Hangover Fix: Get Glutathione!
Being able to bounce back from a night out is probably the ultimate testament to health.
It doesn’t matter how healthy you are, or how health conscious you are, it’s still a reality that we have to face. Sometimes we go out.
How do you recover from a hangover?
I’m going to break down how glutathione, and exogenous use of glutathione through a supplement, might be one of the best ways to help your body recover.
But, I want to explain the science behind how glutathione works; how it’s a natural part of your body’s detoxification and recovery process.
Let’s start with that first drink…
When you take a sip of a drink, your liver begins the process of converting the alcohol from ethanol into acetaldehyde. It does this with a particular enzyme, ethanol dehydrogenase. From there, your body breaks it down even further into something as simple as a vinegar-like substance.
But here’s the thing, that acetaldehyde is extremely toxic. I mean, really toxic: 30 times more toxic than ethanol.
Most people think it’s the alcohol that’s very toxic. Well, it’s not exactly the best thing for you, but it’s what the body converts it to that’s the problem.
So that acetaldehyde that the liver converts alcohol to creates havoc throughout the body, and it’s up to your body to combine a couple of naturally existing components to neutralize it. It comes down to two things: acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione, the thing that we are hearing a ton about lately.
What that glutathione does is it neutralizes it the acetaldehyde, it allows the body to catch up. Since glutathione is prevalent in the liver, it helps the liver actually detox from the alcohol itself.
How about the morning after?
How about that hangover?
What exactly are you experiencing when you have a hangover? You’re experiencing a depletion of glutathione. Basically, your body is so toxic at that point that your glutathione stores have been depleted and you don’t have enough glutathione to neutralize the alcohol or the acetaldehyde.
So, you’re left with this overabundance of acetaldehyde in the body, quite literally leaving you in a toxic state. The feeling of a hangover in the morning, when you feel nauseous, sick, green in the face: that’s coming from you being toxic and not having enough glutathione to mitigate that.
The good news is…
There’s glutathione that you can take in supplement form and there’s things that you can do with your diet to help promote glutathione production to help prevent depletion of your stores.
Here’s the thing, it’s not entirely your fault.
I think that probably 50, 60 years ago, alcohol didn’t have as much of an impact on us as it does now, simply because we have so many external factors out in life today that are already depleting our glutathione stores.
See, our glutathione stores are what are responsible for detoxing the body from just about anything. They occur in every single cell, every cellular function in our body. So that means heavy metals in the fish that we eat, all the toxins in the air that we breathe, the stress that we incur from our relationships, work, lack of sleep or even even a hard workout, can all deplete our glutathione stores. So, when we do have a drink of alcohol it makes us much more susceptible to having a hangover.
Here’s the proof:
There was a study done that I want to bring to light: it talks about the gut mucosal layer.
One thing that I didn’t mention earlier, and this is quite important, is if you’ve ever had a hangover and you’ve had that sort of sour stomach, almost that pain, sometimes you end up with some diarrhea… Well, that may be due to the fact that your glutathione stores in your gut mucosal layer are depleted, and that means that the acetaldehyde can attach your gut that much easier.
So what this case study looked at was participants that had endoscopies done. These endoscopies looked at their gut mucosal layer and that macroscopic damage, (meaning the actual layer from the big picture of the gut lining). When glutathione level were depleted, they had much more damage incurred to the gut when exposed to ethanol, in this case, alcohol.
But when glutathione was supplemented there was significant reduction in damage to the macroscopic layer of the gut. Meaning, they were potentially able to reduce the actual impact of alcohol in the gut by supplementing glutathione. This is just a small instance of how glutathione can affect the gut. But it also displays what glutathione can do to the big picture of the human body.
Imagine the possibilities…
Glutathione is so new when it comes to emerging research, we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg with what it can do as a result of a hangover.
But, think about everything else. Think about every other miniature “hangover” that’s occurring in your life, whether it’s from alcohol, stress, eating the wrong food and exposure to a lot of sugars, etc. We’re always under this chronic stress that’s causing inflammation.
If we can start addressing the root of it and start paying attention to our glutathione stores, whether it be through the right foods or through proper supplementation, we may very well hold in our hands the very specific key that we need to detox our bodies from the inside out.
1) Glutathione Information: What is GSH, Biochemistry, Metabolism, and Mechanism of Action. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.essentialgsh.com/
2) Retrieved from http://aldh2deficiency.com/
3) Hangover Hacks You Can Hang Your Hat On. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/
4) Hangover Prevention – 2 – Alcohol, Liver, Glutathione – Life Extension Health Concern. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.lifeextension.com/