There’s a compound in our body so crucial for immunity that Mark Hyman, M.D., calls it “the maestro of the immune system.” It’s glutathione, and researchers report that as levels of it go down, the severity of COVID-19 goes up. The flip side? “Glutathione is being used in hospitals to treat COVID patients, and results are impressive,” says Dr. Hyman. Lifting levels is easy…
Crunch on crudités
Sulfur compounds in broccoli, cabbage and kale have been shown to increase glutathione by 106 percent. Dr. Hyman, head of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, explains the powerful antioxidant fights infection by taming inflammation and keeping viruses from multiplying. He recommends one cup of sulfur veggies a day. Also smart: eating four Brazil nuts daily since their abundant selenium helps the body use glutathione.
The humming cure
Stress is a known sapper of glutathione. To dial down worry, simply hum a few bars of your favorite tune. Researchers at Cornell University say vibrations prod calming brain waves, slashing stress by 48 percent in a minute.
Move to the beat
You know staying active keeps you healthy, but researchers at the University of Copenhagen point out that exercise also increases glutathione levels by as much as 120 percent. Walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily is one way to go, but according to Dr. Hyman, three 10-minute bursts, like dancing in the living room, also deliver the benefits.
Research reveals acetaminophen (Tylenol) depletes glutathione levels in lung cells by 53 percent. For a safer way to soothe head or joint pain, rub in peppermint oil. Peppermint’s cooling action tames headaches as effectively as OTC meds, say German researchers, and another study revealed applying peppermint to joints cut patients’ pain by 47 percent.
Try a supplement
Your body uses a compound called NAC to lift glutathione levels by 61 percent. Says Dr. Hyman, “NAC is a cheap insurance policy against COVID. Check with a doctor before supplementing.
Promising review: “Having chronic COPD and asthma, my dad said he felt the results the first week he started taking this product.”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.