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Nayan Patel, PharmD is globally regarded as the foremost go-to expert on absorbable forms of glutathione, and holds the only patent on transdermal glutathione. He is an internationally renowned educator, consultant, lecturer and leading expert on this “master antioxidant.” In addition to many other topics, such as cellular function and hormone replacement, Dr. Patel is a sought-after global authority on the critical role that glutathione, and all other antioxidants and endogenous molecules play in the body. Along with traveling the world educating practitioners on advanced biochemistry and anti-aging science, Dr. Patel also serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy where he is also an alumnus.
He is the co-inventor of a patented technology that delivers glutathione through the water channels of the skin, via a sub-nano molecular delivery mechanism. Until now, the lack of an effective way of delivering glutathione into our bodies has kept glutathione from being accessible to most of the world. This new discovery helped solidify Dr. Patel’s standing as a true standout in the arena of cutting-edge knowledge surrounding glutathione.
Q: What inspired you to write The Glutathione Revolution?
A: I’ve always been most interested in endogenous substances—meaning internal substances that our bodies naturally make on their own. Glutathione (GSH) just happens to be the most fascinating (and most lacking) endogenous molecule I’ve come across, because it is in charge of such a vast list of responsibilities—like all cellular function and systemic detoxification of our bodies. But I quickly began to realize that there was a great need for a comprehensive and cohesive written resource on glutathione for society to refer to—one which contained all the current information. Simply put, there is only one of me, and a book was the best way to answer everyone’s questions simultaneously. The knowledge and accessibility to bioavailable glutathione is vital to achieving optimal health—therefore I made the decision to do my part in dispersing its life-changing capabilities.
Q: Why is glutathione known as “The Mother of Antioxidants”?
A: Glutathione is the only endogenous antioxidant, but it is also the only antioxidant that can recycle or regenerate itself, just like a mother is the one who does the reproducing. GSH also takes power from other antioxidants like vitamin C, and amplifies their effects to “mother” the body for the greater good. Not only is GSH roaming the body looking for ways to assist in all cellular functions, it also neutralizes free radicals and sometimes sacrifices itself as it detoxes our bodies of oxidative stress.
Q: What causes low glutathione levels? What are the effects?
A: This could be a very long answer, but to summarize the main causes of low GSH levels as we age are environmental toxins, poor diet, genetic predispositions and all types of stress. It’s one of those situations of which came first, the chicken or the egg? Meaning that as we age, our glutathione stores decrease rapidly. But what causes them to decrease are the issues I just listed—which, in turn, now take more glutathione to deal with those same issues. So, it becomes a vicious cycle of the supply having a harder time to meet the growing demand as we age.
But to answer in a more molecular biological way, GSH depends on three amino acids (glutamine, glycine and cysteine) and two enzymatic process reactions. Any disruptions/hiccups (issues listed above) in the reaction process or availability of these three amino acids can result in low GSH levels.
The effects of low GSH can lead to a laundry list of unwanted medical conditions and disease states. Everything from type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, serious viruses, Alzheimer’s, heavy-metal toxicity, leaky gut, autoimmune diseases, autism and even things like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), anxiety and depression.
Q: How does glutathione help with detoxification?
A: In a nutshell, GSH takes electrons from free radicals that cause oxidative damage, in order to neutralize them (kill them off) in an electron transfer process. These dead free radicals are now rushed out of the body—mostly through bile and urine. Since free radicals by nature are missing an electron and scavenging the body looking to steal electrons from other molecules to complete themselves—I like to use the analogy that free radicals are like lovestruck teenagers roaming the streets after dark, looking for their long lost electron to hook up with. Nothing good can come from this, and glutathione is standing guard like the protective “mother,” to save the day and neutralize these free radicals so they can’t wreak havoc in our bodies.
It’s also interesting to note that most of the detoxing done by glutathione is occurring in the two most metabolically active organs in human physiology—the liver and the brain—as these two organs generate and utilize more glutathione than any other organs.
Q: What effect does glutathione have on telomere length? Why?
A: All antioxidants have the ability to perform some sort of maintenance on different aspects of our DNA, but glutathione is the only antioxidant that can actually provoke telomere growth. Telomeres are the tail end of our individual DNA strands, that somewhat resemble the capped-off end of a shoelace. Telomeres have been on the forefront of many recent anti-aging discussions and even garnered the 2009 Nobel Prize to a team of three doctors researching telomeres/telomerase. As we age, our telomeres shrink, which can signify the aging process. Therefore, the theory was that if you can regrow your telomeres, you can actually reverse aging.
In short, since glutathione‘s job is to reduce the overall toxic load in our body, it allows our body to do what it is designed to do, which is age gracefully. As glutathione protects the body from toxicity, it can subsequently allow and provoke telomeres to regrow themselves.
Q: Please explain your Action Plans. What are they and what can they help accomplish?
A: The main reason I included the Action Plans in the book was to provide a sort of template to springboard new and helpful habits, in order to jumpstart the reader’s GSH stores.
My goal was to suggest new healthy habits so that the people implementing these Action Plans could see how quickly they might feel better. It was also my hope to show them that it’s possible to rev up your body’s internal GSH production factories rather quickly, and start seeing results that would inspire them to keep going on their own. I wanted to provide them a way to experience what was possible in a short, 14-day timespan, and hopefully inspire them to keep going. As we all know, we must be motivated on our own to keep any sort of protocol or healthy habits going on a daily basis. I personally follow the GSH building protocols, and have never felt better in my life.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: Ultimately, all of those medical conditions that I listed above are due to the fact that without sufficient GSH levels in our bodies, we have a reduced immune response that opens the door to all sorts of unwelcomed invaders. Glutathione is the best defender, protector and security system for your body. We simply can’t fight off viruses without a robust immune system, which is one of glutathione’s chief roles.
Here’s why glutathione is so crucial to a strong immune system:
Research has been showing that active glutathione (GSH) stimulates and supports white blood cells, such as natural killer (NK) and T cells, the frontline infection fighters inside your body. T cells equipped with GSH are then able to produce more infection-fighting substances, controlling both viral and bacterial infections.
But not only is there evidence that GSH stimulates the production and activity of these NK and T cells, it also functions as an antioxidant (detoxification) within these immune cells, further bolstering and strengthening the body’s overall immune response.
In April 2017, Dirk Brenner at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, and many co-authors from seven other countries, also reported that glutathione stimulates T cell energy metabolism. This stimulation allows T cells to generate an optimal immune response and fight off pathogens.
Therefore, the immune system and detoxification system cannot function without sufficient levels of GSH. And in today’s climate—I believe—that building up our immune system is the most important role of glutathione that we’ve ever discussed, with so many lives at stake around the globe.