Glutathione could help correct leaky gut…
How would you like that breakfast that you just ate to slip right on through your intestinal tract and end up in your bloodstream, in giant chunks rather than digested material?
That may be a bit extreme, but that’s basically what’s happening with a leaky gut.
I want to show you some science that’s actually proving that glutathione may be something that can help out with a leaky gut.
Let me explain a little bit more about what a leaky gut is, and then explain what glutathione is, and then wrap it all together with some science with a nice little bow on top so it all makes sense.
So, what is leaky gut?
A leaky gut, also known as intestinal hyperpermeability, just like the name implies, means that things are flowing through your intestinal tract into your bloodstream that shouldn’t.
It’s when your gut lining is so broken down and worn out from inflammation, bad foods, stress, lack of antioxidants, etc. that food particles can slip through into the bloodstream.
Why is that bad?
These food particles trigger the immune system to activate on high alert. This can cause you to feel run down. It can totally zap your energy levels, but it can also trigger some autoimmune issues, because the body starts activating all kinds of antibodies and immune responses. This can lead to intolerances, food cravings, weight gain and autoimmune issues. Ultimately it can even lead to some hormonal imbalances.
It’s a big problem right now, and that’s probably why we’re hearing so much about it.
Let’s start breaking down the real science…
One thing that I like to talk about a lot is glutathione.
Glutathione is known as the mother of all antioxidants, because it’s our body’s built in defense mechanism, insurance policy and detoxification agent.
How does it have a correlation with a leaky gut?
Glutathione is a tri-peptide. It’s made up of three simple amino acids that are ultimately synthesized into this substance called glutathione.
What glutathione does is it travels around, or exists in the cell, with an extra electron. That electron acts as sort of a lure to catch free radicals, because those free radicals need an electron to pair with.
Basically that glutathione has a hook on it. That hook attaches that spare oxygen that is your free radical and neutralizes it.
When you have these issues going on in the gut all the time, you have excess inflammation and stress. It would make sense that you need additional glutathione at the source.
When you’re under stress, you have a high level of reactive oxygen species and free radicals, and they exist predominantly in the gut.
Since glutathione is so present in the gut, it’s spending all of its energy neutralizing extra free radicals in the gut, so your gut is never getting a chance to heal. Even if you don’t have a leaky gut to begin with, you’re compromising your immune system and your body’s ability to rebuild the intestinal lining that naturally gets depleted.
I want to reference some studies that break down some legitimate evidence that glutathione may be linked to a leaky gut…
The first study that I want to talk about looked at inflammatory bowel disease, where you have inflammation throughout the bowels, typically like Crohn’s disease.
What this study looked at was what your levels of glutathione were doing when you had irritable bowel disease.
What they found is that there were elevated levels of glutathione disulfide. That glutathione disulfide is the already used form of glutathione, suggesting that when there was inflammation, and when there was disease, our bodies were depleted in active glutathione, because that glutathione was being used to try to recover from the inflammatory bowel disease.
The next study is even more interesting:
This one looked at celiac patients that had issues with gluten intolerance.
They took 39 patients, 19 of which were in the control study, (19 that didn’t have celiac disease, and the rest did).
What they looked at in this study were the levels of what is called lipid peroxidation. To make it simple, lipid peroxidation is when fats are oxidized and turn into free radicals.
What they found is that lipid peroxidation increased in the presence of celiac disease, directly correlating with a diminished antioxidant level and diminished levels of glutathione in the body, suggesting that the antioxidant effects in those with celiac disease, an inflammation in the intestinal tract, are directly correlated by a decrease in glutathione.
So what does this all mean?
This isn’t the end all, be all. But, the fact that we’re starting to find some correlation between these advanced and peer reviewed studies, glutathione, our immune system, and a leaky gut is pretty amazing.
So what can you do?
First and foremost, make sure you’re keeping on top of those free radicals, whether that means eating the right kinds of foods, supplementing with a little bit of cysteine to help that glutathione production, or taking the easy way and just using some glutathione exogenously to help your body out and give it a break.
Make sure that you’re keeping an eye on the mother of all antioxidants, because at the end of the day, you need to take care of yourself, and this is a great place to start.
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3) What is Glutathione? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.
4) Intestinal Permeability: Clinical Unwinding of Leaky Gut | San Jose Functional Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sanjosefuncmed.com/
5) Oxidative Stress: An Essential Factor in the Pathogenesis of Gastrointestinal Mucosal Diseases. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
6) How to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome: 20 Tips From Gut Health Experts. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://blog.kettleandfire.com/
7) BodyBio Health News | Glutathione: It’s Your Gut. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bodybio.com/
8) Impairment of intestinal glutathione synthesis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
9) Antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation in small intestinal mucosa of children with celiac disease. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/