Glutathione is the most important antioxidant available to your immune system, according to Dr. Mark Hyman in an article for the "Huffington Post." Your body makes glutathione, but many factors contribute to its depletion. Including foods that are precursors to glutathione in your diet is a better way to increase levels of the antioxidant than taking supplements. Hyman recommends undenatured whey protein for efficient glutathione production.
Antioxidants work in your body to counteract free radicals, which cause cellular damage that results in a variety of health conditions. Glutathione heads the process by sticking to toxins and helping transport them from your body in the form of feces and bile. A deficiency of glutathione may play a role in the development of many illnesses and diseases, including cancer, infections and dementia, according to Hyman. It is also important for controlling signs of aging and for overall physical and mental health. As you age, glutathione levels decrease, making it important to incorporate lifestyle choices that keep it steady.
Role of Undenatured Whey Protein
Undenatured whey protein aids in glutathione production because it contains cysteine, an amino acid that builds the antioxidant in your body. Hyman stresses the importance of undenatured versions because their protein content has not been altered. A disruption to the protein in whey decreases the glutathione increasing benefits. Undenatured whey protein is a better choice than cysteine supplementation because dietary forms of the amino acid are more efficient at increasing glutathione, according to the journal "Clinical and Investigative Medicine." This is because cysteine supplements may break down in your digestive tract before your cells are able to use them to make glutathione.
How to Use
Undenatured whey protein is sold in many health food and vitamin stores in powder form. Follow the package directions regarding the ratio of powder to liquid, which may vary by brand. For example, one product instructs users to combine 10 grams of undenatured whey protein with 6 to 8 ounces of cold water. Drugs.com recommends taking 20 to 40 grams of the product each day on an empty stomach or with a small meal to optimize glutathione levels.
Despite its benefits for increasing glutathione levels, undenatured whey protein is not right for everyone. People who are allergic to milk proteins may experience a reaction with the use of the product, and those on a protein-restrictive diet may not be able to safely fit in the protein found in whey without exceeding the daily recommendation for their condition. Talk to your doctor about the appropriateness of including undenatured whey protein in your daily diet.