The most powerful antioxidant that we have in our body is called glutathione. It's a tri-peptide known as a chain of three amino acids, and it's tremendously effective at cleaning up after the oxidative process. There is virtually no oxidative damage when adequate glutathione is available to a cell and that means the whole inflammation cascade simply never occurs. We certainly know all about inflammation. It's inflammation when we twist our ankle and it swells up to twice its normal size. We also probably know that inflammation is the source of the pain we feel when we get a headache or strain our back. You may also be aware that inflammation is part of a heart attack if you have read up on health conditions.
These types of inflammation that we're all familiar with are associated with illnesses or injuries. But chances are you are not aware of a very significant inflammatory reaction that profoundly affects our health every day of our life and is not caused by illness or injury. I'm talking about inflammation at the cellular level, which is a normal process within the body. We can understand this kind of inflammation if we think about the trillions of cells in our body as tiny "power plants" each working to maximum capacity to produce the energy to live a healthy life. This energy is generated in a complex chemical process which is involved in "oxidation" or the process of other chemicals bonding with oxygen.
We all know we need oxygen because oxygen is essential to life on the earth. Not only is it essential, but it can also be ultimately dangerous and destructive. Oxygen is a highly unstable and highly reactive substance. All kinds of materials when exposed to oxygen will break down the bonds they have and form new bonds. This process of oxidation produces multiple waste products as it releases a great deal of energy. We have seen oxidation hundreds of times because it's one of the most common and powerful chemical reactions on the earth. Oxidation is what happens when we leave an iron pipe out in the rain and later we see it has rusted. It's also what happens in the fireplace as the wood is consumed in flames to the end that one might think about the soothing warmth and the bright light it produces. Now think about all the ashes that are also left behind.
Something very similar in our body happens within our cells. Energy (like the heat and light in the fireplace) is produced by the cell's oxidative reactions, but so is a "pile of ashes" so to speak. The waste products left behind are called oxidants. They themselves in many cases can be corrosive and destructive like the rust on that pipe I mentioned earlier. Even oxidants that are not in and of themselves harmful, can really clog up the works in our cells, making cells less efficient and less able to produce energy. And because oxidation takes place wherever oxygen is present (not just in our cells) is why the body is under attack from without as well as from within. This occurs from pollutants, food additives and other substances that can cause oxidative damage to the cells.
But as we all know, the body is an amazing self-correcting system, and so of course there are natural processes in place to combat the damage oxidation does. That's where inflammation comes in because inflammation is the natural result of a cascade of biochemical processes and reactions being the purpose of which is to undo the damage done by oxidation in the cell. The bad news is that these processes are neither efficient nor effective. The cellular inflammation which we can neither see nor feel is at the source of many aspects of poor health. As a matter of fact, this inflammation response is the very core of the aging process. Inflammation causes cells to function poorly, and ultimately these inefficient cells die, which help to cause body systems to deteriorate and health challenges result.
It sounds hopeless... but it's not
There are effective antioxidants and they don't all come in pills or juices. These antioxidants clean out the waste products caused by oxidation so that oxidative damage is minimized and cells continue to function effectively. And therefore cell death is greatly reduced and our body is able to maintain good health with minimized cellular inflammation. And it just so happens that the very best antioxidant is naturally produced by our own body. As I mentioned earlier this antioxidant that is called glutathione is a tri-peptide known as a chain of three amino acids, and it's tremendously effective at cleaning up after the oxidative process. There is virtually no oxidative damage when adequate glutathione is available to a cell and that means the whole inflammation cascade simply never occurs.
The problem is that our body becomes less capable of producing glutathione as we age. And also the body is not selective about where it uses the glutathione it has. So the body may use up all our glutathione doing minor repairs in one body system while we might have another system at risk of failure. It's like using all the water we have on our front lawn while we have a forest fire threatening the house. So what can we do about all this? Why not take glutathione in a supplement? Unfortunately, that doesn't really work because glutathione is a string of three amino acids, and our digestive system was designed specifically to break up strings of amino acids. Plus it's too big and heavy to get through even if the glutathione molecule could reach our cells intact.
What works well with the human body is not a glutathione supplement, but a supplement that provides raw materials that stimulates our body to produce glutathione. It's the only one of its kind and is patented. The ingredients are encapsulated so they will be protected from the stomach acids until they are absorbed into the bloodstream so they can reach our cells. And we know it works because we've tested glutathione levels in test subjects before and after.
This is not the latest fad or just one more take on antioxidants. This is a real tried and effective way to manage the aging process at its source. As a doctor, I can tell you all sorts of things you should do that would be good for you, and all kinds of things you should avoid because they are bad for you. But this essential component which I recommend for everyone is what I believe we need to help fight cellular inflammation/oxidation response in order to help keep our cells healthy and thereby to effectively retard the aging process.
Robert H. Keller, MD, MS, FACP, AAHIV
Director of Medicine and Research
KBK Institute of Advanced Medicine
Dr. Keller has served on the scientific review panels for the National Institutes of Health and the VA. The Consumers’ Research Council has named him one of America’s "Top Physicians" in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 in the fields of Internal Medicine, Immunology and Hematology. Dr. Keller has served on the faculties of the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin (Marquette University). He has published more than 100 original articles in various scientific and medical journals and has been awarded several patents. Dr. Keller was elected to The Board of Governors of the American Academy of HIV Medicine.