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Environmental Exposure and Detoxification - RBC Glutathione

Doctors DataSKU: A2827

Glutathione (GSH) is the most abundant and important intracellular antioxidant. GSH in erythrocytes is an indicator of intracellular GSH status, the overall health of cells and of the ability to endure toxic challenges. Low levels of GSH have been reported in cardiovascular disease, cancer, AIDS, autism, alcoholism, and debilitating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. It has also been...

Full Description

This test is useful for

  • Oxidative Stress
  • AIDS
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • General Health and Longevity
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Retention of Toxic Elements/Chemicals

Find out more

Environmental Exposure and Detoxification

Environmental chemical exposure has never been more pervasive with thousands of chemicals in use around the world. Many chemicals are integrated into our food supply, the air we breathe and the water we drink. Every day, we ingest small amounts of many chemicals and our bodies cannot metabolize and clear all of them. Chemicals not metabolized are stored in the fat cells throughout our bodies, where they continue to accumulate. As these chemicals build up they alter our metabolism, cause enzyme dysfunction and nutritional deficiencies, create hormonal imbalances, damage brain chemistry and can cause cancer. Because the chemicals accumulate in different parts of the body—at different rates and in different combinations—there are many different chronic illnesses that can result.

Doctor's Data offers a spectrum of tests designed to evaluate the exposure to environmental toxins, and assess the body's capacity for endogenous detoxification. Especially important for the latter category is the Plasma Methylation Profile.

Detailed Information

Glutathione (GSH) is a tripeptide (λ-glutamyl-cysteinylglycine) synthesized in most cells. The level of GSH in erythrocytes is a sensitive indicator of intracellular GSH status, the overall health of cells and of the ability to endure toxic challenges. GSH is the most abundant non-protein thiol in mammalian cells. It is involved in many biological processes including detoxification of xenobiotics, removal of oxygen-reactive species, regulation of the redox state of cells and the oxidative state of important protein sulfhydryl groups, and regulation of immune function. GSH levels are thousands of times higher in cells than in plasma. Plasma GSH represents primarily that synthesized and exported from the liver. Reduced GSH (rGSH) is the active form of the tripeptide and the ratio of rGSH: oxidized GSH (GSSH) is normally about 9:1. Once a blood sample is obtained, erythrocyte rGSH is very susceptible to oxidation and the rGSH:GSSH ratio drops rapidly. Specimen handling to prevent the ex vivo oxidation of rGSH is impractical, and direct measurement of rGSH in vivo is not feasible outside of a research setting. However, research clearly indicates that undesirable ratios of rGSH:GSSH are equally associated with abnormally low levels of total cellular GSH. Therefore, it is clinically meaningful to assess the level of total erythrocyte GSH as an indicator of GSH status and metabolism. Low levels of GSH have been reported in cardiovascular disease, cancer, AIDS, autism, alcoholism and debilitating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzhiemer's and Parkinson's. It has also been associated with chronic retention of potential toxic elements such as mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, manganese and iron, as well as chemicals and some drugs. Intracellular GSH biosynthesis and intracellular levels can be upregulated as a protective mechanism. Some factors that result in increased biosynthesis and "high normal" erythrocyte GSH levels include, but are not limited to, moderate alcohol consumption, smoking, regular physical exercise and acute exposure to toxic metals. Under such conditions it is essential to provide the body with the key nutrients involved in GSH synthesis in order to sustain functionally appropriate levels of GSH. Magnesium and potassium are required for both energy-dependent enzymatic steps in GSH synthesis, and cysteine is the rate limiting amino acid. Nutritional products that have been documented to increase erythrocyte GSH/GSH biosynthesis include high-quality whey protein preparations, α-lipoic acid, curcumin, oral liposomal GSH, nebulized GSH, and to a lesser extent, N-acetyl-L-cysteine. Assessing and supporting appropriately high levels of erythrocyte GSH is important for protecting cells and promoting overall health and longevity, and contributes significantly to safe and effective metal detoxification.

Usage Directions

Before You Start:

Please read all of the directions, and familiarize yourself with the collection procedures.

The test requires no special diet or fasting prior to collection. Please refrain from taking non-essential medications, and dietary supplements that contain glutathione for 72 hours prior to the specimen collection, unless otherwise instructed by your physician. Never discontinue prescription medications without first consulting your physician.

Specimen must be received within three days of collection.

More Instructions:

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