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The term “preventative” refers to the art of stopping something from happening; in the case of preventative medicine, it’s all about preventing situations and conditions that can harm your health and wellbeing—this is precisely the purpose behind the Functional Medicine approach, which focuses on the underlying causes of disease by engaging the patient early on, rather than focusing on treating a disease when it’s already full-blown.

Almost everyone has heard that one way you can prevent disease is to include antioxidants in your diet but few people understand why. Antioxidants are critical in preventing cell damage as they help detoxify the body and combat tissue damage caused by free radicals. As cells continue to experience damage throughout the years, due to oxidation, or exposure to toxins, they eventually die. So, think of cell damage and toxins as the underlying cause of aging. In fact, scientists believe the decline of these detoxification pathways is incidentally linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, which are some of three primary causes of human mortality.

Recent research from a team at Oregon State University has found one antioxidant with antidotal properties, glutathione, to be particularly helpful for detoxification. The study found cells in younger animals could maintain higher levels of glutathione and were more resistant to toxins than cells of older animals. What’s interesting is that cells in older animals were quickly depleted of glutathione and died twice as fast when exposed to a toxic compound, which proves that as we age, the body slows down production of glutathione, opening the door for a wide range of age-related health issues.

But what’s important about this study is that scientists were able to boost levels of glutathione and offset cell damage of older cells when they incorporated NAC, a compound that is currently used to treat medical emergencies involving patients with poisonous levels of heavy metals or Tylenol overdose. Study authors concluded the combination of oral NAC and intravenous glutathione has great potential for reducing toxicity in the body.

Preventing disease and obtaining optimum health by replacing key nutrients, vitamins, and hormones is an important component of what we do at a Functional Medicine practice.

Now that you understand maintaining adequate levels of glutathione can help slow down the aging process and prevent disease, you probably want to know where you stand. Taking over-the-counter supplements without professional advice is not always the best option, but at Bellissimo, we can help. We offer specialized testing to show which antioxidants and vitamins you might be lacking—glutathione included— and exactly how much of each your body needs to absorb in order to reach ideal levels.

Call us today and schedule your free consultation at 954.384.8989.   Dr. Jean-Claude Nerette practices Functional Medicine and is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine and Stephanie Muniz Nerette is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner and a Diplomate to the Board of Anti-Aging Medicine.

Bellissimo Medical is located at 2665 Executive Park Drive, Suite #3, in Weston.

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