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The Truths and Myths About Glutathione

Glutathione is probably the most commercially-marketed beauty agent ever (especially directed at the fair-skinned-obsessed ones in the Philippines), and while many can attest to its positive effects, it has its fair share of “haters”, too.

And in an effort to finally put a stop to all the chismis surrounding it, here I attempt to debunk or verify all the truths and myths you’ve always wanted to know about glutathione:

1. It is naturally produced in our body.

Yes, and while I am flustered that this isn’t common knowledge, the fact is, glutathione is basic in our body. It is ever-present in our liver and kidneys to help flush out all the toxins harmful to us.

2. Its primary purpose is for whitening.

Absolutely not! Glutathione’s whitening effect is merely a by product of what it was initially intended for, which was to address damaged liver enzymes. Back in 1920, the doctors were perhaps dumbfounded seeing their patients’ skin turning fairer by the day!

3. It is an immunity booster.

Fact. And aside from helping the immune system fight infection and prevent cancer, the other benefits I’m loving about glutathione include: better sleep at night (why, thank you!), an overall increase in strength, energy, and endurance (which this tita admits she lacks), and aids in muscle healing and growth.

4. It is a treatment for other illnesses.

Not yet true—but can be! Scientists are looking into the possibility, so that in the future, we may see glutathione as a cure for AIDS and clinical depression (which I believe are two very major health concerns these days).

5. It comes in all forms (pills, IVs, topical creams) and are all safe and effective.

Yes, and I have a lot to say about this. I think it’s because of how marketers have turned this natural element into a “wonder-gluta” drug that caused the rise of fakes—products, doctors, and institutions, which of course are harmful, and have in turn, been giving glutathione a bad rep. I still believe it is best to consult a reputable doctor about glutathione usage, because each intake type also has its unique benefits. For instance, injections carry glutathione directly to the bloodstream, while soaps can exfoliate and address uneven skin tones and pimples.

6. There is such a thing as “glutathione deficiency.”

Unfortunately, this is true (and an alarming one for a tita like me!). Glutathione levels decrease as we age and once this happens, we become susceptible to heart attack, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, HIV, and more.

7. There are many other natural ways to increase glutathione in our body!

Yes to natural. One way is to exercise regularly. And another is through proper diet, which includes amino acid-rich foods like avocado, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower. Eat only red meat (lamb is a favorite) and include more garlic, tomatoes, and onions in your meals.

Text by: Tita Pacita

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