I was browsing the Wiki and stumbled upon something quite interesting. Hydroxyl groups can do some serious damage to living organisms. Glutathione (along other anti-oxidants) can protect cells against the evil hydroxyl groups.
[i]The hydroxyl radical has a very short in vivo half-life of approx. 10-9 s and a high reactivity. This makes it a very dangerous compound to the organism. Unlike superoxide, which can be detoxified by superoxide dismutase, the hydroxyl radical cannot be eliminated by an enzymatic reaction, as this would require its diffusion to the enzyme’s active site.
As diffusion is slower than the half-life of the molecule, it will react with any oxidizable compound in its vicinity. It can damage virtually all types of macromolecules: carbohydrates, nucleic acids (mutations), lipids (lipid peroxidation) and amino acids (e.g. conversion of Phe to m-Tyrosine and o-Tyrosine). The only means to protect important cellular structures is the use of antioxidants such as glutathione and of effective repair systems.[/i]
So, I investigated this glutathione thing to see how one could incorporate it in a supplementation regimen.
[i]Supplementing has been difficult as research suggests that glutathione taken orally is not well absorbed across the GI tract. In a study of acute oral administration of a very large dose (3 grams) of oral glutathione, Witschi and coworkers found that "it is not possible to increase circulating glutathione to a clinically beneficial extent by the oral administration of a single dose of 3 g of glutathione.
"However glutathione precursors such as undenatured whey protein and N-acetyl-cysteine have been shown to increase glutathione content within the cell. N-acetylcysteine is a generically available supplement which has been demonstrated to increase intracellular reduced and total glutathione by 92% and 58% respectively[/i]
The amount of research on the matter is astounding. Undenatured whey apparently acts as an anti-oxidant.
Any input on this?