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  1. Default Raw Food and Glutathione

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    Glutathione is widely regarded as the most powerful and multifunctioning antioxidant in the human body. Some researchers are suggesting it is the most important antioxidant with regards to ageing and cancer. Unfortunately its very unstable and supplementing with it does not work very well to elevate blood levels of it.

    I recently came across a number of blog posts stating that raw food contains massively more glutathione than cooked. As illustrated in Table 1 here http://www.balancedconcepts.net/Glut...ry_Sources.pdf

    There is a short blog post here on it Raw Foods Contain More Than Just Hippie Fantasies: Part*I - Weblog - Nutrition For Hair & Health

    Denise Minger talks about the effect of glutathione on her eyes when she switched to a Raw Food diet, here About Raw Food SOS: Troubleshooting on the Raw Food Diet (i think Denise has the most strikingly beautiful complexion of any blogger i follow).

    I'm not saying we should all go to raw foods, but now i can see that there might be more to the idea of eating a lot of raw foods than i initially though, and raw foodists are not just blowing hot air. Raw meat, raw egg yolks, and raw cheese are also worth considering.
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    Well for starters cheese is not raw by definition because it's processed. Then eating raw meat and raw eggs would probably give you some infections and your life expectancy would be much shorter. It's a nice idea that cannot be put in practice nowadays.
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    Quote Quote
    Originally Posted by profi View Post
    Well for starters cheese is not raw by definition because it's processed. Then eating raw meat and raw eggs would probably give you some infections and your life expectancy would be much shorter. It's a nice idea that cannot be put in practice nowadays.
    I believe HTTK means cheese made from raw unpasteurised milk such as good quality parmesan etc. Good quality raw eggs are perfectly safe and beef/game meat is perfectly fine in it's raw state or very lightly cooked.
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    I am a little confused. Do these sources say we can increase our body's glutathione content by directly absorbing the glutathione present in uncooked foods? Because my reading around the subject - up to now - indicated this was unlikely and that most, if not all, of our glutathione was synthesised endogenously from other components which are supplied by diet.

    Reading the information linked does not really clarify, as the foods said to contain glutathione also contained many of the precursors from which we synthesise it endogenously and it is not made clear whether it was the presence of the dietary precursors or the preformed glutathione that was contributing to the raised levels in the body.

    However, it does seem that most of the dietary precursors to endogenous glutathione synthesis are highly labile in the presence of heat. Having said that, I'm not really ready to start eating all of my food (especially meat) raw!
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    Yes, this troubled me too.

    Glutathione is actually a protein. Cooking denatures this protein and renders it useless for anti-oxidant purposes. On the other hand so does ingesting it. That's the principle purpose of the gastro-intestinal tract - to denature and dissasemble proteins. So where does the glutathione in this raw food diet come from?

    I think the answer is that those people that have made the choice to eat raw food have inadvertantly also made another choice ... to leave the high sugar, pro-inflammatory foods etc behind too. These foods not only have absolutely zero glutathione in them but also further lack the building blocks to make it within the body.

    The special ingredient in glutathione is selenium - which is to be found in whole foods (including meat, Nu) but is completely absent in processed sugar, vegetable oils, starches and Krispy Kreme Kup Kakes. If you want to increase the amount of glutathione in your body (and this is a very good idea) then ingest more selenium (about 200mcg a day, if memory serves). Eat brazil nuts for instance, or take a good quality multi-vitamin pill etc.
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    Yes Wotan i was referring to unpasteurised cheese. thanks for clarifying that.

    The abstract of this paper indicates naturally occurring glutathione in food is bioavailable, but i cant access the full paper to get to the nitty gritty

    ScienceDirect - Methods in Enzymology : [1] Glutathione distribution in natural products: absorption and tissue distribution
    Last edited by hailtotheking; 03-01-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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    A more recent paper studying the use of glutathione in cancer treatment, again indicating oral glutathione is bioavailable in humans

    Taylor & Francis Online :: Glutathione in foods listed in the national cancer institute's health habits and history food frequency questionnaire - Nutrition and Cancer - Volume 17, Issue 1
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    Originally Posted by hailtotheking View Post
    Yes Wotan i was referring to unpasteurised cheese. thanks for clarifying that.

    The abstract of this paper indicates naturally occurring glutathione in food is bioavailable, but i cant access the full paper to get to the nitty gritty

    ScienceDirect - Methods in Enzymology : [1] Glutathione distribution in natural products: absorption and tissue distribution
    You can download the full pdf here: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...AjeyGQ&cad=rja

    Seems, according to my quick scan through this paper, that GSH availability (directly from food) is not quite so great as is first implied and that plant foods lose more when cooked than does meat!
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    Originally Posted by NU_nutrition_TS View Post
    You can download the full pdf here: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...AjeyGQ&cad=rja

    Seems, according to my quick scan through this paper, that GSH availability (directly from food) is not quite so great as is first implied and that plant foods lose more when cooked than does meat!
    But that kind of backs up my point - that eating everything cooked reduces dietary consumption of this important antioxidant.

    Fair enough if you have a complete carnivore diet where you dont even have fruit / veg in the equation, but for most people who are omnivores eating a reasonable portion of their fruit and veg uncooked is worth thinking about (as long as they do their homework on what veg shouldnt be eaten raw in large amounts).

    Considering that most studies using supplemental glutathione have shown supplemental form is pretty naff, its worth mulling over the idea that it might be good to increase naturally occuring dietary amounts of it instead.
    Last edited by hailtotheking; 03-01-2012 at 01:01 PM.
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    I agree with you regarding fruit and veg - it's just a shame that, eaten raw (especially veg), they would apear to be less digestible overall while cooking them actually makes some other nutrients more bioavailable!

    I was just relieved to see that meat does not necessarily need to be consumed raw as, even when there is some denaturing due to prep and cooking, it also contains substances which allow GSH to be 'reformed'!

    I still think the link between eating these foods and increased serum levels of GSH has not been sufficiently verified - the methods seem a little detached from the real world (perfusing rat tissue, for instance) and there does not seem to be sufficient accounting made of confounding variables (such as whether GSH precursors present in the foods are actually causing the bulk of the increase).

    It also seems, from that 'study', that increases in serum GSH were only transitory after consuming the foods. This fact reminds me of another study which showed that eating antioxidant rich fruit and veg also only resulted in transitory rises in antioxidative capacity and then resulted in a later slump. This also raises the possibility that increases in serum GSH after consuming foods said to be rich sources may be more to do with the body increasing its production to offset some oxidative properties of the foods themselves - I'm not sure if I recall this correctly but isn't GSH stored in an inactive form which the body then converts into active GSH on demand?

    As the study authors themselves admit, this is an interesting initial result but merits further in-depth study.
    Last edited by NU_nutrition_TS; 03-01-2012 at 02:06 PM.
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