As part of the normal metabolic process, our body produces free radicals, or reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, when our production of free radicals increases — because of exposure to radiation, chemicals, smoke, pollutants, and other factors — it results in oxidative stress — a state of imbalance when the body is unable to detoxify an overload of these reactive products. Free radicals target important macromolecules, including lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins, resulting in cell damage and disrupting the body’s internal stability.
Below, we discuss antioxidants as the body’s primary mechanism of eliminating free radicals, how glutathione acts as a superior antioxidant molecule, and how to incorporate a glutathione-rich diet to support optimal health functions.
Antioxidants, as the name suggests, work to prevent oxidative stress caused by the oxidation of free radicals.* Antioxidants donate their electrons, which neutralize free radicals and reduce their capacity to damage cells. Antioxidants are broadly classified as either enzymatic or non-enzymatic.
Antioxidants that have a low molecular weight, like glutathione, uric acid, and ubiquinol, are well-known for interacting safely with free radicals and terminating the chain reactions the free radicals trigger before damaging surrounding molecules.
Glutathione (or GSH) is often referred to as the “master antioxidant,” owing to its presence in almost every cell in the body at the same concentration as some other vital nutrients, including potassium and glucose. Chemically, glutathione is a tripeptide, composed of cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine, and it is most abundant and active in the body in this form.
As a primary antioxidant and detoxifying agent, glutathione supports natural detoxification pathways.* It also works like a backup generator, boosting the optimal functioning of other antioxidants to modulate oxidative stress.* GSH extends protective functions primarily through reduction, conjugation, and interaction with other antioxidants, as the table below details.
|Through enzyme reduction, glutathione reductase (GRx) reduces glutathione disulfide (GSSG) into GSH. GSH is the active form of glutathione the body works to keep in steady supply.
|GSH combines with xenobiotic compounds (foreign substances) like heavy metals, toxins, electrophiles, and others and eliminates them from the body.*
|GSH interacts with other antioxidants, like vitamin C, to replenish and recycle one another.*
How a glutathione molecule functions will determine which detoxification mechanism the body uses to support the optimal functioning of cells. Although our bodies produce glutathione endogenously, the level of GSH can decrease with age, infection, poor diet, and unhealthy lifestyle habits, among others, thus necessitating supplementation. Clinical studies1 indicate that daily consumption of a glutathione supplement is an effective way to increase the body’s stores of GSH.
The poor bioavailability and low absorption of orally ingested glutathione significantly limit its therapeutic potential. Advanced formulations that deploy nanotechnology for targeted delivery of glutathione molecules can enhance its absorption in the intestinal tract, particularly the small intestine, where the jejunum is its primary absorption site.
SafeCell® developed by Tesseract Medical Research, is an acetylated form of glutathione that utilizes the proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® nanomolecular nutrient delivery technology to enable superior absorption of glutathione molecules. The CyLoc® technology encases individual glutathione molecules, creating nano-sized particles for better absorption and protecting them from early degradation during their transit through the stomach. The DexKey® technology accompanies each CyLoc® molecule and releases them at the desired release point within the intestinal tract. This makes glutathione molecules a bioavailable therapeutic reality and helps SafeCell® support your body’s detoxification processes.*
The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Shop products on our website and learn more about how they can help support hepatic health.*
1Richie, John P Jr, et al. European Journal of Nutrition. vol. 54,2 (2015): 251-63. doi:10.1007/s00394-014-0706-z