Supplements Information

Glutathione - Your Brains Master Antioxidant Defense


Free radicals and oxyradicals play an important role in the development and progression of many brain disorders such as brain injury, neurodegenerative disease, schizophrenia and Down syndrome.

Glutathione is the brain's master antioxidant and plays an important protective role in the brain.

According to Dr. Jimmy Gutman, "The brain is particularly susceptible to free radical attack because it generates more oxidative by-products per gram of tissue than any other organ."

Many neurological and psychiatric disease processes are characterized by... abnormalities in glutathione metabolism and antioxidant defenses."

Generation of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and oxidative damage are an important cause of neuron (brain cell) death from brain injury.

Chemicals that cause toxicity to certain brain cells are known to decrease cerebral glutathione (GSH), making the cells more vulnerable to reactive oxygen species (ROS). (1)

On the other hand, over-expression of the glutathione peroxidase (GPX) enzyme potently decreases cell death from brain injury. (2)

Brain Injury and Glutathione - The Gender Difference

Researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh have found that males and females respond differently to brain injury. (3)

In animal models, levels of glutathione remain constant in females who have suffered a brain injury, but drop by as much as 80 percent in males with the same injury.

When glutathione levels drop, brain cells die much more quickly. This suggests that boys with brain injuries may require different life-saving treatments than girls.

N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), a precursor of glutathione, already approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat people who have overdosed on acetaminophen, may be an effective treatment for brain injury in boys whose brains are deprived of oxygen.

Brain Disorders and Glutathione - A Genetic Cause?

Genetics researchers have found that the glutathione S-transferase gene controls the onset of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and determines, not if we get these diseases, but when. (4)

The glutathione S-transferase gene has previously been linked to the risk for Parkinson's disease among people who used pesticides.

A previous article covered the importance of glutathione in Parkinson's Disease.

Alzheimer's Disease and Glutathione

Free radicals and oxidative damage in neurons is known to be a primary cause of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease.

Amyloid- peptide (A) accumulation in senile plaques, a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD), has been implicated in neuronal degeneration.

Amyloid plaques encroaching on the brain increase the production of free radicals, or oxidative stress. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E "mop up" the damaging free radicals.

Glutathione (GSH) precursors can prevent death of brain cells induced by amyloid plaques in Alzhiemer's disease, while substances that deplete GSH increase cell death. (5)

Evidence has been piling up over the link between the amount of an amino acid called homocysteine in the blood and the chance of developing Alzheimer's.

For people not genetically predisposed to developing Alzheimer's, cholesterol and homocysteine, largely caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, are the core causal factors.

Welsh GP, Andrew McCaddon, showed that the more homocysteine that patients with Alzheimer's had, the worse their mental performance, and the worse their "cognitive impairment," the less they had of the antioxidant glutathione. (6)

Glutathione and Mood Disorders

Studies have found that the mood stabilizing drug, valproate, used to treat epilepsy and bi-polar disorder, regulates expression of the genes that make glutathione-S-transferase (GST).

In addition, chronic treatment with lithium, another commonly prescribed mood stabilizer used in treating manic-depression, also increased levels of GST.

These findings led researchers to conclude that glutathione S-transferase may be a novel target for mood stabilizing drugs. (7)

Alcohol Consumption and Glutathione

Alcohol abuse is known to impair memory and other brain functions and increase brain cell death. A new study in rats has shown that alchol consumption causes fewer new brain cells to form and results in greater cell death. (8)

But rats that were fed alcohol along with Ebselen - a glutathione peroxidase mimic that acts as a free radical scavenger - showed no similar reduction in brain-cell formation and no increase in cell death.

Substances that Boost Glutathione Levels and Protect Brain Cells

Taking glutathione itself as a supplement does not boost cellular glutathione levels, since it breaks down in the digestive tract before it reaches the cells.

However, intravenous glutathione therapy and glutathione precursors or dietary supplements are effective in boosting intracellular levels of glutathione.

Intravenous Glutathione Injections: Intravenous glutathione injections have been shown to produce amazing and rapid results, in patients with Parkinson's disease. Following even a single dosage of intravenous glutathione, many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease rapidly improve, often in as little as 15 minutes.

Glutathione Precursors: In the Alzheimer's study conducted by Welsh GP, Andrew McCaddon, adding the glutathione precursor, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) to a protocol that lowered homocysteine levels by simple supplementation with B12 and folate, resulted in prompt, striking, and sustained clinical improvement in nearly all the patients. (9)

Cucurmin (turmeric):Studies have shown that the Indian curry spice, cucurmin, has neuroprotective effects because of its ability to induce the enzyme, hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1), which protects neurons exposed to oxidant stress. Treatment of brain cells called astrocytes, with curcumin, increases expression of HO-1 protein as well as glutathione S-transferase. (10)

Ebselen: Ebselen is a glutathione peroxidase mimic and potent synthetic antioxidant that acts as a neuroprotective agent and an inhibitor of free-radical induced apoptosis (cell death). It can protect brain cells from the neuro-toxic effects of alcohol consumption. (8)

Undenatured Whey Protein: Undenatured whey protein provides glutathione precursors, has been shown to raise intracellular glutathione levels in clinical trials, and has anecdotally been reported to improve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

References:1. Journal of Neurochemistry, Vol. 88, No. 3, 2004 513-531
2. Journal of Neurochemistry, Vol. 87, No. 6, 2003 1527-1534
3. Researchers Find Brain Cells Die Differently in Males and Females; Pediatric Academic Societies Press release; 21-Apr-2004
4. Human Molecular Genetics, 2003, Vol. 12, No. 24 3259-3267
5. The Journal of Cell Biology, Volume 164, Number 1, 123-131; 5 January 2004
6. Biol Psychiatry. 2003 Feb;53(3):254-60
7. Journal of Neurochemistry, Vol. 88, No. 6, 2004 1477-1484
8. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Jun 24;100(13):7919-24. Epub 2003 Jun 05.
9. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2003 Mar-Apr;11(2):246-9
10. Can Curry Protect Against Alzheimer's?; American Physiological Society (APS) Press Release; 16-Apr-2004

Copyright 2004 Priya Shah

_____________________________________________
This article was first published in the May 2004 issue of The Glutathione Report, a newsletter featuring regular updates on the health benefits of glutathione. Get a Free report on Glutathione in Health and Disease
____________________________________________


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Petoskey News-Review

Boyne City goal-setting event set for Monday
Petoskey News-Review
The event is part of the city commission's ongoing biannual goal-setting process that began earlier this year with surveys conducted both online and in paper form. City manager Michael Cain said more than 500 people have already participated in the ...



Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport Hosts DBE Goal-Setting Consultation
SweetwaterNOW.com
ROCK SPRINGS — The Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport's upcoming Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) Consultation Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 24 at 1:30 PM Mountain Standard Time. The airport is required by Federal ...



Employee Benefit Adviser

Research As open enrollment preparations move ahead, goal setting becomes a key focus for advisers
Employee Benefit Adviser
These gains are reflected in the latest data collected by Employee Benefit Adviser in its monthly Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark (OERB) survey. For May, employers with Q1 start dates who say they're on target with their open enrollment ...



Michael Shank & Yvette Clarke: Goal-setting necessary to save our environment
vtdigger.org
Editor's note: This commentary is by Michael Shank and U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y. Shank, of Brandon, is the communications director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. Clarke represents New York's ...



Petoskey News-Review

Boyne City seeks community goal-setting input
Petoskey News-Review
In past years, the city commission has used a different process for gathering input for it's goal-setting process. The former process included hosting a community goal-setting input session, usually in February, at which facilitators took comments from ...



Weekly Alibi

Time Management and Goal Setting: A WESST Small Business Workshop
Weekly Alibi
Learn to grow a business through goal-oriented time management. Victor Delgado demonstrates how to develop clearly defined goals, prioritize actions and overcome challenges. Flyer. Learn how to grow your business through goal-oriented time ...



DVIDS (press release)

Warrior Care and Transition works to finalize updates to the goal setting process for Soldiers in transition
DVIDS (press release)
“For Soldiers in the WTB, goal setting is very important,” said Bortle, who recently won several medals at the 2018 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colorado and will represent Team U.S. at the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia. “[Goal setting ...



Entrepreneur

How to Lead Your Team to Achieve the Goals No Individual Ever Could
Entrepreneur
We all know the expression, you can lead employees to water, but can't make them drink. Or was it horses? Either way, its still valid. You can come up with the best goal-setting method for your company, but getting employees to use it is another can of ...



Setting Goals Will Make You a Better Stock Trader: Here's How to Do It
TheStreet.com
It can be helpful to work with other traders who encourage you to do your best, but one tool that can employ on your own is goal setting. Setting a specific financial goal for a given time frame is a great way to challenge yourself and look for ways to ...



ThirdAge

Cash and Goal Setting Help Motivate Heart Patients to Take Healthy Steps
ThirdAge
The thought of losing up to $14 a week along with personalized goal setting may have motivated ischemic heart disease patients to increase their exercise, according to a new clinical trial published in Journal of the American Heart Association, the ...


Google News

home | site map | ArticleGecko | A ClashX Production 2006
© 2006