How to Raise Glutathione Levels in Your Body

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant created by your cells to fight destructive free radicals. Glutathione helps create lymphocytes, the cells of your immune system, which keep your body's defenses strong and producing antibodies. Although glutathione supplements are available, your body might not absorb them very well. To raise your glutathione levels, you want to increase your dietary consumption of glutathione and of the precursors to glutathione -- the amino acids glycine, glutamate and cysteine. Of these three, cysteine is the most important, and the one that is hardest to get from the standard American diet.

Eat foods high in vitamin C, which contain some glutathione, but will help your body manufacture more. Eat these foods raw, as cooking destroys glutathione. 100 g of raw grapefruit has 70 mg of glutathione, while cooked grapefruit has none. Cooked tomatoes also have no glutathione, but 100g of raw tomatoes have 166 mg. You can choose to take a vitamin C supplement -- which may increase blood glutathione levels by 50 percent in healthy individuals.

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Increase your melatonin intake. Melatonin raises glutathione levels in the tissues of your muscles, brain and liver. Eat tart cherries, which contain significant amounts of melatonin.

Take an herbal supplement. Milk thistle, also known as silymarin, can help your liver regenerate cells and heal itself. The liver has the highest concentration of glutathione because it's the main organ of detoxification.

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Eat foods high in cysteine, such as egg yolks, poultry, yogurt, red peppers, oatmeal and wheat germ. Other beneficial foods include asparagus, avocado and walnuts.


Dietary intake of glutathione might help prevent certain cancers.


Limit your exposure to toxins such as alcohol, nicotine, chemicals and solvents, which use up the body's supply of glutathione.