Antioxidants come in various forms and can be found in most of what have been colloquially termed as “superfoods.” Aside from boosting immune function, antioxidants fight free radicals that can be damaging to your free testosterone count. Glutathione is an antioxidant and a true powerhouse that you want in your body for fighting off all those villainous toxic invaders.
Glutathione is perhaps one of the most important substances for your body that you never heard of. It’s actually a molecule you produce naturally in your body and has been often described as the “mother of all antioxidants.”
The molecule is made up of building blocks of protein and essential amino acids. Its secret power, though, lies in the sulfur contained within these molecules. Sulfur has a sticky surface that basically acts like a fly trap where all the harmful radicals stick to it.
Once a toxin binds with a glutathione molecule, it is shuttled out of your body through your urine, excrement, or other bodily secretions.
With its toxin-eliminating characteristic, it’s no surprise then that glutathione plays a pivotal role in fighting maladies like cancer, dementia, heart disease, and ageing. Even more compelling (for men anyways) is the role of glutathione as a natural testosterone enhancer.
Does glutathione increase testosterone? To be more specific, glutathione doesn’t increase testosterone; it protects the existing free testosterone by detoxifying your body of impurities.
Mercury is one of these impurities that glutathione helps eliminate from the body. Most people are aware of the danger of mercury especially from all the news about the toxin being found in the world’s fishery supplies.
This study performed on male Sprague Dawley rats revealed that mercury toxicity caused low serum testosterone levels. Furthermore, the same rats also had lower rates of impregnating a female when given the chance to mate.
Studies Confirm the Role of Glutathione on Testosterone Production
In this study, rats were injected with a substance that reduced their glutathione levels by 70%. After receiving the injection twice daily for seven days, their leydig cells were removed and analyzed in vitro. The results showed that the cells produced 50% less testosterone than normal.
This study conducted at Shahid Beheshti University in Iran consisted of nearly 500 male test subjects who were given a selenium supplement. Selenium is a substance vital for glutathione production.
After being administered selenium on a daily basis for 26 weeks, the men exhibited higher testosterone levels compared to the control group. In addition, the selenium group also had higher sperm cells and sperm motility.
Factors That Impair Glutathione Production
The antioxidant of all antioxidants is about as close as it gets to a natural fountain of youth. However, glutathione only works up to a point. Repeated bodily neglect stemming from a poor diet and bad lifestyle habits can inhibit glutathione production.
While it is glutathione’s job to flush out toxins, too much foreign invaders in the body can overtake your system. There are only so many toxins the antioxidant can remove before getting swamped.
Just use common sense; anything that’s bad for your health in general is also bad news for glutathione regulation. Common endocrine disruptors, such as chlorine, food preservatives, pesticides, and mercury are health hazards that should be avoided to the best of your ability.
How to Stimulate Glutathione Production
Just as there are foods and environmental exposures that hamper glutathione production, there are also those that improve it. Make these changes to your lifestyle if you haven’t done so already for optimal glutathione levels.
It’s a well-known fact that exercise increases testosterone. Just google a term like “exercise testosterone study” and you’ll find more than a handful of peer-reviewed studies that confirm the merits of exercise for T gains.
Well, studies also show that exercise improves glutathione levels. In this study, human subjects were divided into the following four groups:
- Control group (no exercise)
- Weight training group
- Aerobic training group
- Weight training + aerobic training group
- After six weeks, all but the control group showed significant improvements in their glutathione levels. The group that completed both the weight and aerobic training had the most significant increase.
Any food laden with additives is not your friend. Aside from sticking to organic as much as possible, also consume more foods rich in sulfur. This includes anything in the cruciferous vegetable category like kale, collards, and broccoli.
Onions and garlic are also an abundant source of sulfur; sure, they’ll make your breath smell like fresh roadkill, but you’ll gain so much more in return.
Foods high in glutamine will also do your body wonders with respects to glutathione production. Glutamine can be found in foods like red meat, eggs, organ meat, and dairy. Yep, pretty much all the foods that so-called health advocates caution you against eating are the ones that aid in the production of a vital antioxidant.
If you’re looking for a vegan option, then nuts, beans, legumes, cabbage, and parsley are also natural sources of glutamine.
Methylation nutrients, or those more commonly known as folate and vitamins B6 and B12, are also critical for healthy glutathione regulation. These can easily be acquired from a multi-vitamin tablet.
If you prefer to go the all-natural route, then aim for these foods:
- For folate: beans, lentils, spinach, asparagus, avocados
- For vitamin B6: sunflower seeds, pistachio nuts, tuna, poultry, dried prunes
- For vitamin B12: shellfish, beef liver, mackerel, red meat, oat bran
Glutathione From Whey Protein
If you’re one of those muscle heads that get your protein fix from a whey supplement after every workout, then you may be pleased to know that whey is a legitimate glutathione source. Whey contains the amino acid profile necessary for glutathione synthesis.
But – and it’s a big “but” – the whey powder has to be from a bioactive source. Most of the whey supplements sold in stores are made from inferior denatured protein. This means that the preparation process utilizes a heating method that broke down the protein’s molecular structure.
If you take whey protein, look for a brand with the labels, “non-denatured,” “cold processed,” “microfiltration,” or “cross flow microfiltration.” All you need to know is that whey with any of these labels used a non-heating process, which means the protein’s amino acids are kept intact.
These brands are a little more expensive, so if you’re hesitant about shelling out the extra dough, then just get your glutathione from the aforementioned listed foods. Why protein, or protein in general for that matter, is mostly overhyped anyways, or at least so with respect to testosterone production.
Optimal Glutathione Levels Also Means Optimal Testosterone
Glutathione, as with most other antioxidants, are produced naturally by the body. It is only when we abuse our temple that healthy glutathione and testosterone levels take a major hit. As long as you keep junk out of your body, your body will produce sufficient amounts of the master antioxidant to keep you in peak health.