Prostate cancer is a commonly found form of cancer in men after skin cancer. It’s estimated that one in nine men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime. While many cases are slow-growing and may never cause problems, some can be aggressive and spread rapidly.
There is no proven way to prevent prostate cancer, but some strategies may help reduce your risk—a critical factor in maintaining a healthy glutathione level in the body.
What Is Glutathione?
According to the American Cancer Society, around 248,530 new cases of prostate cancer were registered in the United States in 2021.
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. It’s essential for protecting the prostate gland, which is surrounded by many sensitive nerve endings.
Studies have shown that men with high glutathione levels are less likely to develop prostate cancer.
How Does It Affect Free Radicals?
Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that damage cells and cause disease. They’re formed due to environmental toxins, smoking, obesity, alcohol use, and exposure to the sun.
They can also be caused by internal factors such as inflammation, lack of sleep, and poor diet.
A build-up of free radicals is called oxidative stress. Sometimes that stress is not severe enough to cause any noticeable damage, but it can still weaken the body somewhat and make it more susceptible to disease. The antioxidant properties of glutathione help counteract the harmful effects of free radicals.
The human body makes glutathione from three amino acids: glycine, glutamate, and cysteine. When combined with other antioxidants in the body, it protects the cells in many ways. It disarms free radicals to prevent them from causing damage and helps repair or remove cells that have already been damaged.
How Does Glutathione Help Prevent Prostate Cancer?
The prostate gland is particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of free radicals. However, studies have shown that men with high glutathione levels are less likely to develop prostate cancer.
It may be due to the antioxidant properties of glutathione, which help inhibit the process of cell mutation, one of the factors that can lead to cancer. Glutathione also helps regulate DNA synthesis and repair, vital for preventing damaged cells from dividing uncontrollably into tumors.
Glutathione can reduce inflammation in prostate tissue. The effect can be due to its antioxidant properties or its ability to block the production of inflammatory molecules. Chronic inflammation is a known risk factor for prostate cancer.
While there’s no guarantee that maintaining a high level of glutathione will prevent prostate cancer from developing, it’s one crucial strategy you can use to lower your risk.
Eating a healthy diet, doing regular exercise, and avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive alcohol use are all important, too.
How Do You Get Glutathione to Fight Cancer?
Glutathione can protect cells by binding to heavy metals, such as cadmium and arsenic, linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
It may also help prevent damage from free radicals, which can contribute to cell damage and the growth of tumors.
You manufacture your glutathione inside each of your cells. It’s a delicate molecule that easily comes apart in the presence of toxins or free radicals, so it depends on a steady supply of sulfur-containing amino acids to stay intact.
Hence, maintaining a healthy body weight and eating a diet rich in plant foods that contain phytochemicals is essential.
Some of the best glutathione-boosting sulfur-containing amino acids sources are eggs, fish, poultry, garlic, onions, cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage), beans, and legumes.
Easy Ways to Boost Your Glutathione Levels
You can do a few things if you want to increase your glutathione levels. Exercise regularly because physical activity helps increase the body’s antioxidant production.
Get plenty of sleep because lack of rest can reduce glutathione levels. Avoid exposure to pollutants and heavy metals, which can deplete your glutathione stores.
The most effective way to increase your body’s production of antioxidants is by taking a supplement that provides the three amino acids found in high concentrations in fresh, raw red meats: glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid.
These compounds work together to protect prostate cells from free radical damage and help maintain a healthy antioxidant level.
So, if you are looking at ways to reduce your risk for prostate cancer, make sure you are getting enough glutathione in your diet.
You can do this by eating plenty of plant-based foods high in sulfur-containing amino acids and by taking a supplement that provides the three essential glutathione-boosting amino acids.
Exercising regularly and getting good sleep is also crucial for maintaining a healthy level of this antioxidant in the body.