What is Glutathione?

Glutathione (GSH) is a tripeptide consists of glutamate, cysteine, and glycine. Glutamate is a non-essential amino acid, which the body can produce in whatever quantity it needs. Cysteine, a semi-essential amino acid, is only made in adequate quantity under normal conditions. Whenever the body is dealing with stress, disease or advancing age, it needs cysteine supplements to function well. The third amino acid is glycine, which is also non-essential and doesn’t require supplements.

The cleanup process oxidizes GSH, which must then be reduced so it can keep working. It is the ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione that scientists use to measure oxidative stress. When the cells experience this stress, they need more reduced GSH to regain a healthy state. Doctors administer this antioxidant, in either inhaled or injection form, to treat various symptoms and diseases. Glutathione is also taken orally as a dietary supplement.

Benefits

Although GSH was first isolated in the late 19th century, it took almost fifty years for scientists to figure out its chemical structure. It was another few decades before its function as an antioxidant was discovered. Following years to determine the usefulness of antioxidants in the treatment of disease, the first health products containing glutathione were approved for use by the FDA.

How the Body Processes Glutathione

Amino acids are linear molecules that consist of a carbon chain with a carboxyl group (COOH) at one end, an amine group (NH2) at the other and, except for glycine, a side group. It is usually that side group that is responsible for the molecule’s function. Glycine’s compact size, due to it only having a single carbon, instead of a chain, and no side group makes it able to function as a hormone and a neurotransmitter.

Glutamate has a short carbon chain and a second carboxyl group as its side chain. It is classified as a weak acid because it only gives up some of its acidic hydrogen atoms in solution. In contrast, a strong acid gives them all up readily. Its acidic nature allows it to perform many functions as a metabolite, neurotransmitter, nutrient, and even a flavor enhancer. It is the thiol (SH) side chain on cysteine that gives it and, to a much greater extent, glutathione their antioxidant functionalities.

The cleanup process oxidizes GSH, which must then be reduced so it can keep working. It is the ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione that scientists use to measure oxidative stress. When the cells experience this stress, they need more reduced GSH to regain a healthy state.

Current Uses

Autism – children on the autism spectrum can have glutathione levels as much as 20-40% below normal. This is due, at least in part, to abnormalities in the cellular pathway that produces the antioxidant. Autistic children who are taking GSH supplements to normalize their levels are getting positive results. 

  • Liver Damage – Oxidative stress causes liver damage. The liver’s job is detoxifying the body. It uses glutathione for some of this work. When exposed to a high-fat diet, it produces more GSH to help deal with the extra load. Oral doses of this supplement can prevent fatty liver disease, not related to alcoholism.
  • Male Infertility – One of the few known causes of male fertility is the effect of oxidative stress on sperm production. Accumulation of free radicals interferes with the body’s ability to generate enough healthy sperm for reproduction and can also increase the risk of miscarriage when impregnation occurs. Glutathione supplements can increase both the counts and quality of sperm produced.

We recommend Pure Nootropics Glutathione Capsules:

Glutathione

Areas That Need More Research

One such disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder affecting the large intestine that can have a negative impact on the quality of life. People who suffer from this disease have impaired glutathione synthesis and oxidative stress leads to the damaged mucosal tissue. This damage contributes to the symptoms of IBS. GSH is important to the process of repairing gut wall damage that results from this disorder.

The biological process of aging is due, in part, to oxidative stress damage. Research shows that glutathione levels tend to decline as we age. This can become a self-perpetuating process over time. The damage becomes greater as the body’s ability to repair it declines. Decreasing GSH levels is one cause of osteoporosis. Drugs that have been effective in treating age-related osteoporosis do so by increasing glutathione levels.

One reason for the damage caused to the brain by Alzheimer’s disease is oxidative stress. Accumulation in the brain of TDP-43, a protein that regulates gene splicing during DNA transcription, occurs in patients with Alzheimer’s. This accumulation results in a lowering of cerebral glutathione levels. Research shows that reducing oxidative stress by increasing GSH can prevent and, possibly, reverse the memory deficits associated with Alzheimer’s.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative, neurological disease that probably results from both genetic and environmental factors. The damaging effects of this disease result in loss of neurons involved with motor control. Oxidative stress is a contributing factor in the death of these brain cells. Scientists believe that there is a connection between glutathione levels in the brain and progression of the disease. More research is needed to further explore the possibility of this connection.

Although Schizophrenia and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are two very distinct psychiatric disorders, there are similarities between the two. Both exhibit oxidative stress and decreased levels of GSH in the central nervous system. People suffering from either also tend to be more symptomatic when they’re under psychological stress. Research on mice shows that exposure to stressful situations can decrease cellular levels of glutathione. More study may help find whether treatment with GSH could lessen the symptomatic response to these stressors in humans.

One of the leading causes of atherosclerosis, fatty deposits in the arteries, is oxidative stress. As this arterial plaque grows, blood flow becomes increasingly restricted. If a blood clot forms, there is a risk that it could break loose and travel to vessels that feed the heart, resulting in a heart attack. Low glutathione levels, in people with atherosclerosis, are associated with increased risk of heart attack. This could explain the relationship between diabetes, which can cause low GSH levels, and the risk of cardiovascular events.

Toxicity and Side Effects

Take care when using glutathione for conditions involving chronic, particularly autoimmune, inflammation. The inflammatory condition can increase oxidative stress, which GSH can help resolve. However, in the case of autoimmune conditions, the immune system attacks the body’s own cells because it doesn’t recognize them as being “self.” Improving the health of cells within the immune system might make the autoimmune response more robust and lead to negative side effects.

Recommended Dosage

GSH has an extremely short half-life. It only takes 15 minutes for the body to use up half the amount administered. This is probably due to the fact that this is a substance that is also found in endogenous form, so the cells are well-practiced at processing it.

Research supports that there is a link between elevated cellular GSH levels and longevity. It is the body’s most powerful antioxidant and its effectiveness at reducing cellular oxidative stress can maintain health and fight disease throughout the body.

https://examine.com/supplements/glutathione/

Overview and Benefits of N Acetyl Cystine

N-Acetyl Cysteine, otherwise known in the medical world as NAC has many uses. For starters, it is the altered version of Cysteine which is an amino acid that contains sulfur. Over the years, NAC played a crucial role in replenishing the level of glutathione readily available in the body.

It has been used in order to keep vitamins C and E as well in order to boost the body’s immune response. There are some studies wherein N-Acetyl Cysteine has been used to address lung conditions such as COPD.

 

Image result for N Acetylcysteine

Understanding glutathione

Before we discuss NAC in detail, it is important to first understand what glutathione does. By increasing the level of glutathione in our system, it is possible to increase the possibility of protecting the cells from free radicals. Glutathione is an antioxidant. What it does is get rid of things that can do cellular and tissue damage.

Benefits of NAC

It helps protect the liver

There are many things that you can consume that may cause liver problems in the future. One of the more common things that we take for granted that can actually do harm to the liver especially when consumed in large volume. One of which is acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is considered hepatotoxic and the sad news is that it is present in Tylenol and other common medication that we take every day.

What N-Acetyl Cysteine does is help in protecting the liver from these types of harmful substances. NAC helps increase the survival rate of patients who experienced liver failure due to ingestion of Acetaminophen. There are also studies made that favor NAC in helping patients with liver failure due to environmental pollutants and alcohol consumption.

Beneficial to the lungs

N-Acetyl Cysteine can also benefit patients suffering from COPD. COPD is said to be caused by long-term oxidative damage done on the lung tissue. This results in an inflammation on the lungs. By improving the levels of glutathione in the system, it helps in decreasing tissue damage and can even help prevent the development of COPD in some cases.

Another condition wherein NAC comes in handy is bronchitis. This condition involves inflammation of the bronchial tubes. What NAC does is help reduce free radicals that can affect the bronchial tubes and cause inflammation.

Can help prevent and even stop cancer

N-Acetyl Cysteine has been discovered as a great supplement that can help prevent different types of cancer. In addition to this, researchers believe that it can even cause cancer cell death and stop them from replicating. One of the reasons behind this is that NAC can decrease the amount of cancer signaling molecules.

N-Acetyl Cysteine can also work hand in hand with cancer treatments such as ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation may kill cancer cells, but may also develop cancer via other healthy cells. This is mainly due to the ability of the radiation to make certain changes in a healthy cell’s DNA. What NAC does is to protect the healthy cells from damage while allowing cancer cells to die from radiation.

What this means is that NAC can help reduce the risk that patients take whenever they are having cancer therapy.

Can also benefit people suffering from diabetes

And lastly, NAC has been discovered to have a positive impact on patients who are suffering from type 2 diabetes. What NAC does is reduce inflammation in the fat cells. This equates to fewer insulin receptors being destroyed. As a result, it makes it possible for cells to be more sensitive to insulin.

Conclusion

Glutathione plays a major role in the body’s ability to recover and to stay healthy. What NAC does is to increase the level of glutathione in your system. The benefits of this supplement can be seen in more than just one system. This supplement is also known to have very few long-term side effects and is considered safe by health experts.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/285606-what-are-the-benefits-of-n-acetyl-cysteine/

It has been used in order to keep vitamins C and E as well in order to boost the body’s immune response. There are some studies wherein N-Acetyl Cysteine has been used to address lung conditions such as COPD.

Understanding glutathione

Before we discuss NAC in detail, it is important to first understand what glutathione does. By increasing the level of glutathione in our system, it is possible to increase the possibility of protecting the cells from free radicals. Glutathione is an antioxidant. What it does is get rid of things that can do cellular and tissue damage.

 

Benefits of NAC

It helps protect the liver

There are many things that you can consume that may cause liver problems in the future. One of the more common things that we take for granted that can actually do harm to the liver especially when consumed in large volume. One of which is acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is considered hepatotoxic and the sad news is that it is present in Tylenol and other common medication that we take every day.

What N-Acetyl Cysteine does is help in protecting the liver from these types of harmful substances. NAC helps increase the survival rate of patients who experienced liver failure due to ingestion of Acetaminophen. There are also studies made that favor NAC in helping patients with liver failure due to environmental pollutants and alcohol consumption.

Beneficial to the lungs

N-Acetyl Cysteine can also benefit patients suffering from COPD. COPD is said to be caused by long-term oxidative damage done on the lung tissue. This results in an inflammation on the lungs. By improving the levels of glutathione in the system, it helps in decreasing tissue damage and can even help prevent the development of COPD in some cases.

Another condition wherein NAC comes in handy is bronchitis. This condition involves inflammation of the bronchial tubes. What NAC does is help reduce free radicals that can affect the bronchial tubes and cause inflammation.

Can help prevent and even stop cancer

N-Acetyl Cysteine has been discovered as a great supplement that can help prevent different types of cancer. In addition to this, researchers believe that it can even cause cancer cell death and stop them from replicating. One of the reasons behind this is that NAC can decrease the amount of cancer signaling molecules.

N-Acetyl Cysteine can also work hand in hand with cancer treatments such as ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation may kill cancer cells, but may also develop cancer via other healthy cells. This is mainly due to the ability of the radiation to make certain changes in a healthy cell’s DNA. What NAC does is to protect the healthy cells from damage while allowing cancer cells to die from radiation.

What this means is that NAC can help reduce the risk that patients take whenever they are having cancer therapy.

Can also benefit people suffering from diabetes

And lastly, NAC has been discovered to have a positive impact on patients who are suffering from type 2 diabetes. What NAC does is reduce inflammation in the fat cells. This equates to fewer insulin receptors being destroyed. As a result, it makes it possible for cells to be more sensitive to insulin.

Conclusion

Glutathione plays a major role in the body’s ability to recover and to stay healthy. What NAC does is to increase the level of glutathione in your system. The benefits of this supplement can be seen in more than just one system. This supplement is also known to have very few long-term side effects and is considered safe by health experts.

How to Never Have Problems with Coffee Again

Coffee is a seductress. We all love a boost of caffeine to help improve our focus and attention. Adrenaline from caffeine can make us stronger, perform better, and improve our mood.

But there is a dark side to coffee (ha!).

Imagine you wake up early, ready to tackle the world. You start with a cup of coffee to fuel the creativity in your project. Then the stomach rumble. The nausea. Yikes.

How do we get the benefits of coffee without dealing with the problems that come with it?

Sometimes coffee can come with negative side effects. Namely, jittery, anxious energy. Many people consider this to be the only drawback, but there are others:

  1. Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
  2. Nausea and stomach issues
  3. Jittery, erratic, or non-focused energy
  4. Diminished sleep quality

Now you know all the “evils” of caffeine, but any psychoactive compound is a double edged sword.

You are also well aware of the enhanced focus to complete your work, additional physical boost during a workout, and alertness to stay awake longer.

4 Common Coffee Side Effects and How to Fix Them

1. Elevated Heart Rate & Blood Pressure

Adrenaline is a hormone associated with the “fight or flight” response in mammals. Consuming coffee will increase adrenaline because caffeine simulates this fight or flight response. Even if you are not consciously stressed, your body will act as if it is.

This is a good thing in one instance because your mind and body performs better when it is in an aroused state. Adrenaline is one of the reasons you have better concentration and motivation!

So instead of avoiding coffee, you can get the best of both worlds. You have a couple of options:

  • L-Theanine – This amino acid is found in green and black tea. It can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure to a normal state. Tea combines both caffeine and L-theanine, but it require a few cups to see real psychoactive effects. This is why we combined L-theanine with caffeine in our 1-2-Go product.
  • Meditation / breathing exercises – Although there are ingredients to counteract caffeine’s negative side effects, sometimes simple breathing exercises can have an impact. In the midst of a challenging mental task, slow down, close your eyes, and take 5 slow deep breaths. It can help to bring your heart rate and blood pressure down even if only temporarily.

2. Nausea & Stomach Irritability

One of the biggest complaints of coffee drinkers is nausea, stomach, or gastrointestinal problems. This is often caused by coffee’s acidity. On a pH scale, it is considered “very acidic”, which causes secretion of uncomfortable stomach acids.

These acids can cause reflux, nausea, and long term stomach issues if untreated…

…luckily, there are ways to counteract this.

Consuming acidic and alkaline foods at the same time can counteract many of the stomach and gastrointestinal problems. There are plenty of alkaline fruits and vegetables, but I prefer drinking my coffee black and while I am fasting.

Solution: Alkaline spices, roots, etc. Particularly, I like using the following:

  • Turmeric – Growing up in an Indian household, we ate turmeric a lot. It’s relatively flavorless, but has tremendous benefits. Turmeric is filled with “curcumin”, which is a bioactive ingredient that can help prevent cancer and reduce inflammation. For coffee, it is an alkaline spice that counteracts the acidity of coffee.
  • Maca – This is a root vegetable used in Peru to improve endurance, but it also has nootropic effects. Maca improves memory and reduces anxiety (to improve mental performance). Again, this is an alkaline root that can help with acidity.
  • Reishi mushroom – Fungus isn’t the first thing you might think of for your coffee, but reishi mushroom can help mitigate the acidity. It also improves relaxation and enhances your immune system.

Balancing the acidity of coffee was one of the main reasons we included these three alkaline spices, fungi, and roots ingredients in our CocoTropic nootropic beverage.

I used to wake up and have a stomach ache from drinking black coffee and nothing else; now these three ingredients in CocoTropic prevents that from happening.

In our exclusive nootropics & brain health Facebook group, one member mentioned using 1 tablespoon of baking soda in water to buffer the stomach. Despite the strange taste, it works well for him!

NOTE: Decaffeinated coffee does not make a difference. In fact, it can sometimes make the alkaline / acid balance worse.

3. Jittery, Erratic, or Non-Focused Energy

Some people may notice that coffee makes them intensely focused, but comes with erratic energy. You try to focus on one task, but your brain ends up focusing on everything and anything else…you might even end up like Kramer on Seinfeld.

People refer to this as jittery, anxious, and it is definitely ungrounded. Our recommendation is to use similar methods as we have described above:

  • L-Theanine – This enhances your attention more than caffeine alone. Numerous studies show combining L-theanine + caffeine is better than either one alone. For me, this combination helps me focus on the task at hand without feeling jittery and ungrounded. It is largely considered the “best beginner nootropic”, which is why we created 1-2-Go with these ingredients.
  • Butter coffee – I prefer to eat my calories, but it seems that butter coffee (often referred to as Bulletproof coffee) can help with the jitters. The fats add well directed focus to the coffee.
  • Meditation / Breathing exercisesSee above

PRO TIP: It is a myth that eating bananas will prevent coffee jitters.

4. Diminished Sleep Quality

“How do you sleep at night?”

“I don’t drink coffee after 7.” – Parker

Even Jason Statham knows that coffee can negatively effect sleep. Caffeine acts by antagonizing adenosine receptors, which keeps you awake even when you would normally be tired.

For a college all-nighter this is great, but sometimes a cup of coffee too late in the day can disrupt sleep quantity and quality.

The half-life for caffeine is 5 – 6 hours, which means half of the caffeine you consumed is still in your system. For sensitive individuals like me, that means taking coffee after noon is a bad idea.

Because caffeine remains in your system for so long, sleep is negatively effected unless you also consume L-theanine. Again, this amino acid is shown to improve sleep quality when consumed with caffeine and people with ADHD in general. Another reason combining caffeine and L-theanine is winning.

My friend Nathaniel Eliason (director of marketing at SumoMe) has the same problem with drinking coffee after noon. I proposed using CocoTropic in the afternoon as an alternative and here is what he said (full video at bottom):

“What I was really happy about is that it works perfectly when you’re hitting that 1pm – 2pm slump. You want to get engaged again so you can have [CocoTropic] and it doesn’t effect your sleep…it’s not a jittery stimulant..”

Having Your Coffee-Cake and Eating it Too

I covered 4 of the common negative side effects of coffee, but you might have other problems. Some people build a tolerance to caffeine, which renders many benefits dulled. There is no way to avoid tolerance except cycling off caffeine routinely (boo… I know)

Even though we have provided you with alternatives and recommendations to avoid negative side effects of coffee, it might not work for everyone. Don’t expect a magic pill, but test things out and see what works for you.

How (and why) to Cook with Turmeric

As I lifted the lid off a food dish, I saw bright yellow rice staring back at me. Rice shouldn’t be this color. No food should be this color.

I called my mom and asked “why is this rice yellow and is it safe to eat?” She assured me it was safe and given her PhD in food science, I felt satisfied.

She explained that the bright yellow color came from turmeric, which was a traditional Indian spice that had a mild flavor and plenty of health benefits. At the time, I was a hungry teenage soccer player in search for calories so I devoured the food.

Fast forward 10 years and I’m incredibly grateful my mother and Indian culture introduced me to turmeric. More westerners are using this Indian plant for health benefits and for good reason.

Turmeric is filled with a molecule called “curcumin”, which has many health benefits including:

  • Anti-inflammation – Modern diets filled with sugars, gluten, and stress causes a great deal of inflammation in the body. Many people take fish oil as an anti-inflammatory, but curcumin is as effective as any fish oil supplement.
  • Cancer prevention – Partly due to the anti-inflammation, curcumin can prevent cancer and stop the progression of the disease in the body. Most useful for prostate and bladder cancer.
  • Cognitive decline – As human lifespans get longer, age related cognitive decline becomes an ever bigger problem. Curcumin can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and support recovery of brain cells after trauma or injury. One study noted 140% improvement in cognition after brain trauma.

All of these health benefits are why we added turmeric to CocoTropic. Combined with cacao, reishi mushroom, maca powder, and mucuna pruriens, it is a perfect concoction for overall brain health.

But here is the thing…

You can cook with turmeric to have health benefits and great tasting food.

Cooking with 2 – 4 g of turmeric can provide enough curcumin to take advantage of the health benefits we mentioned above.

Curcumin is not well absorbed unless it is paired with black pepper so you can include black pepper as an ingredient for optimal absorption and results.

Turmeric is very mild in flavor so it goes well with a lot of foods. You can get 1 pound of turmeric for less than $10 too, so it’s a great way to stay healthy.

Growing up in an Indian household, I learned a few dishes that include turmeric, are super simple, and multipurpose.

Lime Rice

This dish is basically a “leftover” snack that tastes delicious. It is essentially spiced and seasoned rice with a few nuts added in.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of cooked rice (usually leftover / refrigerated rice from the night before)
  • ½ lime
  • ½ cup cashews
  • Scoop of turmeric
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of cumin and mustard seed

Directions:

  1. Fill a pan with olive oil and add cumin and mustard seed (if you have it. If not, don’t worry)
  2. After 2 minutes, add cashews, turmeric, salt, and pepper
  3. Squeeze the lime juice into this mixture. NOTE: It will be reactive so don’t freak out when it gets loud and starts sizzling
  4. Add the cooked rice into the oil and stir thoroughly
  5. Let the rice soak up the oil and spices. Stir often
  6. After 5 – 10 minutes, taste it, spice accordingly and eat

It is probably one of the simplest dishes you can cook with turmeric. It’s pure carbs and fat, but sometimes that is what the body needs.

Instead of copying recipes from elsewhere on the net, I’ll just connect you with some other great options with my comments / curation alongside.

I’ve said it before, but turmeric is very mild in flavor. If you don’t believe me, here is an orange turmeric cake recipe.

I’ve never had sweet treats with turmeric, but I assume it tastes delicious. I’m not one to spend my time making sweets especially if I’m busy with other things, but to each his own. At least it is gluten-free!

As a huge fan of eggs and kale, I recommend checking out this spiced kale scramble. It’s especially good for people who want a little more protein or have a more Paleo style diet.

Finally, if you are super simple and don’t care much about cooking with turmeric, making a tea or similar drink might be easier. Often I will make a cup of tea like this:

  • 1 pack of oolong tea (or tea of choice)
  • 2 tbsp of CocoTropic (which has turmeric in it)
  • 1 tbsp of turmeric

I add an extra tbsp of turmeric for good measure because I don’t drink this every day. If you are drinking the CocoTropic almost every day, you can (but don’t need to) add more turmeric – it’s your preference!

If you have any recipes or comments about turmeric, feel free to leave them below or email us.