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Glutathione

 

Fortune tellers may claim they can predict how long you'll live, but scientists have found a better way, and it doesn't require a crystal ball. According to research, a high glutathione level is one of the most reliable indicators of health and longevity.


If you've ever lived in a really old house, you know it helps to have a handyman around for things like patching plaster and repairing leaky pipes. Your body has the same kind of handyman - glutathione. This amino acid is involved directly or indirectly in many handy activities. It helps build proteins and DNA, which contains your genetic code and is found in all your cells; assists in metabolism; fights free radicals; helps keep red blood cells healthy; and protects cells from damaging substances like drugs, smoke, or pollution.


As handy as glutathione is, you want to keep as much of it in your body as possible, right? Unfortunately, glutathione levels tend to fall as you get older. However, a recent study found that although glutathione levels were generally lower in people ages 60 to 79, the 80 to 99 age group actually had levels similar to younger people. Researchers think that people who maintain a high level of glutathione in their bodies may be healthier and, therefore, live longer. The same study found that people with a high glutathione level had lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and maintained a more sensible body weight than people with low levels of glutathione. These glutathione-rich people also rated their own health higher when asked, even though they didn't know they had more of this health-building handyman in their bodies.


Prevents pollution damage. You will probably live longer than your great-grandparents did. You have modern advances in medicine and technology to thank for those extra years of health. However, modern living does present some dangers to your health that weren't a problem to your forefathers. Your environment is becoming more and more hazardous, and you may be exposed to chemicals that didn't even exist in your grandfather's day. And while modern drugs have helped millions of people live longer, taking too many drugs, or the wrong kind of drugs, can be deadly. Luckily, glutathione can neutralize many of these modern hazards, making them less harmful.

Destroys free radicals. Free radical damage may be the main culprit in the aging process. Glutathione wipes out these pesky cell-damaging particles like an exterminator wipes out termites.

Boosts immunity. Your body has a marvelous built-in immune system that protects you against disease, but this immune system begins to break down as you age. For one thing, you begin to produce fewer T cells - white blood cells that direct attacks against foreign substances like bacteria and viruses, and the T cells you do produce become less effective. One reason for this deterioration is that the cells of your immune system are particularly enticing to free radicals because they have a high fat content. Free radicals love to oxidize fat. After years of free radical damage, your immune system cells simply can't do the job as well as before. Glutathione, in its role as an antioxidant, helps minimize free radical damage. Studies also show that glutathione helps your body make more disease-fighting T cells, and it helps these cells to be more effective.

Saves your sight. Glutathione levels are especially high in your eyes, and this helps protect your precious vision. Studies show that an adequate level of glutathione in your eyes can protect against cataracts, even when substances known to cause cataracts are present.

Cuts down cancer. Glutathione's main anti-aging role is its ability to neutralize toxic substances before they can harm your body. This role makes glutathione an effective cancer preventive. It binds with cancer-causing substances and makes them harmless. In one study, when rats with liver tumors were treated with glutathione, their tumors became smaller.

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