One of the many benefits of raw milk may be its ability to promote the production of a wonderful little compound called “glutathione” — this tiny compound consists of just three amino acids, but it is the master antioxidant and detoxifier of the cell.
Looking at this little molecule for a few moments may be reductionist, but understanding how a food provides its benefits not only helps us better understand how to produce, prepare, and use that food, but also helps us identify other foods that may offer similar benefits. As I will describe below, for example, large amounts of raw fruits and vegetables may provide some glutathione-boosting power for people who cannot tolerate smaller amounts of raw milk. Heck, even — shudder — raw egg whites may give a glutathione boost in some people comparable to that given by raw milk!
Glutathione maintains vitamins C and E in their reduced, active forms. It tightly regulates the production of hydrogen peroxide, which is a valuable signaling compound in small amounts but which promotes oxidative destruction of the cellular machinery in larger amounts. It quickly neutralizes lipid peroxides — nasty, dangerous breakdown products of the delicate and precious polyunsaturated fatty acids found in our cell membranes. On top of all these antioxidant functions, our cells use glutathione to make drugs and toxic chemicals more water-soluble so they can be excreted. Without glutathione, the antioxidant system breaks down, and toxic chemicals hang around to wreak havoc in our cells and tissues….Read the rest of this article and commentary on Chris’s blog for the Weston A. Price Foundation!
This article appeared in the Winter 2010 edition of Wise Traditions, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation.