Health

This ‘Master Detoxifier’ Nutrient Boosts Energy, Protects Against Heart Disease, and Fights Premature Aging

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There’s a compound in our bodies that optimizes energy, ups focus, and protects against cancer, heart disease, and premature aging. Indeed, it’s so powerful at binding to toxins that Mark Hyman, MD, calls it the “master detoxifier.” We’re talking about glutathione, and while our ability to produce it wanes with age, boosting levels is easy.

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Power up a shake.

Whey protein powder is rich in amino acids that serve as building blocks for glutathione. In a Canadian study, adding the protein to folks’ diets raised their glutathione production by 47 percent in 12 weeks. Dr. Hyman advises mixing a scoop of bioactive, non-denatured whey protein — a form that’s well-absorbed by the body — into smoothies, shakes, or even pancakes daily.

Toss in garlic.

Dress up store-bought salad dressing with a few cloves of garlic daily, and you could up glutathione production by 48 percent in six weeks, Chinese research suggests. Sulfur in the herb activates enzymes needed to manufacture glutathione.

Tip: Mince the garlic, then let sit for 10 minutes. It produces more medicinal compounds when “hurt.” Don’t love garlic? Other sulfur-rich picks include onions, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Stroll the town fair.

You know staying active keeps you healthy. And a Danish study found that exercise also boosts glutathione by as much as 120 percent. That’s why researchers advise moving for 30 minutes a day. But you don’t have to do it all at once: Dr. Hyman says three 10-minute chunks — strolling through a fair or fall farmers market — work just as well.

Try this booster.

While glutathione supplements are available, pills can be hard for the body to absorb. Luckily, your body can use a compound called NAC to boost production instead. Dr. Hyman recommends 600 milligrams of NAC per day. One to try: Life Extension N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine—NAC (Buy on Life Extension, $16.50).

Also smart: Taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C day, which helps the body recycle glutathione. University of Arizona scientists found doing so lifted glutathione levels by up to 84 percent in five weeks.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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