Glutathione May Prevent Cellular Destruction and Cancer
Recent scientific studies indicate that healthy levels of glutathione may help destroy developing cancer cells in their early stages before they can progress into malignant tumors and metastasize to other organs.
Glutathione, found in all living cell in our bodies is composed of essential amino acids cysteine, glutamate and glycine. The normal and healthy function of bodily cells involves an oxygenation process called the aerobic state. The exchange of an important nutrient, called glucose helps maintain healthy oxygenation levels across and between cellular membranes. If cells suffer from a lack of oxygen, glucose, similar to sugar becomes fermented and forms lactic acid. Lactic acid can cause cells to attack the RNA and DNA naturally inherent in cellular production. Ribonucleic acid, known as RNA, is a messenger among and between cells. If the cellular structure of RNA changes, essential cellular enzymes can become toxic. This process can cause cellular death, leading to serious diseases including cancer. Once cells are destroyed by cancer or other diseases they cannot be replicated or healed without adequate levels of antioxidants including glutathione.
The Development and Progression of Cancer
A malignant tumor consists of a layer of healthy living cells that are unable to divide, grow and thrive in the body. Living cells tend to surround and protect a mass of dead or unhealthy cells, which is usually caused by cancer or other serious diseases. There are several ways to destroy or kill cancer cells. Potassium and other alkaline chemicals naturally produced by the body may protect cellular death, especially in the cases of certain types of cancer. When essential alkaline and antioxidant levels are within normal ranges, cellular health and activity can be extended. Research studies have shown that high levels of antioxidants, such as found in glutathione can begin to kill cancer cells. Destroyed and/or dead cancer cells are eventually absorbed by bodily fluids and are then eliminated through the gastrointestinal tract and urinary system.
Cancer treatment therapy normally includes the administration of cytotoxic drugs, also known as chemotherapy agents. These drugs work by killing rapidly-growing cancer cells. Unfortunately, chemotherapy agents, which are usually a combination of several toxic medications also have the potential to destroy healthy cells, leading to serious complications and side effects.
Glutathione May Prevent Cellular Destruction
The human body, mainly through the immune system maintains a condition of balance within cellular structures, a process called homeostasis. Disturbances in glutathione levels can lead to serious diseases including the development and progression of cancer. Low levels of glutathione can cause an imbalance between reactive oxygen ion cells, called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress causes the inability of cells to detoxify the body and repair cellular damage.
Recent scientific studies have focused on how the human body is able to target and destroy cancer cells while preserving healthy cells. The immune system plays an important role in targeting and destroying cancerous cells while maintaining healthy cellular activity in unaffected cells. During the last several years, clinical studies have focused on immunotherapy treatments to help promote healthy cells and fight developing cancer cells. White blood cells are known as the body's natural killer cells. White blood cells are able to target and fight infections from bacteria, viruses, diseases and the potential development of cancer. A disturbance in the levels of glutathione may prevent white blood cells from protecting the immune system, targeting and fighting serious infections and diseases.
Studies have found that low levels of glutathione are linked to the development and progression of certain types of cancer. Decreased levels of glutathione can lead to antioxidant stress, which is described as an imbalance of reactive oxygen in cells. This imbalance can cause the body to become unable to detoxify itself against diseases and can limit the ability to produce new cells and promote the health of living cells. Researchers have found that low levels of glutathione are linked to the development and progression of cancer. Researchers have also indicated that extremely high levels of glutathione may increase the antioxidant capacity found in many cancer cells, making them resistant to chemotherapy drugs.
An article published in the April 2013 issue of the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity examined the role of glutathione in the growth of cancer cells and their potential resistance to chemotherapy medications. Researchers discovered that glutathione plays a vital role in a variety of cellular activities including an increase in healthy cells as the result of cellular growth and division. Apoptosis, the process of cell death can be caused by low levels of glutathione. The study highlighted the role of glutathione in cellular sensitivity to carcinogens. Researchers also studied the sensitivity of malignant tumors to the treatment effects of chemotherapy drugs. In the current study, researchers determined that oxidative stress is directly related to the development and progression of many forms of cancer including tumors that affect the prostate gland, liver, kidneys, lungs and uterus. It was suggested that antioxidants such as glutathione can protect cells from cancerous invasion. Researchers also concluded that glutathione is helpful in maintaining antioxidant defense and protection against certain metabolic and neurological diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and a wide range of psychological disorders.
Maintaining a healthy immune system helps to promote both RNA and DNA cellular health. One of the major components of glutathione is cysteine, which is normally found in a healthy diet of fresh green leafy vegetables, fruits, fish and grains. Glutathione is vital to the detoxification of toxins, heavy metals, bacteria, viruses and other agents that may enter the body. Researchers concluded that glutathione may represent a "promising therapeutic" treatment for defeating cancer cell progression and may improve cellular resistance to chemotherapy agents.
Diminished levels of glutathione are also linked to the development of multiple age-related disorders including eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. Early-onset Alzheimer's disease has also been associated with low levels of glutathione.
Studies have indicated that although glutathione cannot cure cancer, it may reduce the growth and spread of malignant cancer cells. As glutathione is the only natural antioxidant found in the body, it helps maintain healthy cells from a myriad of diseases caused by vitamin deficiency and cellular death. It is important to note that glutathione plays an important role in helping the liver eliminate toxins and potential carcinogens from the body.
If you are considering a regimen of glutathione along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, it is important to speak with your healthcare professional or naturopathic pharmacist. Even though glutathione, cysteine and essential vitamins are available in everyday foods, the nutrient factors are reduced by the digestive system. To date, there are no serious adverse affects associated with glutathione. It is important, however, to make sure that other supplements, vitamins and medications you are taking will not adversely affect the benefits you may receive from glutathione.