Savers are familiar with the importance of antioxidants to protect against bone loss, and today we’re going to look at this topic in greater depth.
You’ll learn about the Master Antioxidant, glutathione, that was scientifically proven to increase density. Plus you'll also discover three seldom-mentioned but easy ways to increase your glutathione levels.
But first, let’s start by looking at the science behind why you need antioxidants in the first place. It begins with the process of oxidation…
What Is Oxidation?
Oxygen is a paradoxical molecule. On the one hand, life depends on it; on the other hand, it can be highly toxic and even deadly. For example, some anaerobic bacteria die on contact with oxygen, and in the 1940s, many premature babies placed in high-oxygen incubators lost their sight.
Yet without oxygen, many life forms from plants to humans would perish.
From a chemical standpoint, any substance that gains an electron (or electrons) is called an oxidant or pro-oxidant. A reductant is a substance that loses or donates an electron (or electrons) – antioxidants are reductants. Oxidation is the process by which substances lose electrons, and reduction is the process of gaining electrons.
Radicals Are Always “Free”
Oxidation occurs when a reductant donates its electrons and, as a result of this process, another substance becomes reduced. This type of reaction is called a redox reaction, and when the exchange of electrons involves oxygen, “pro-oxidants” result.
Many people are familiar with the term “free radical,” also known as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), typically used to describe pro-oxidants. A radical is any substance with an unpaired electron in the nuclear shell of an atom, so by definition it’s free.
The oxygen molecule itself is actually a radical, with 2 unpaired electrons on two different pathways around the nucleus. However, it is not considered reactive (as most radicals are) due to a phenomenon known as “spin restriction.” This simply means that the atom will not accept or donate an electron unless the direction of the electrons’ spin is rearranged.
There are many types of radicals, and normally they cause cellular damage by interacting with other molecules and, when donating or taking an electron, cause chemical changes known collectively as oxidative damage.
What Antioxidants Do
There are also many types of antioxidants, all of which work together in a complex biological system involving enzymes and nutrients. Their primary purpose is to donate an electron so as to change the chemical substances produced by oxidation. And antioxidants do not become reduced by donating an electron; their molecular construction allows them to donate without becoming reactive themselves.
Simply put, antioxidants change the chemical formula of a substance, rendering it harmless.
With regard to your bone health, antioxidants prevent the weakening of bone due to oxidative damage.
Where Do Antioxidants Come From?
It’s generally accepted that many antioxidants come from food. This is true directly and indirectly. I’ll explain.
From a direct standpoint, some foods contain significant amounts of antioxidants – specifically, plant foods like blueberries, cherries, and green beans. The food you eat affects your antioxidant levels in an indirect way as well, and here’s how.
Your body actually manufactures some antioxidants, including glutathione, the Master Antioxidant, so called because of the incredible number of biological processes it’s involved in, and because it is the only antioxidant that resides within cells.
The key to understanding the role of diet in glutathione production lies in its composition: glutathione is a tripeptide composed of three amino acids: L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid, and glycine. We get these amino acids from the foods we eat, and Savers are surely already be familiar with one: whey protein.
Whey Protein Increases Glutathione Levels
Whey protein contains glutamine, which helps your body produce glutathione. In fact, eating glutamine-rich foods is essential for getting this glutathione precursor where it needs to go to build the Master Antioxidant.
So having a whey protein shake in the morning is a great way to start your day by ingesting a bone-healthy, antioxidant-promoting protein when your body is most efficient at synthesizing it.
Now let’s take a close look at three specific nutrients – two of which are Foundation Supplements in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program – that are also vital for glutathione production.
3 Nutrients You Need For Glutathione Production
Glutathione is a powerful weapon against osteoporosis. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation revealed some amazing connections between the Master Antioxidant, glutathione, and bone density.
The study investigated the effect of glutathione on mice that were estrogen-deficient. Results showed that glutathione increased bone density in the mice despite the estrogen lack. In addition, this same study revealed a link between low levels of glutathione and low bone density.1
The good news is, these nutrients are found in many of the Program’s Foundation Foods. Savers know that these are foods that contain high levels of bone-healthy nutrients necessary to increase bone density.
As you’ll see in today’s post, many of them are also a rich source of the three nutrients needed to produce glutathione.
This yellow-orange plant chemical is converted into Vitamin A or retinol in the body. Beta-carotene is involved in vision, reproduction, and cellular communication.
Beta-carotene also promotes good immune function and plays an important role in the proper functioning of the lungs, heart, and kidneys. Plus it is necessary for the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen in the blood.
Foundation Foods That Contain Beta-Carotene:
- Sweet potatoes*
- Butternut squash
2. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – Foundation Supplement
Part of the B-complex vitamins, riboflavin is crucial for the regeneration of glutathione. Interestingly, riboflavin deficiency is associated with increased oxidative stress, underscoring the importance of this vitamin in antioxidant production.
In fact, riboflavin is so closely linked with glutathione that blood tests to determine riboflavin levels actually begin by testing the levels of glutathione reductase, a coenzyme involved in the glutathione redox cycle.
Riboflavin is essential for overall health as well. It’s been shown to prevent migraines, and is even prescribed for that purpose. It also promotes proper functioning of the nervous system and thyroid, and it produces energy as it helps break down fats, proteins, and carbs.
Foundation Foods That Contain Riboflavin:
- Plain yogurt*
- Brussels Sprouts*
- Brewer’s yeast
- Wheat germ
3. Magnesium – Foundation Supplement
Savers will recognize this mineral. It works together with calcium and is essential for building bone, but it’s often overlooked. In fact, about 60% of the body’s magnesium is found within the bone matrix.
It’s even more often ignored with regard to antioxidant action in the body.
Magnesium deficiency results in a proliferation of radicals and a decrease in glutathione. Glutathione synthesase, an enzyme necessary for the production of glutathione, requires magnesium ions to produce the Master Antioxidant.
Magnesium’s benefits are legion. More than 325 enzymatic reactions depend on it, as well as cellular energy production (magnesium is crucial for the metabolism of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, which is the main source of energy for the body’s cells).
Magnesium is required for proper cardiovascular function and the proper metabolism of carbohydrates. Deficiency can result in heart problems, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and even migraines.
Interestingly enough, a 3-month study on a group of women showed that magnesium deficiency negatively affects metabolic efficiency, thereby impairing your function while exercising.2
Foundation Foods That Contain Magnesium:
- Brown rice
- Pumpkin seeds*
- Sesame seeds*
- Lima beans*
An Integrative Approach To Your Health Is The Best Way To Build Your Bones!
To sum it all up, beta-carotene, riboflavin and magnesium are important bone health supplements you should be taking every day. No less important is that Foundation Foods rich in these nutrients, help your bones in more than just one way, beyond just boosting glutathione production. They also contain vitamins and minerals your bones desperately need.
That's why I created the…
Foundation Foods Checklist
It's included with every Osteoporosis Reversal Program – you'll find it towards the back of the manual. Simply cut it out along the dotted lines and take this great tool with you to the grocery store or place it on your fridge as a reminder to take advantage of nature’s bone building bounty. It’s like having a bone health shopping list – and I promise you that the Foundation Foods are not expensive or hard to find, and you may already have many of them in your kitchen.
Tools like the Foundation Foods Checklist are what make the Program so effective. Because all your body systems work synergistically, the Osteoporosis Reversal Program‘s approach to bone health incorporates the entire body.
Save Our Bones V.S. Mainstream Medicine
So rather than taking a reductionist approach (as the Medical Establishment does, prescribing drugs that target just one biological process), the Osteoporosis Reversal Program looks at how your body functions as a whole and considers that healthy, strong and resilient bones can be most easily attained in a healthy body.
The Program is so effective precisely because it attacks osteoporosis from all angles, leaving no stone unturned.
If you haven't yet, click here to get your Program.
Remember, a healthy you makes for healthy bones, and vice versa!
Till next time,
1 Lean, JM et al. “A crucial role for thiol antioxidants in estrogen-deficiency bone loss.” J. Clin. Invest. 112:915-923. 2003
2 Lukaski H et al. Dietary Magnesium Depletion Affects Metabolic Responses during Submaximal Exercise in Postmenopausal Women.” J Nutr. 132:930-935. 2002.
Comments on this article are closed.
Good morning Vivian,
I’m very thankful that I found your website and able to
purchased and received on April 8,2014 your New
Expanded Edition of your book SAVEOURBONES
PROGRAM. Your emails on different topics are excellent,
and valuable as well as a very good reminder to all of
us. Thank you very much for sharing this important topic
Have a wonderful day and take care always. Marlene
Could the program be put on a dvd instead of email?
Please comment on Vitamin K2.
Maybe you have already, and I missed it–but I’ve been reading a lot about how important it is to bone and heart health.
Hi, Mar Sue. Using the website’s search feature at the top of this page, I found Vivian’s article on Vitamin K2 here:
Hope that helps.
I have a diary allergy what can I use instead of Whey? I do not break down the protein I have tried Goat I do a little better not much. I have also tried rice but I do not think I am getting enough Protein..
Good Morning Deliana And Vivian,
I’m A Label Checker Myself. I Have So Many Things I’m Allergic To; That If I Didn’t Read Labels, I Could Literally Die!
So I Thank Both Vivian And You For Your Inputs. They Were Very Helpful, And Interesting!
Take Good Care Of Yourselves, And Stay Well.
LOVE, LESLIE (MS. L. CARMEL)
V: I want to thank you for all that your doing. Your finest reward is that fact that your helping people get back their health. I do not expect to hear from you as I know that your blasted with messages…. However, I haver hyperparathyroidism and hypothyrodism… The issue…. the more calcium I injest the more that goes into my blood stream and urine… ie … this per the doctors. Therefore, it is confusing to say the least. If you know anything about the hyperparathyroidism and its negative affects on the body please send me a note… I have both osteopina and osteoprorisis . Thank you and I do not expect that you have time to answer these medical questions… But maybe just point me to a book or medical article that would address the issue. Thank you … and most of all think you for all that you do so unselfishly for other people.. D
Go to http://www.parathyroid.com for much good information on the parathyroid gland from the Norman Parathyroid Center in Tampa, FL.
A word of caution on the whey protein powders: Most of them have artificial sweeteners/flavors! There are a few that are pure whey. BE A LABEL READER!
Thank you, Vivian, for this very informative article on enhancing our glutathione levels.
I have a question. For years now I have become intolerant to ALL forms of cow’s milk proteins, including whey and casein. Consequently, I don’t eat any form of dairy, and I feel great because of it. For yogurt, I eat a coconut-based product and it’s very good. For beverage, I drink almond “milk” exclusively.
Could you recommend another source of protein that is just as beneficial as whey? Surely there are others, NOT dairy-based?
Thanks again for all your wonderful resources. I still love my Save Our Bones program!
I still have digestive problems even after taking probiotics for many years, a bile taste now & then? how to measure how much probiotics we need?
I am trying out at the recommendation of a friend, Protandim? what do you think of it?
I have OA, getting painful nodes, the one’s at the top part of your fingers, l keep reading No Animal foods? how can l do that, l am allergic to all beans. I eat so little already, salmon once or twice a week, eggs daily, l love eggs w/greens. Organic sliced chicken on optimal bread, Julian Carb Net Zero, no flour, its really a Psyillium husk bread, 14 gms of fiber in two slices.
Lynette Mayo, Hi!
I’d like to share a video of Jimmy Baily who says he had a reversal and recovery of osteo-arthritis using nutritional supplements by 90ForLife. It’s amazing. Watch his story on this 3 minute YouTube video here:
I also am using 90ForLife supplements.
I am Just 71 and have badly fractured my wrist. Can I do more to improve my bones? I already have what I would consider a good diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Hi my question is that if in the 3 lists there are some aliments that I cannot eat but only some say in one list only 2. Will I still get for example the magnesium I need if I only eat 2 of the ones in the list. Meaning I don’t have to eat all the ones listed bye