Tag Archives: nicholas perricone

Posted by in wellness

Glutathione: The Underground Antioxidant

by Sean Croxton

It is called the master antioxidant.

Master detoxifier, too.

It protects every single one of your 50 to 75 trillion cells, including your brain.

The lower your levels of it, the higher your risk of cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and autoimmunity.

And as of today, a Pubmed search displays 95663 scientific articles on it.

BUT I bet you’ve never heard of it.

Why? Well, maybe because you can’t fortify juices, cereals, and Diet 7-Up with it.

Or maybe because today’s multi-billion dollar antioxidant industry will crumble to its knees once the public catches wind of it.

When it comes to antioxidants, glutathione is as underground as it gets.

Before we jump into exactly what glutathione does, let’s discus why it does it. You have probably heard the phrase “the powerhouse of the cell”. Every time I hear that I flash back to elementary school and the entire class shouting “THE MITOCHONDRIA!”.

The mitochondria’s nickname couldn’t be any more appropriate. Housed within each of your cells, they generate the energy your body runs on by way of utilizing oxygen to convert food into fuel, or what is known as ATP.

Just like your car produces exhaust as a byproduct of the burning of gasoline, the mitochondria’s energy production system creates reactive oxygen species, better known as free radicals.

The mitochondria have a built-in protection system (antioxidant enzymes) to protect themselves from these free radical scavengers. However, 5% escape and wreak havoc on the cell, including damage to the DNA (potentially cancerous), enzymes, and cellular membrane. No bueno!

To get an idea of how these free radicals work, let’s use an analogy I actually heard last night from my friend Blue Elam. If you were to put 10 rambunctious boys into a room with 9 basketballs, what would happen?

First of all, you’d be a cruel, mean person for doing that. But the boy without a ball would steal a ball from another. And then the boy who doesn’t have a ball anymore will steal one from the next boy. And it never stops!

This is exactly what free radicals do. They steal electrons from vital areas of your cells in order to fill their outer shells. This process, called oxidative stress, has been associated with over 200 different diseases and conditions. In fact, a Pubmed search for oxidative stress displays 87374 scientific papers! In some cases, the free radicals cause the disease. In others, the disease causes the oxidative stress.

This is exactly why we have become so enamored with dietary antioxidants in the forms of expensive juices, supplements, and of course, fortification of processed foods.

As we discussed in Tuesday’s blog, dietary antioxidants, while effective, are in fact inferior to the antioxidant enzymes produced by your cells. These enzymes include superoxide dismutase, catalase, and the pound-for-pound antioxidant champ glutathione.

Glutathione is a protein consisting of three amino acids (a tripeptide). Its job is to act as a cellular security guard and protect the cell and mitochondria from free radical damage. When glutathione levels become depleted due to aging, stress, heavy metals, pollution, radiation, poor diet, and more, free radicals run wild. One consequence is the dimming of the lights in your cellular powerhouse. In other words, your energy production slows down. Is it any wonder why we have an epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome!

Glutathione works in conjunction with dietary antioxidants. It breathes new life into the water-soluble vitamin C, which then interacts with the fat-soluble vitamin E and CoQ10 (also vital for energy production), helping to keep antioxidant levels of those intact. (Perricone, 35)

If you’re taking a handful of vitamin supplements every day, you’ll be well served to boost your glutathione levels to keep them hanging around for longer.

In a nutshell, glutathione is what I call the bomb!

But don’t take my word for it.

In his book Forever Young, anti-aging expert Dr. Nicholas Perricone states,

“Elevating glutathione levels and other substances that protect against free-radical damage in the mitochondria is the cornerstone of the quest to look and feel Forever Young.”

Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock, in his book Health and Nutrition Secrets, writes,

“Several studies have shown that the lower a person’s glutathione levels are, the greater the risk of cancer. We also know that one of the early events associated with Parkinson’s disease is a fall in glutathione levels in the neurons associated with the disease.”

Check out the video below and see what happens when a man with Parkinson’s receives an injection of glutathione. The physician is Dr. David Perlmutter, the world’s leading nutritionally oriented neurologist, who as a matter of fact was slated to be my “secret guest” on a recent radio show. However, he had a conflict. I was heartbroken. Would have been so cool to interview him!

Speaking of neurology, there is a little-known connection between the health of the brain and the appearance of the skin. Dr. Perricone calls it the Brain-Skin Connection. According to embryology, during the first four months of gestation there are three distinct and separate layers of tissue from which all of our organ systems are derived. The brain and the skin come from the same layer, the ectoderm. (Perricone, 9)

So when that YouTube viewer was complementing me on my skin (mentioned in Tuesday’s blog), he or she was actually complementing the health of my brain!

My response: It’s the glutathione, baby!!!

Special shout-out to coconut oil, too! :)

The benefits of the master antioxidant are seemingly endless and go well beyond fighting free radicals.

Your liver contains the highest levels of glutathione, which is why it is known in scientific circles as your chief detoxifier, as it is a primary component in what is called Phase Two detoxification and protects you from liver damage. You can imagine it as a sticky substance catching all of the toxins floating by and carrying them out of the body through your poop.

Speaking of the liver, it is the site of thyroid hormone activation. Glutathione is a critical enzyme involved in the conversion of the inactive thyroid hormone T4 into the active T3. Increasing your levels may prove highly effective in improving thyroid function, boosting metabolism, increasing body temperature, and aiding in fat loss.

And for the active fitness enthusiasts and athletes like myself, glutathione will give you the edge you’re looking for as it reduces muscle damage, increases strength and endurance, and DEFINITELY reduces recovery time.

Recovery time is what sold me on my now favorite supplement. (It’s a glutathione booster, but the company won’t let me say the name on my website. Network marketing…). I work out HARD and I don’t get sore. If I crush my legs, I may have a bit of tightness in my hamstrings (if you watch my videos, you know how tight my hammies are!), but nowhere near the mood-dampening soreness I had prior to taking it.

I predict that intravenous glutathione as well as nutritionally oriented means of boosting its levels will be a huge advance in sports performance in the very near future.

Wow! I’m 3 pages deep and haven’t answered the most important question. How do YOU maximize your glutathione levels to reduce oxidative stress, recover quicker, reduce your toxic load, and boost immunity (will cover in an upcoming blog)?

As I mentioned earlier, manufacturers will never fortify foods with glutathione. This is because glutathione is quickly digested and rendered useless by the digestive system.

There are some forms of liquid glutathione on the market that have debatable effectiveness in boosting levels. You can try it, but you’ll probably vomit once you catch a whiff of it. It smells like one of my brother’s farts! Maybe worse. This is due to its high sulfur content. Yuck.

You can also find transdermal creams, which combine fatty acids with glutathione to facilitate absorption through the skin. Upon penetrating the deep layers of the dermis, the enzyme make its way into circulation, and eventually reports to the cells and mitochondria for duty.

Consuming foods with a high sulfur content can boost glutathione levels. These foods include eggs, garlic, onions, unpasteurized high-quality whey, and cruciferous vegetables like watercress and broccoli. The foods we discussed in Tuesday’s Top 3 Foods that Turn the Good Genes ON blog are also important due to the fact that hitting the switch on NRF2 sends the signal to your genes to produce glutathione.

Keep hitting those switches!!

Lastly, glutathione is composed of three amino acids: l-cysteine, l-glutamine, and l-glycine. Supplementation with n-actylcysteine (NAC), a derivative of l-cysteine, provides one of the building blocks for the enzyme. Several reports I have read indicate a significant boost in glutathione levels when NAC is taken in combination with alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), another potent antioxidant that deserves its own blog.

And of course, there is my favorite supplement in the world that I put my precious reputation on the line for almost a year ago. This supplement boosts glutathione levels by an average of 300%. But don’t take my word for it, read the study.

With improved exercise recovery, faster growing hair and nails, radiant skin, and improved energy, I know for a fact that my glutathione tank is topped off, protecting me from disease, toxins, and neurodegeneration.

Gotta stay tip-top if I’m gonna keep hitting those switches and changing how the world views health!

You should do the same.

Please help make this underground antioxidant go mainstream by sharing this blog with others.

See you tomorrow. It’s Friday Fun Day! I filmed an awesome workout with Kirk at Hale Holistic. And I make a BIG announcement about an upcoming video series that’s going to start a movement!

Next Monday, we’ll chat about how low glutathione levels contribute to autoimmunity.

And of course, tune in to UW Radio TONIGHT with bone health expert Dr. John Neustadt. I promise he’ll show up!!

How do I get all of this stuff done?!

It’s the glutathione, baby! :)



Posted by in wellness

Top 3 Foods that Turn the Good Genes ON!

by Sean Croxton

NOTE: If you haven’t read yesterday’s blog, this one won’t make much sense to you. Check it out HERE!

“Finding substances that can turn ON the highly protective transcription factor NRF2 holds the key to preventing a host of diseases.”

A few months ago, I stood in an aisle at Borders and stumbled across that line in the book Forever Young by Dr. Nicholas Perricone.

After reading it, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I took out my iPhone and started taking pictures of the passage and texted them to my friends and critics. I posted the quote to Facebook. I thought:

“FINALLY, somebody gets it!”

I had just spent the previous months taking a bit of a beating for my Protandim endorsement. However, regardless of the hate mail and “unsubscribes” from my YouTube channel and email list, I knew I was helping people.

I also learned a lesson I would never forget, that it’s better to educate your people on how something works BEFORE selling it to them. On top of that, I may want to NOT follow a series of anti-genetic modification videos with a bunch of hype over a supplement that alters gene expression. Kinda easy to confuse the two.


Being the Just Eat Real Food guy, the endorsement of a supplement appears antithetical to the overall message of sticking to Nature, no matter how natural the product may be. We should be able to get everything we need from food, right?

Absolutely. But to hit the switch and turn ON your disease-protective NRF2 transcription factor (as this supplement is scientifically-proven again and again to do), you’re going to have to consume a very specific set of foods on a regular basis.

The Big 3 NRF2 switch-flippers we will be exploring today are teas, cinnamon, and turmeric. You can probably find all three in your kitchen cabinet. Personally, I’m not a tea guy. But cinnamon and turmeric never go missing from my ever-growing spice collection.

Here’s why YOU should add them to your diet.

Teas (black, green, & white)
It is no secret that teas provide anticancer and antioxidant benefits. Much of tea’s health-promoting value can be attributed to the polyphenol EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate).

EGCG inhibits the activation of the disease- and age-accelerating transcription factor NF-kB, thus putting the brakes on the production of inflammatory cytokines (bad guys).

When NFkB is left ON, it turns OFF the cell’s ability to self-destruct when it encounters an error, such as DNA damage. Our bodies are always making cancerous cells, even right now as you read this. Programmed cell death, otherwise known as apoptosis, allows our cells to recognize cancer-causing errors and literally self-destruct instead of replicating. This, of course, is a vital function for cancer prevention.

You want to keep your apoptosis turned ON!

While shutting down NFkB, EGCG turns ON protective NRF2, which sends a message to our genes to upregulate the production of over a dozen anti-inflammatory proteins as well as antioxidant enzymes that fight free radical damage on a scale head and shoulders above direct dietary antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E.

If you have ORAC tunnel vision, that last sentence may have bothered you a bit. This is where the disconnect occurs and the knee-jerk squabbling begins. No, I’m not saying that antioxidants from food are not beneficial. Not even!

Dr. Perricone brilliantly summarizes the difference between indirect antioxidant enzymes and direct dietary antioxidants by stating the following:

“When this natural cell-protective mechanism (the activation of NRF2) is achieved with phytonutrients, the response is far superior to the protective action of antioxidants alone, because such antioxidants as vitamin C and CoQ10 are consumed when neutralizing free radicals.”

What the doc is saying is that dietary antioxidants are great, but they neutralize disease-promoting free radicals at a rate of one-to-one. One antioxidant molecule kills one free radical. And then it’s done. The problem lies in the fact that cells produce on average about 300 sextillion free radicals every day. That’s the number 3 with 23 zeros behind it!

You’d have to eat 375 oranges a day to neutralize that many free radicals!

By activating NRF2 via phytonutrients and Michael acceptor pharmacophores (MAPs) like EGCG, the genes are instructed to produce antioxidant enzymes that can destroy free radicals at a rate of up to one million per second! And they are not used up. They keep fighting the good fight by protecting your cells and extinguishing inflammation.

One of these antioxidant enzymes is glutathione, the chief cellular antioxidant and protector. You can’t eat glutathione. Stomach acid will kill it in a hurry. Instead, you have to coax your cells and genes to produce more of it via foods you consume and the way they influence your gene expression. That is the essence of nutrigenomics.

We’ll discuss glutathione in detail tomorrow.

Nothing beats a little apple pie with cinnamon. Yum!

You may think that this tasty dish will send your blood sugar through the roof. However, studies show that just a dash of cinnamon will keep blood sugar levels stable by way of improving insulin sensitivity.

And it doesn’t stop there. Cinnamon reduces fever similar to aspirin or Tylenol, without the negative side effects. (Perricone, 40). It is also antimicrobial, fights infections, and supports the immune system.

It’s awesome! Why aren’t you using more of it?

The key flavor compound in cinnamon is cinnamic aldehyde, which is also classified as a MAP.

You know what that means!

As we discussed in yesterday’s Hittin’ Switches blog, MAPs trick NRF2 into action by producing minimal amounts of oxidative stress. Sensing danger, NRF2 sends the message for the genes to turn ON the antioxidant/anti-inflammatory hoses to put the free radical fire out.

Now you have an excuse to make cinnamon rolls on an 80/20 Day!

Gluten-free, of course. :)

Turmeric (curcumin)
This blog is getting LONG! My bad.

According to Dr. Perricone, “the single most promising food-derived compound to combat cancer, based on the current body of scientific evidence, is the curcuminoids found in turmeric.”

The curcuminoids are what give turmeric its yellow pigment. Their anti-cancer properties come from their mild oxidizing effect and activation of NRF2. They also turn OFF the aforementioned NF-kB.

Turmeric is very common in Indian cuisine, which is why curry is typically yellow. If you’ve ever wondered why Indian people age so well with such beautiful skin, it’s the curcuminoids. The deactivation of NF-kB and AP-1 (mentioned yesterday) keeps wrinkles from being born in the deep layers of the skin. Furthermore, the activation of NRF2 gives the skin a radiant appearance with decreased poor size, and reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. (Perricone, 44)

Probably why I’ve never had more guys ask me what I’ve been doing with my skin since I’ve been on this supplement! One YouTube commenter asked me recently if I had Botox done. Ha!

I like to sometimes sprinkle turmeric on my eggs and always use it when cooking chicken. Tastes so good!


Darn! I’m running out of time. Blogging hours are from 1-3pm. Gotta stick to my schedule. I intended to discuss cocoa, but you guys know the deal already. It activates the good guys and turns OFF the bad guys. Be sure to consume the 70% – 85% cocoa. Go with the non-Dutch kind since Dutching reduces the amount of flavonols in cocoa. (Perricone, 59) If you’d like me to blog about cocoa, leave a comment below. I’ll see what I can do.

NRF2 Insurance
I’m not looking to turn this blog into a sales pitch. All I’ll say is that most people take a multivitamin as a form of nutrient insurance; just to be sure they get most of what they need.

This supplement is my NRF2-activation insurance. Consisting of turmeric, ashwaganda, green tea extract, bacopa, and milk thistle, it is scientifically proven by 15 peer-reviewed studies (look em up on Pubmed) to hit the switch on NRF2 and upregulate the production of disease-fighting enzymes. We’ll discuss glutathione, likely the most important enzyme, tomorrow!

I’m out! Keep hittin’ switches!