needs anyway seems like a no-brainer to me.
Update: Several readers have asked about food sources of glutathione. No foods actually contain this important antioxidant. (Most fruits and vegetables do contain glutathione peroxidase an important free-radical fighting antioxidant, but it’s not the “master antioxidant” glutathione.) There are, however, some foods you can eat that can help your body make more glutathione and these include: broccoli, garlic, asparagus, avocados, spinach, tomatoes, and curcumin. However, if you want to assure you are raising your levels you may want to consider taking a supplement.
About the author
An enthusiastic believer in the power of natural healing, Alice has spent virtually her entire 15-year career in the natural-health publishing field helping to spread the word.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on Healthier Talk. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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