It is difficult to overstate the importance of glutathione as one of the body’s primary defense system. Unfortunately, oral ingestion of supplemental glutathione has not been viable because of its rapid breakdown during digestion. However, there are some foods and supplements that help support healthy glutathione levels:
- Cinnamon and Rhodila Rosea. Researchers found that cinnamon and Rhodiola Rosea extracts significantly lowered blood sugar – and at the same time this combination increased levels of glutathione in diabetic mice.
- Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is of major importance in boosting cellular levels of glutathione.
- Milk Thistle protects the liver from depletion of glutathione.
- N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is another strategy for providing glutathione to the cell and giving additional protection to the mitochondria is by providing precursors that are needed for the formation of glutathione. NAC contains a sulfur group known as a thiol, and it is the thiol that gives this amino acid its antioxidant effects. The cysteine portion of NAC is one of the three peptides that make up the glutathione molecule and by providing this building block, more glutathione is produced.
In combination with two other amino acids, glutamine and glycine, N-acetyl cysteine promotes the synthesis of glutathione in the liver. Both N-acetyl cysteine and alpha lipoic acid, when administered together, work synergistically to elevate levels of glutathione in the cell.