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As 21st century urban humans, our bodies undergo multiple stressors every day. Apart from external stressors, internally too we subject our bodies to irregular and inappropriate diet and nutrition, inadequate sleep and hydration.
As a result, the number of free radicals, which are a normal by-product of metabolism, rise drastically. Their highly reactive nature can make cells vulnerable to decay and pathogens, advancing the process of aging. They can also damage cellular components and cause various diseases, including certain types of cancers. Current polluted environment and the lifestyle habits like smoking, also increase the risk of free radicals.
Free radicals are normally neutralised by efficient systems in the body that include the antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase) and the nutrient derived antioxidants in small molecules (vitamin E, vitamin C, carotenes, flavonoids, glutathione, uric acid, and taurine). In healthy individuals, a delicate balance exists between free radicals and antioxidants. Antioxidants offer natural protection from free radicals and help promote and maintain a healthy body and skin.
As an antioxidant, glutathione constitutes a major intracellular antioxidant defence and is a central component of many metabolic reactions. Further, it helps in regenerating other antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E, thereby boosting antioxidant potency. As the master antioxidant, its role as a multifunctional and irreplaceable defence molecule against free radicals is significantly proven.
Some key functions of glutathione are:
Defence against disease and aging: Decreased levels of glutathione signals a defective or compromised cellular defence and exposes cells to deleterious effects of free radicals. Usually, low levels of glutathione are found to be associated with several diseases and aging. It is noteworthy to mention that, it prevents cellular apoptosis (cell death), which normally is triggered post complete damage by free radicals. This cell death can be arrested by glutathione, which further helps in slowing down aging process.
Boost immunity: Besides fighting against free radicals, it strengthens immune system. Immune cells need significantly high levels of antioxidants. Even a minute depletion of glutathione may severely impact function of immune cells.
Detoxification:This is the most important function and 25 per cent of the total body glutathione is found only in liver.
Skin health: It exerts beneficial effects on skin like skin lightening, offering protective effect on keratinocytes and collagen fibres thereby helping fight skin aging. Orally supplemented glutathione, which is provided in its bioavailable form, can help skin to replenish its reserve of antioxidants, which are usually depleted in case of heavy free radical activity. Glutathione supplementation is known to improve elasticity and texture of skin. In recent years, it has also emerged as an effective remedy for skin tone improvement. With the rising awareness of being presentable and beautiful, Glutathione has found popularity among millennia’s who are seeking to lighten their skin tone. This wonder molecule is the best thing towards holistic skincare and wellness approach. Glutathione enhances beauty from within, by balancing the interrelated and interdependent cell.
The writer is cofounder, director, Adroit Biomed limited