Functional Medicine Doctor Recommends Boosting Glutathione as Natural Remedy for Fatigue & Disease Prevention
Glutathione, also called GSH, is one of the most prevalent and powerful antioxidants in the human body. It exists in almost every cell of the body; thus, glutathione levels significantly impact overall state of health and wellbeing. When glutathione levels are too low, the body has a lowered immune system response. And, one of the first symptoms of low glutathione levels is fatigue.
More than 76,000 medical articles have been written about low glutathione levels and it has been associated with over 70 diseases and conditions including:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Heavy Metal Toxicity
- High Cholesterol Levels
According to Mark Hyman, M.D., author and well-known Functional Medicine physician:
“In treating chronically ill patients with Functional Medicine for more than 10 years, I have discovered that glutathione deficiency is found in nearly all very ill patients. These include people with chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, cancer, chronic infections, autoimmune disease, diabetes, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, asthma, kidney problems, liver disease, and more. At first I thought that this was just a coincidental finding, but over the years I have come to realize that our ability to produce and maintain a high level of glutathione is critical to recovery from nearly all chronic illness — and to preventing disease and maintaining optimal health and performance.”
What Causes Decreased Glutathione Levels?
The human body produces glutathione on its own, but levels become depleted due to exposure to pollutants and toxins, medications, stress, infections, radiation and/or a poor diet. Glutathione levels can also decrease with age.
Should I Test My Glutathione Levels?
There are blood and urine glutathione tests available; however, these tests can cost up to several hundred dollars and are rarely covered by insurance. Also, glutathione testing can sometimes be inaccurate, especially blood testing. By the time the specimen reaches the laboratory, time has passed, and the red blood cells have a high turnover rate that affects accuracy.
A better method of testing involves gene testing. An integrative physician can test the genes involved in producing enzymes that allow the body to create and recycle glutathione.
4 Natural Solutions to Increasing Glutathione:
- Take N-acetylcysteine (NAC) supplements. NAC helps boosts glutathione levels. Read about NAC dosing here.
- Take organic whey protein. Whey protein helps stimulate liver production of glutathione.
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants and take a multivitamin daily.
- Periodically undergo a liver detox.
Liver Detox: Why You Need It… How to Do It
“A liver detox program can be an incredible natural cure for fatigue and the perfect tool for boosting energy and overall health. Although the research is in its infancy, healers have been utilizing therapies that enhance the body’s detoxification mechanisms for ages. You may find it hard to believe that dietary adjustments, supplements, and other natural therapies to enhance detoxification can end your fatigue and increase your overall health. But if you’re tired all the time or just want to ensure your body can handle the myriad of toxins it encounters daily, you need to experience for yourself the transformative powers of a natural liver detox.”
For step-by-step instructions on how to perform a safe liver detox, read Dr. Jade’s article here.
Energy… Minus the Caffeine? PepsiCo Explores Chinese Herbal Extracts for Fatigue Relief
Did you know that caffeine is a hidden ingredient in many food items like beef jerky, chocolate candy, chewing gum, and salty snacks? Due to the increase in “hidden caffeine” foods, there is now an elevated risk of over-consumption of caffeine, which can be especially dangerous for younger consumers. Therefore, the soft drink company, PepsiCo, is exploring use of Chinese herbs to replace caffeine in their products. One of the herbs is called Duan-Geng-Wu-Jia or Gou-Qi-Zi. And, would you guess where this herb comes from? Goji berries!
Instead of sipping on soda or coffee, why not drink goji juice or tea for natural pick me up? Goji (Lycium) is full of antioxidants that help minimize damage from free radicals. Some studies using goji berry juice found benefits in mental well-being and calmness, athletic performance, happiness, quality of sleep, and feelings of good health.*
Keep in mind that goji does not treat fatigue, and should only be used as a natural replacement for caffeinated beverages.
*Goji may lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels so do not drink goji juice if you take medications for high blood pressure or diabetes without talking with your doctor.