L-Glutathione, or simply glutathione, is a powerful antioxidant comprised of amino acids cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid. Glutathione has many functions. It is vital to mitochondrial function and necessary to produce DNA. Its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier means it plays an important role in removing toxins, such as mercury, from the brain and other cells. It is key in supporting immune function, metabolism, forming sperm cells, tissue building and repair, and helping with certain enzyme functions. As a powerful antioxidant, it may help fight the effects of free radicals, which cause oxidative stress, damage healthy cells, and contribute to aging and certain degenerative illnesses. Unlike most antioxidants, glutathione can be made in the human liver. Glutathione can be found in every cell of the human body. It is also found in many foods, including spinach and avocados, but is poorly absorbed by the body when consumed orally. Supplements that can support glutathione production include curcumin, N-acetylcysteine, selenium, silymarin, vitamin C, and Vitamin E. Glutathione levels in the body naturally decline as we age, but can also be reduced by factors like stress, malnutrition, and environmental toxins.
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