Glutathione in foods
May I share a baseline with you? Here it is: We compose Elements Meals for very specific reasons. I mean, we get very specific.
Since the inception of Elements over three years ago, my focus has been, and remains, not merely on changing the whole food supply chain, but on the consequences and outcomes of our eating practices, e.g. nutrition bioavailability, gut health, low blood sugar, low/no inflammation, soft tissue health, and much more.
During the last three years, I’ve been building a "eating outcome taxonomy". One metric of that catalogue is mitochondrial health. In short, we are creating Elements Meals to support/increase mitochondrial life and activity.
Hence, my research into foods that contain glutathione and support mitochondrial work and function. I found a good start with a1992 study by the National Cancer Institute. It created a food list organized according to inherent glutathione.
Various studies of those listed foods have consistently found its merit: In summary, the results show that generally, breads, cereals, and dairy products are low in GSH; vegetables and fruits have moderate to high amounts of GSH; prepared meats are relatively high in GSH. Add to these findings the nutrient preservation benefits of cutting-edge freeze-drying technology, and you get some dang good whole food nutrition outcomes.
Like I said, our purposes of crafting our meals are very specific. Delivering you uncompromising nutrition in a way that disrupts our broken food supply chain and giving you Nutrition Liberty is central to our mission at Elements Meals.
What is Glutathione? Geek mode. Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant and anticarcinogen present in plant and animal tissues that form the bulk of the omnivore diet.
It is also "the main non-protein thiol in cells whose functions are dependent on the redox-active thiol of its cysteine moiety that serves as a cofactor for a number of antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes." GSH is synthesized exclusively in a cell’s cytoplasmic matrix.
From its constituent amino acids, GSH is distributed in different intracellular compartments, including mitochondria. This process creates a negative charge at physiological pH, thereby implying the existence of specific carriers to import GSH from the cytosol to the mitochondrial matrix.
In that matrix, GSH is a key defense against respiration-induced reactive oxygen species, as well as in the detoxification of lipid hydroperoxides and electrophiles. We know that mitochondria play a central strategic role in the activation and mode of cell death. We know that mitochondrial GSH plays a critical regulatory role in the level of sensitization to secondary hits that "induce mitochondrial membrane permeabilization and release of proteins confined in the intermembrane space that once in the cytosol engage the molecular machinery of cell death".
In short, GSH is key to cell life, health, death, and regeneration … and the mitochondria is centrally deep in that process. Cell health, life, and death figure centrally in the prevalence of human chronic diseases (cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more).
Ergo, GSH and chronic diseases are undeniably linked. More than ever before, we now know that what we eat profoundly affects us on molecular and atomic levels. "Why we eat" is becoming part of the larger national dialogue. Thank goodness!
Some reading on glutathione: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4079069/; https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01635589209514173.