How Do You Make Glutathione Peroxidase?
Glutathione peroxidase is a group of enzymes which protects us from oxidative damage. There are 8 forms of the enzyme, the most common being Glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx1).
One of the main functions of GPx is the reduction of lipid hydroperoxides to alcohols and also to reduce hydrogen peroxide to water. The reaction for the reduction of Hydrogen Peroxide is
2GSH + H2O2 → GS–SG + 2H2O
The GPx is not used up in the reaction, but is required in a multi-step reaction for the glutathione to convert the hydrogen peroxide into water.
For your body to make GPx is dependant on a couple of factors. First is the availability of the trace mineral selenium, which is critical to it’s function. People can often be deficient in selenium which would reduce their ability to product GPx.
Secondly the production of glutathione peroxidase is influenced by the transcription factor Nrf2 (Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2). This transcription factor regulates the production of many cellular protective enzymes and proteins. Your body has a feedback mechanisim where oxidative stress and toxins such as heavy metals active the pathway creating more of these protective enzymes as needed.
Over the past decade science has discovered a number of compounds in plants which safely activate the Nrf2 pathway which gives us higher levels of the protective enzymes and is believed to be one the main factors for diet high in the foods which contain these compounds to reduce the incidence of cancer and other diseases. Two of the compounds which are at the top of the scientific research into inducing Nrf2 are sulforaphane, which is in cruciferous vegetables and highest in broccoli sprouts, and curcumin which is the yellow pigment in tumeric.
Glutathione peroxidase also contains the amino acid cysteine. The action of GPx requires glutathione, which also is dependant on the availability of cysteine. This particular amino acid is not found in high levels in normal diet so it is another limiting factor in the action of GPx.
To recap the 3 main factors in high levels of glutathione peroxidase is
1) Availability of cysteine
2) Availability of selenium
3) Activation of the Nrf2 pathway.
So the question remains how to best achieve these three points? The reason I discovered this is when doing some research on a supplement I take called Cellgevity which contains the most advanced form of cysteine delivery available. As I research the other ingredients in it, which includes the most bioavailable form of selenium, which is selenomethionine, and many of the plant extract which have been shown in the published scientific research to be the most potent activators of Nrf2 I started to understand the genius of the formulation. I covered GPx enough here to go and check out the page on Cellgevity and the cystine compound, RiboCeine, > here <