Nutrimuscle discusses with you glutathione, but also the effectiveness of whey in order to increase glutathione concentrations. A comprehensive article based on scientific references.
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a powerful body antioxidant that protects against cell damage caused by free radicals. Our liver synthesizes our own glutathione from glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine. Cysteine is found to be the factor limiting this production of glutathione (1).
The effectiveness of whey
Whey protein is very effective in increasing glutathione levels because it is rich in precursor amino acids, particularly cystine/cysteine. For example, Nutrimuscle Native Whey Isolate contains almost 1g of cystine/cysteine per 40g .
In elderly people, taking whey for 5 days increases the level of glutathione by 24% (2).
Strength training also increases the synthesis and levels of body glutathione provided you do not overtrain. However, strength training is even more effective when combined with regular use of cystine-rich native whey protein isolate (3).
While whey increases glutathione production, it also activates the activity of other antioxidant genes, making it all the more effective against oxidative stress (4).
(1) McPherson RA. Clinical and nutritional benefits of cysteine-enriched protein supplements. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011 Nov;14(6):562-8.
(2) de Aguilar-Nascimento JE. Early enteral nutrition with whey protein or casein in elderly patients with acute ischemic stroke: a double-blind randomized trial. Nutrition. 2011 Apr;27(4):440-4.
(3) Sheikholeslami Vatani D. Changes in antioxidant status and cardiovascular risk factors of overweight young men after six weeks supplementation of whey protein isolate and resistance training. Appetite. 2012 Dec;59(3):673-8.
(4) Xu R. Antioxidative effects of whey protein on peroxide-induced cytotoxicity. J Dairy Sci. 2011 Aug;94(8):3739-46.