We've talked previously about how important good glutathione levels are, so here we'll talk about how to boost them naturally and also with supplements. First a quick review of how glutathione is made:
- First methionine is converted to homocysteine, via methyl acceptors (opposite of donors).
- Next homocysteine is converted to cysteine via vitamin B6 with the addition of serine.
- Cysteine combines with glycine and glutamate, using selenium
to make glutathione.
So the nutrients needed to make glutathione are:
- Methionine + vitamin B6 (to make cysteine)
- Then, cysteine + glycine + glutamate + selenium
- Methionine: eggs.
- Vitamin B6: red meat.
- Cysteine: red meat, eggs.
- Glycine: gelatin (heads, hooves/feet, tails, ears, skin, cartilage, powder/sheets, etc)
- Serine (inter-converts with glycine): any protein source.
- Glutamate: any protein source.
- Glutamine (inter-converts with glutamate): any protein source.
- Selenium: kidneys, brazil nuts.
Notice red meat and eggs come up multiple times, this means they're very good foods to include in your diet if you want to boost glutathione production. But the other components are equally important, so brink your gelatin-rich broth and eat your kidneys/brazil nuts.
- N-acetyl-cysteine: this is a special 'locked up' form of cysteine that really helps boost glutathione production. Never supplement normal cysteine as bacteria tend to get to it first and use it for their own reproduction. Suggested dose: ~600mg.
- Milk thistle/Silymarin: this is a herb (and its active ingredient) that helps the liver to work properly, boosting its functions, including... you guessed it, making glutathione. Suggested dose: 100-200mg silymarin. This supplement is boosted when taken at the same time as choline, so eat some egg yolks with it for maximum effect.
- Turmeric/curcumin: this spice boosts glutathione S-transferase which is hormone that regulates glutathione production. Suggested dose: 1tsp turmeric.
- Whey protein: this boosts glutathione, due to its natural
cysteine and other nutrients.
- Diet based on red meat (for cysteine, B6, zinc), with additional egg yolks (choline), poultry liver (folate), kidneys/brazil nuts (selenium), and gelatin-rich bone broth (glycine).
- Supplements: 600mg N-acetyl-cysteine, 200mg silymarin as milk
thistle, 1tsp turmeric, 1 scoop whey protein powder.
- Methionine: 2,180mg.
- Cysteine: 1,130mg.
- Vitamin B6: 1.66mg.
- Glycine+serine: 13,700mg.
- Glutamate+glutamine: 13,510mg.
- Selenium: 194ug.
- Methionine: 4,600mg.
- Cysteine: 1,700mg.
- Vitamin B6: 3.6mg.
- Glycine+serine: 15,300mg.
- Glutamate+glutamine: 27,600mg.
- Selenium: 212ug.
As we can see, both diets are strong glutathione producers. But I don't recommend a diet of JUST red meat steaks for many other reasons already stated in this blog, but glutathione production is not one of my concerns with such a diet. Bare in mind the rib-eye diet has a lot more protein overall too (~170g versus ~100g), so has more of the critical amino acids just from bulk.
- Methionine: 2,000mg.
- Cysteine: 1,500mg. ???
- Vitamin B6: >0.016mg/g protein.
- Glycine+serine: 13,500mg.
- Glutamate+glutamine: 20,000mg. ???
- Selenium: 200ug.