Oxidation and Free Radicals
Through the processes taking place within the mitochondria reactions occur which give rise to aggressive chemically active compounds called free radicals. These are known potential cofactors in the development of cancer. They are formed from metabolites in oxidation and damage both the Mitochondria itself, but also other cell organelles, the cell’s DNA and the extracellular matrix.
Free radicals can lead to mutations in the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. If this occurs in a healthy organism, your intracellular repair mechanisms try to protect the cell. Failure of these mechanisms to protect the cell will lead to the demise of the affected cell (apoptotic cell death). In the worst case cellular differentiation and subsequent tumor formation can occur.
Destruction of the Extracellular Matrix
The result of these processes is an increasing breakdown of the extracellular matrix. This in turn allows the penetration of toxic and / or microbial constituents from the blood into the cell. All of this leads to a disturbance in your immune response. The following disorder in the regulation of the systemic humoral immune system is only a matter of time.
The Antioxidant System
Our system has a constantly active system to neutralize the formation of free radicals. This includes essential vitamins such as vitamin E and C, minerals such as magnesium, trace elements such as selenium and zinc, as well as endogenous tripeptide glutathione. A balanced diet should always be a guarantee for a well-functioning antioxidant system which ensures reliable neutralization of free radical formation. The increase of food denaturation by the addition of, for example, preservatives, consumption of stimulants (especially alcohol and nicotine), and the influence of environmental toxins in drinking water, air and food, however, ensures that our redox system is subjected to constant stress. The consequences are declining levels of zinc, selenium, magnesium, and glutathione, which can no longer be compensated for by our food supply.
The antioxidant capacity of our systems is practically in constant chronic fatigue and the formation of free radicals continues to increase.
Glutathione in the Spotlight
Glutathione is the body’s own little “mini-protein” (tripeptide), which is present in every cell of the body and is involved in a number of detoxification, transport and biosynthetic functions.
Normally, our body has a balance between reduced and oxidized glutathione. Enzymes of the glutathione system play an important role in this balance and in turn has important tasks: glutathione peroxidase, for example, eliminates aggressive peroxides, glutathione reductase has an influence on electron transfer actions.
Medical Aspects of Glutathione
For many years glutathione has been the focus of numerous research studies. In addition to the pure antioxidant efficacy, glutathione is, for example, one of the oldest radioprotective agents (the radiation effect is based on the principle of oxidation!).
Research also looks at examining its strong detoxifying (detoxification, especially for heavy metals) actions, immunomodulatory (T-cell stimulation), as well as and especially the cytotoxic effect on tumor cells.
While reduced glutathione especially its detoxifying, antioxidant and radiation protection effects appear to develop in low doses, it has also been shown to have anti-tumour and immunomodulatory effects in high doses. Research and clinical applications have shown that glutathione leads to the stimulation of T and NK cells.