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Anti-Aging

Could Glutathione Be The Key To Slowing The Physical Aging Process?

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Dr. Michelle KmiecGuest Writer

Glutathione, The ‘Master’ Antioxidant

If there were such a thing as a nutrient that “does it all”, glutathione would have to be a top contender for the number one spot. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that prevents damage to important cellular components, repairs and protects the body from harmful toxins and other dangers we encounter in our polluted environment.

Briefly, Glutathione (GSH) is a tripeptide comprised of three amino acids, cysteine, glutamic acid (ionic salt from glutamate), and glycine. All three of these amino acids are considered to be non-essential, meaning our body synthesizes them.

So if the body produces its own glutathione, then why is it necessary to consume foods that support glutathione production? The simple answer: Oxidation.

Oxidation is caused by nutrient-deficit diets, a polluted environment, drugs (prescribed and over-the-counter), physical and emotional stress, electromagnetic stress, and radiation.

Oxidative stress is a primary cause of aging, sickness and disease. The oxidation of cholesterol is the root cause of heart disease and arteriosclerosis, not necessarily cholesterol levels as so many believe.

Glutathione is found in every cell of the body. It is thought that the younger you are the more glutathione your body produces. However don’t be misled by statements such as this because there are two very different explanations for decreased Glutathione levels:

  1. As we get older glutathione decreases do to the “normal aging process”, and
  2. The oxidative stress of our environment, the chemicals in our food, and both normal and unnecessary emotional stressors in life, cause glutathione levels in the body to decrease, thus compromising our immune systems and the body’s ability to detoxify.

And although the first explanation may be grounded in some truth, the second is far more logical. In fact, it is because of decreased immune function that we have an increase in all major diseases today!

Glutathione is vital for protecting against:
  • Aging
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia

Undisputedly, glutathione is needed in the body not just for normal functioning of the immune system, but also for optimal functioning. Remember the term oxidation? Glutathione is ‘the’ master antioxidant that aids all other antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E, in free radical scavenging.

For years, vitamins have been touted as free-radical killers and not only has this been proven by research, we now know that Glutathione is the most valuable player of them all! Imagine if you would, a football team. Each and every player has a vital role in moving the team toward its major goal—to win. If we were to think of each player as a different supplement, both offensive and defensive, a very interesting analogy would come about. When a team’s offense is on the field, they need to block or counter every move the defines makes in order to stay alive in the game. And which player is the one that is most often considered the MVP (most valuable player) on the winning team? The quarterback. A great quarterback can actually help the other players to excel in their roles on the field. In other words, he helps his teammates shine.

And the quarterback in the body’s fight against oxidation, and thus disease, is glutathione. The goal of glutathione and all of the free-radical scavengers in the body is simple—life!

The correlation between glutathione and the fight against free radicals has been known for quite some time, so it is unfortunate that a majority of the general public likely hasn’t heard of it.

The Lancet, the world’s leading general medical journal, published a review in 1998 entitled, Nuttal SL Glutathione: In Sickness and in Health, which clearly outlines the links between glutathione in health and disease. The study measured the amount of glutathione in blood plasma in both healthy and non-healthy individuals of all ages. What they found was interesting indeed. The higher the glutathione level, the less oxidative damage and the healthier the person; the lower the glutathione level, the more oxidative damage and the sicker the person. They concluded:

“Ageing is therefore associated with a decrease in plasma antioxidants and an increase in evidence of oxidative damage even in those who are apparently healthy. Disease, particularly acute severe disease requiring hospital admission, is associated with greater changes in antioxidants and evidence of oxidative damage.”

Glutathione is also known to be a potent detoxifier of drugs and carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals). If you remember, one of the components that make up the tripeptide of glutathione is cysteine. N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), a derivative of cysteine, is well recognized as the treatment for acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose in hospitals. La Clinica Terapeutica, journal of Clinical and Laboratory Medicine and Surgery of Italy, did a study on the effects of reduced glutathione (GSH) administration and its effectiveness against liver damage caused by chronic alcohol consumption.

“…The relationship between glutathione, GGTP and glucaric acid is discussed, suggesting the possible role of GSH against the oxidative damage of alcohol.”

Another 2003 study, also from Italy, sought to directly link Glutathione and detoxification based on the premise:

“In humans, GSH depletion is linked to a number of disease states including cancer, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.”

They concluded the following:

“Glutathione is a critical factor in protecting organisms from toxicity and disease.”

So how can you increase Glutathione levels in your body?
Eat Foods rich in Glutathione

Consume plenty of sulfur-rich foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, asparagus, cabbage, garlic, onion and spinach. Foods high in sulfur increase glutathione production. It is worth noting that cooking these foods reduces the glutathione content.

Foods containing selenium, such as Brazil nuts, meat and seafood can also promote glutathione production. Selenium is a mineral that helps the body to produce glutathione.

Add Herbs and Spices That Help Prevent Glutathione Depletion

Turmeric, cardamom and cinnamon contain compounds that increase the production of Glutathione.

Reduce the Stress in Your Life

Chronic stress and anxiety is one of the main factors in decreased glutathione levels. It is important to seek out ways in which to reduce every day stressors. Spending time outdoors, listening to music, going for a walk, reading and meditating are all great ways to de-stress.

We have all heard how yoga has the ability to reduce stress. Well, a 2007 study looking at the effects of yoga on oxidative stress showed that, “Reduced glutathione level increased significantly (p < 0.05) in the yoga group after completion of training.”

For more information, please read the article: Yoga’s Age-Defying Effects Confirmed by Science.

Reduce the Amount of Chemicals You Are Ingesting – Eat Organic

The body not only naturally produces Glutathione, but it also recycles it. However, when there is too much oxidative stress caused by a poor diet and consuming foods laden with toxic chemicals such as those found in pesticides, herbicides, artificial sweeteners, synthetic food dyes, nitrates and other food preservatives, glutathione becomes depleted subjecting us to infection, inflammation and the inability to rid our bodies from toxins.

For more information, please see: Here’s What Happens When You Eat a 100% Organic Diet

Drink plenty of Clean Filtered Water – at Least ¾ of a Gallon a Day (but Try for 1 Gallon)

Drinking plenty of water each day plays a major role in our body’s natural ability to detoxify. But unfortunately our water sources are polluted with harmful chemicals such as chlorine, ammonia, fluoride and prescription medications, just to name a few. Continuously ingesting toxic chemicals in the water you are drinking can deplete glutathione levels and lead to oxidative stress and liver damage. Drinking clean filtered water is one of the best ways to protect your body from the thousands of known toxins that may be present in our water supplies.

To learn more, please see the article: Are You Drinking Clean Water?

Reduce the Amount of Chemicals in Your Home – Add Filter Plants

You are exposed to dangerous chemicals every day, and in the least likely place—your home! Chemicals such as trichloroethylene, benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and toluene have all sadly become part of the air we breathe. Fortunately Mother Nature has the answer!

There are many indoor houseplants that actually filter many of these chemicals from the air allowing for a healthier environment. In the 1980s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America researched houseplants that may be used to purify the air in space facilities. This study concluded that the number one air-filtering houseplant is the English Ivy. Other plants that can reduce the number of toxins in the air include the Peace Lily, Palm, Philodendron, Spider Plant and Golden Pathos.

For more information, please see: Top 7 Houseplants for Clean Air and a Restful Sleep

Eliminate Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies caused by improper nutrition, environmental pollutants, pharmaceutical drugs and unhealthy lifestyle practices can all lead to oxidative stress and decreased levels of Glutathione. Eating a nutrient rich whole foods diet, taking supplements when necessary, and taking measures to reduce physical and emotional stress and can help to boost Glutathione levels and counteract some of the factors that deplete it.

Glutathione Supplementation

There is ongoing debate over whether oral supplementation of glutathione is effective at increasing levels in the body. There are those who believe that glutathione supplementation is not effective because since it is a protein, it is digested and not absorbed. The same could be said about eating foods to increase glutathione levels. It is true that the body digests various foods differently. For example, proteins take much longer to digest than carbohydrates. However, digestion and/or absorption are also very much dependent upon the health of the gut. And sadly, most studies done on “healthy” adults have a low standard of what constitutes a healthy gut. This is very apparent when you are in a grocery or drug store perusing the aisles dedicated to relieving diarrhoea, constipation, and heartburn.

Putting that aside, there are studies that claim that oral supplementation of glutathione is effective. There is one factor that sets these studies apart from the others.  The participants in these studies were instructed to take the glutathione on an empty stomach along with a full glass of water.

John P. Richie, Jr., Ph.D., Professor of Public Health Sciences and Pharmacology at Penn State College of Medicine found:

“A battery of immune function markers was examined after three months of glutathione supplementation and NK cytotoxicity was enhanced more than two-fold for participants taking 1000mg daily doses.” Furthermore, “We believe GSH supplementation may represent an effective intervention strategy for disease prevention and may enhance immune function.”

“Our research showed that in most cases increases were dose and time dependent, and levels returned to baseline after a one-month washout.” Dr. Richie continued, “By taking daily GSH supplements, we believe efficacious levels will persist, and that oral intake is an effective means of chronically enhancing the body’s stores.”

So yes, the absorption of oral supplementation of glutathione can be a bit tricky, but certainly possible as long as the following steps are adhered to:

  1. Maintain a healthy gut by eating clean organic whole foods, eating fermented foods and/or taking probiotics.
  2. Drink at least a gallon (or close to it) of filtered water per day.
  3. Exercise regularly!
  4. Having at least 1 (better yet 2) fully formed bowel movements per day is a great indicator that you have a healthy gut.
  5. If you choose to supplement glutathione, take on an empty stomach followed by plenty of water.

You can buy your Glutathione here at Amazon.

5 Health Powers of Asparagus! Click here to read the article.
The Triad of Life

For more health related information, and tips for reducing stress and incorporating more organic foods into your diet, join Online Holistic Health’s exclusive Holistic Lifestyle Community, The Triad of Life™.

By participating in this new and continuously growing online community, you will be guided through a myriad of comprehensive exercises as you learn how to find balance in the three major components of your health — Physical, Nutritional and Emotional, which together comprise “the Triad.”

Begin by taking the free online health assessment. As a special bonus, CLICK HERE to download a free copy of the eWorkbook 3 Real Strategies to Reduce Stress & Inflammation So You Can Achieve Optimal Health, learn how lifestyle and environmental changes can have a positive effect on your health by watching the FREE video series 3 Strategies to Free Yourself from Stress & Anxiety, and then experience this exclusive membership community for yourself during your first FREE month!

Recommended Articles by Dr. Michelle Kmiec
About the Author

Dr. Michelle Kmiec is a board-certified chiropractic physician who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, and a minor in Medical Research. She is a life-long athlete who after curing herself 100% naturally from MS and chronic anxiety, became an avid nutrition health researcher/promoter.

She has been featured in many Health magazines and has been a guest on radio talk shows in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. She is the author of the book “Healthcare Freedom Revolution: Exposing the Lies, Deceit and Greed of the Medical Profession”, Founder of Online Holistic Health, and a contributing writer for other popular informative health website/blogs. She is also co-founder of Crazy Meets Common Sense! – the Podcast that makes sense out of the crazy, to help you live a more healthy, fulfilling and empowering life!

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Anti-Aging

The Most Popular Cooking Oil In America Linked To Genetic And Neurological Damage

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Photo Credit: Getty

Dr. MercolaGuest Writer

Far worse than the biologic damage caused by refined sugar is the molecular havoc caused by processed vegetable oils. Soybean oil in particular has a questionable safety profile for several reasons, and processed foods are positively loaded with it.

Whether partially hydrogenated, organic or genetically modified to be low in linoleic acid, soybean oil can cause dysfunction at a cellular level. Unfortunately, many health authorities have insisted omega-6-rich vegetable oils like soybean oil are healthier than saturated animal fats such as butter and lard, and this myth has been a tough one to dismantle, despite the evidence against it.

An estimated 94% of the soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically engineered (GE) to tolerate herbicides, primarily glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto/Bayer’s Roundup), which cannot be washed off. As a result, most soybean-based products are contaminated with glyphosate, which compounds their toxicity.

Soybean Oil Linked to Genetic and Neurological Damage

Most recently, research published in the journal Endocrinology warns soybean oil — the most widely consumed cooking oil in America — can cause neurological and metabolic changes associated with:

AutismAlzheimer’s disease
AnxietyDepression
ObesityInsulin resistance
Type 2 diabetesFatty liver disease

The study, done on mice, compared the health effects of diets high in conventional soybean oil, GE soybean oil low in linoleic acid and coconut oil. As reported by Neuroscience News:

“The same UCR research team found in 2015 that soybean oil induces obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver in mice. Then in a 2017 study, the same group learned that if soybean oil is engineered to be low in linoleic acid, it induces less obesity and insulin resistance.

However, in the study released this month, researchers did not find any difference between the modified and unmodified soybean oil’s effects on the brain. Specifically, the scientists found pronounced effects of the oil on the hypothalamus, where a number of critical processes take place.”

Your hypothalamus is a key regulator of homeostasis and metabolism in your body, and also plays a role in your stress response and hormone regulation.

According to the authors, the soybean diets (both conventional and GE), caused dysfunction in about 100 different genes in the hypothalamus, including one that is responsible for producing oxytocin, colloquially known as “the love hormone,” which has beneficial effects on your heart.

Other dysregulated genes included ones associated with “inflammation, neuroendocrine, neurochemical and insulin signalling.” The coconut oil diet had “negligible effect.”

The fact that GE soybean oil that is designed to be low in omega-6 linoleic acid had similar effects as conventional high-linolenic acid soybean oil effects suggests linoleic acid isn’t the problem, as previously suspected. The study also ruled out another suspected soybean chemical, stigmasterol, as coconut oil enriched in stigmasterol had no ill effects.

The team will continue their investigation in an effort to identify the real culprit behind these genetic effects. In the meantime, co-author Poonamjot Deol, an assistant project scientist at the University of California Riverside, urges people to “reduce consumption of soybean oil.”

Unfermented Soy Linked to Many Health Problems

The idea that unfermented soy in general and soybean oil in particular, are healthy is refuted by thousands of studies linking unfermented soy to a wide range of health problems. In her book, “The Whole Soy Story, Dr. Kaayla Daniel details research implicating unfermented soy in the development of:

MalnutritionDigestive distress
Immune system breakdownThyroid dysfunction
Cognitive declineReproductive disorders
InfertilityCancer
Heart diseaseFood allergies

Fermented organic soy, on the other hand, has a number of important health benefits, and are the only soy products I recommend eating. Healthy options include:

  • Tempeh — A fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty, mushroom-like flavour.
  • Miso — A fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture (commonly used in miso soup).
  • Natto — Fermented soybeans with a sticky texture and strong, cheese-like flavour.
  • Soy sauce — Traditionally made by fermenting soybeans, salt and enzymes; beware that many varieties on the market today are made artificially, using a chemical process.
Problematic Components in Soy

While the featured Endocrinology study was unable to identify the exact soy compound responsible for the genetic damage, there are many plant chemicals found in soy that are capable of causing problems, including:

Phytoestrogens (isoflavones) genistein and daidzein, which mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen — Isoflavones resemblance to human estrogen is why some recommend using soy therapeutically to treat symptoms of menopause. However, most of us tend to be exposed to too many estrogen compounds and have a lower testosterone level than ideal, so I believe it’s important to limit your exposure to feminizing phytoestrogens. Even more importantly, there’s evidence isoflavones may disturb endocrine function, contribute to infertility and promote breast cancer, which is definitely a significant concern. As noted in a 2017 scientific review on dietary phytoestrogens: “Phytoestrogens are plant‐derived dietary compounds with structural similarity to 17‐β‐oestradiol (E2), the primary female sex hormone. This structural similarity to E2 enables phytoestrogens to cause (anti)oestrogenic effects by binding to the oestrogen receptors …  Various beneficial health effects have been ascribed to phytoestrogens … In contrast to these beneficial health claims, the (anti)oestrogenic properties of phytoestrogens have also raised concerns since they might act as endocrine disruptors … [G]iven the data on potential adverse health effects, the current evidence on these beneficial health effects is not so obvious that they clearly outweigh the possible health risks.  Furthermore, the data currently available are not sufficient to support a more refined (semi) quantitative risk-benefit analysis. This implies that a definite conclusion on possible beneficial health effects of phytoestrogens cannot be made.“
Phytates, which block your body’s uptake of minerals — Phytic acid binds to metal ions, preventing the absorption of certain minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc — all of which are co-factors for optimal biochemistry in your body. This is particularly problematic for vegetarians, because eating meat reduces the mineral-blocking effects of these phytates. Sometimes phytic acid can be beneficial, especially in postmenopausal women and adult men, both of whom are prone to excessive iron, a potent oxidant capable of causing significant biological stress. However, phytic acid does not selectively inhibit iron absorption; it inhibits all minerals. This is very important to remember, as many already suffer from mineral deficiencies from inadequate diets. The soybean has one of the highest phytate levels of any grain or legume, and the phytates in soy are highly resistant to normal phytate-reducing techniques such as long, slow cooking. Only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content of soybeans.
Enzyme inhibitors, which hinder protein digestion.
Hemagglutinins, which cause red blood cells to clump together and inhibit oxygen takeup and growth.
Omega-6 fat (linolenic acid), which is pro-inflammatory — The massive overconsumption of highly refined vegetable oils such as soybean oil is largely due to the wrongful demonization of saturated fats. This has had the effect of turning the average American’s omega-3 to omega-6 ratio upside down, which is a major driver of chronic inflammation, which in turn is an underlying factor in virtually all chronic diseases.
Antinutrients” such as saponins, soyatoxin, lectins and oxalates — While a small amount of antinutrients would not likely cause a problem, the amount of soy and soybean oil that many Americans are now eating is very high.
Goitrogens — Goitrogens, found in all unfermented soy whether it’s organic or not, are substances that block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function.
Another Major Hazard of GE Soybeans: Glyphosate

If you need yet another reason to reconsider your consumption of soybean oil, consider this: In addition to having an unhealthier nutritional profile than organic soybeans, Roundup Ready GE soy has been shown to contain high amounts of glyphosate.

According to a 2014 study published in Food Chemistry, which looked at the compositional differences between various types of soybeans, glyphosate readily accumulates in Roundup Ready soybeans, and GE soybeans contained a mean glyphosate residue level of 3.3 milligrams per kilo. The most contaminated samples contained as much as 8.8 mg of glyphosate per kilo.

Meanwhile, a 2010 study in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology found malformations in frog and chicken embryos occurred at 2.03 mg of glyphosate per kilo. The malformations primarily affected the face, skull, brain and spinal cord. According to this study:

“Organic soybeans showed the healthiest nutritional profile with more sugars, such as glucose, fructose, sucrose and maltose, significantly more total protein, zinc and less fiber than both conventional and GM-soy. 

Organic soybeans also contained less total saturated fat and total omega-6 fatty acids than both conventional and GM-soy. GM-soy contained high residues of glyphosate and AMPA … Conventional and organic soybean batches contained none of these agrochemicals. 

Using 35 different nutritional and elemental variables to characterize each soy sample, we were able to discriminate GM, conventional and organic soybeans without exception, demonstrating ”substantial non-equivalence” in compositional characteristics for ‘ready-to-market’ soybeans.”

It’s important to realize that once applied to crops, glyphosate actually becomes integrated into the cells of the plant, so it cannot be washed off. And, while the chemical industry is still defending the safety of glyphosate, mounting research suggests it can harm health in a number of different ways.

Importantly, the chemical has been shown to decimate beneficial gut bacteria. Glyphosate has also been shown to cause DNA damage and to act as an endocrine disruptor. For an overview of how glyphosate’s impact affects your health, see Roundup May Be Most Important Factor in Development of Chronic Disease.”

Safeguard Your Health by Ditching Vegetable Oils

To recap, there are several potential health hazards of soybean oil to consider, either alone or in combination:

  1. The harmful health effects of unfermented soy
  2. The potential hazards of GE soy
  3. The harm associated with glyphosate contaminated food
  4. High amounts of processed omega-6 skewing your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio

If you want to avoid dangerous fats of all kinds, your best bet is to eliminate processed foods from your diet. My comprehensive nutrition plan offers helpful guidance for this process.

When cooking, coconut oil, butter, lard and ghee are healthy options. Also be sure to swap out margarines and vegetable oil spreads for organic butter, preferably made from raw grass fed milk. Butter is a healthy whole food that has received an unwarranted bad rap.

Other healthy fats to include in your diet are avocados, raw dairy products, olive oil, olives, organic pastured eggs and raw nuts. To further balance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio you may also need a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil, if you’re not in the habit of eating small, fatty fish such as sardines, anchovies and mackerel, and/or wild caught Alaskan salmon.

Recommended Articles by Dr. Joseph Mercola
About the Author

Born and raised in the inner city of Chicago, IL, Dr. Joseph Mercola is an osteopathic physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Mercola served as the chairman of the family medicine department at St. Alexius Medical Center for five years, and in 2012 was granted fellowship status by the American College of Nutrition (ACN).

While in practice in the late 80s, Dr. Mercola realized the drugs he was prescribing to chronically ill patients were not working. By the early 90s, he began exploring the world of natural medicine, and soon changed the way he practiced medicine.

In 1997 Dr. Mercola founded Mercola.com, which is now routinely among the top 10 health sites on the internet. His passion is to transform the traditional medical paradigm in the United States. “The existing medical establishment is responsible for killing and permanently injuring millions of Americans… You want practical health solutions without the hype, and that’s what I offer.”

Visit Mercola.com for more information, or read Dr. Mercola’s full bio and resumé here.

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