Liver Health and Glutathione the “Master Antioxidant”

Our LIVER has a great deal of responsibility in maintaining our health and strong healthy LIVER function is necessary for making Glutathione.

The Liver has a key role in most metabolic processes especially detoxification. The liver is constantly being invaded with caustic substances. There is a myriad of chemicals used on commercially grown fruits and vegetables, as well as in the soil. Today, the soil also lacks essential minerals and trace minerals needed in our produce for optimum health.  Also, we are contending with GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds, commercial factory farming, and the feeding of GMO grains to animals, and the use of antibiotics and some growth hormones. All this causes free radical damage and dis-ease affecting the immune system because the liver could no longer clear toxins.  In today’s world we are being bombarded with external invaders which we need to be concerned with. Chemicals from environmental toxins and too many pharmaceutical create xeno-estrogens which affects the liver and our hormonal system.

If you live in the city you may find fluoride (hydrofluorosilicic acid) an unpurified industrial by-product that is collected in the air pollution control systems of certain industries, and chlorine used to control unhealthy bacteria in the drinking and bathing water causing free radical damage.

Foods grown without chemicals substance have naturally occurring toxins which is easily detoxified by the liver. Food and herbs are meant to keep us tone, cleanse of excess toxins, provide pre and probiotics, provide micro-nutrients, and essentially provide homeostasis within all our systems.

There are Three Very Important Functions of the Liver and Detoxification

1.  The Blood–Every minute almost two quarts of blood moves through the liver for detoxification.

2. The Bile–Every day the liver produces approximately one quart of bile. Bile is necessary for the elimination of toxic materials, through the large intestines where it is absorbed by fibre and excreted.
Bile is also needed for the excretion of cholesterol and excess calcium. Bile is needed for emulsifying fat and fat soluble vitamins in the intestines.

3.  Phase I and II–This is a process to neutralize unwanted chemical compounds from environmental sources and any other substance which has to go through the liver or kidneys, such as pharmaceuticals, household cleaners, chemicals on and in our food and water.

Phase I – Through an internal chemical process, Phase I modifies chemicals-making them an easier mark for one or more of several Phase II enzyme systems.  

Phase II– This pathway involves a process called conjugation in which many enzymes in the liver attach to the chemicals to neutralize toxins and make them easy to be excreted through the urine or bile.

There are six major Phase II Enzyme Systems–

  1. Glutathione conjugation
  2. Amino Acid Conjugation
  3. Methylation
  4. Sulfation
  5. Acetyulation
  6. Glucuronidation

 The most important and powerful antioxidant for neutralizing free radicals is glutathione, which is made in the liver.

Glutathione

One of the main roles of the Liver making is protecting us from free radical damage by making Glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant that keeps other antioxidant performing optimally. Glutathione and the enzyme it forms (GTH peroxidase) is made from three amino acids:

  1. Cysteine
  2. Glutamic acid
  3. Glycine

Cysteine or Cystine

Controls the amount of glutathione made in the liver and gives GTH its metabolic strength as an antioxidant and detoxifier. It is the most important amino acid of the three.  Found in these foods:  poultry, yogurt, whey, raw goat or small cow milk, egg yolk, red peppers, garlic, onions, broccoli, Brussel sprouts. 

Glutamic acid

known as the ‘chemical messenger’, is an excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and is needed for mental alertness, clarity and mood. Found in these foods: animal protein, vegetable proteins, raw cheese, whey, almonds.

Glycine

is needed to make creatine and collagen as well as glutathione.  Glycine is a neurotransmitter and stimulates and inhibits cells in the brain and the central nervous system. Like Glutamic acid it supports cognitive function and mood and also affects appetite, digestion, immune function and heart health. Found in these foods: gelatin, meat, eggs, seeds, seaweed, algae.

Glutathione and GTH are very important and necessary for life. In humans GTH is found in all tissues highest levels in the:

  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas
  • Kidneys
  • Lenses of the eyes

Glutathione and GTH protect us against:

pesticides carbon monoxide from cars
plastics medication
benzene solvents
heavy metals dyes
cigarette smoke, phenols
smog nitrates

I personally feel it is best to eat foods which support glutathione production and take herbs which support liver detoxification.

If you feel you need to supplement we cannot utilize Glutathione in supplement form unless it is converted or made into a small molecule.

  • N-acetylcyteine (NAC) converts into Glutathione.
  • Glutathione Reduced a relatively small molecule for absorbability.

Other Important Antioxidants are Vitamins A, C, and E and trace mineral selenium.

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