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Glutathione - The "Master Antioxidant"?

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant found in both plants and animals. Glutathione, also known as the "Master Antioxidant," boosts (recycles) other antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, as well as alpha-lipoic acid and CoQ10.

Glutathione is a tripeptide, which is a very small protein made up of three amino acids:



-Glutamic acid (or glutamate)

Glutathione exists in two forms:

Reduced glutathione (GSH, or L-glutathione), which is active, and oxidised glutathione (GSSG), which is inactive. As GSH patrols the cellular environment and extinguishes oxidative "free radical" fires, it becomes oxidised and inactive, transforming into GSSG.


1. Helps to reduce oxidative stress

When the body's ability to resist free radicals and its ability to produce them is out of balance, oxidative stress ensues. Excessive oxidative stress may be a precursor to a variety of illnesses. Diabetes, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis are among them. Glutathione protects against the effects of oxidative stress, which may lead to a reduction in disease.

According to a study published in the Journal of Cancer Science and Therapy, glutathione depletion causes increased oxidative stress, which can lead to cancer. In cancer cells, increased glutathione levels increased antioxidant levels and resilience to oxidative stress, according to the study.

Bayani U, et al. (2009). Oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases: A review of upstream and downstream antioxidant therapeutic options. DOI:


2. It may aid in the fight against autoimmune illness

Autoimmune illnesses generate persistent inflammation, which can lead to an increase in oxidative stress. Rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and lupus are among these disorders. According to one study trusted Source, glutathione aids in the reduction of oxidative stress by either boosting or inhibiting the immune system. Autoimmune disorders damage certain cells' mitochondria. Glutathione protects mitochondrial cells by scavenging free radicals.

Perricone C, et al. (2009). Glutathione: A key player in autoimmunity. DOI:


3. Glutathione for Skin

Many people want flawless, youthful skin, whether they have acne, wrinkles, dryness, eczema, or puffy eyes. According to scientific evidence, glutathione is an effective treatment.

Fortunately, you don't have to empty your bank account to restore your skin's youth and health. You can solve the problem from within. Glutathione allows cells to heal and regenerate themselves.

Glutathione has been shown to not only reduce melanin (pigmentation) in the skin but also to reduce wrinkles and increase skin elasticity.

Glutathione affects skin pigment production by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in the production of melanin.

GSH and GSSG both achieved skin-lightening effects in one study, though it takes a few weeks to develop. Because the effect on pigmentation is transient, you'd have to keep using glutathione to keep the skin whitening effect going.

A meta-analysis of multiple studies confirmed that using glutathione results in skin lightening.

Glutathione has also been linked to a reduction in psoriasis. Consumption of whey protein, which contains glutamylcysteine, a precursor to GSH, increased glutathione levels in this clinical trial. The same studies show that glutathione not only lightens the skin but also improves skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles.

4. Glutathione and Cardiovascular Health

The most common cause of death in the United States is still a heart attack. A lesser-known fact is that glutathione may help prevent heart attacks and other forms of heart disease by neutralising the "lipid oxidation" (fat oxidation) process.

Almost all heart disease begins with the buildup of arterial plaque within the artery walls. Bad cholesterol (LDL) is a lipid that oxidises and damages the lining of the blood vessels, resulting in the formation of plaque (atherosclerosis).

When these plaques rupture and break off, they can clog your blood vessels and block blood flow, resulting in heart attacks or strokes.

Glutathione, with the help of an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase, inhibits the superoxides, free radicals, hydrogen peroxides, lipid peroxides, and peroxynitrites that cause lipid oxidation and harm your health.

Glutathione, in this way, helps to prevent damage and lowers the risk of heart attacks.

In a study of 643 cardiac patients who had coronary angiography in Germany, those who died of heart attacks had significantly lower levels of glutathione peroxidase than those who survived.

We are at a higher risk of heart disease and cardiovascular events if we do not have enough glutathione to neutralise artery damage.

5. Glutathione works to reduce inflammation

Does taking glutathione supplements help with inflammation? Glutathione is extremely effective at combating chronic inflammation!

For the past decade, inflammation has been a hot topic in the natural health world; however, many people still don't fully understand why inflammation is at the root of most of the health concerns plaguing Americans today.

Inflammation is present in almost every chronic illness, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Inflammation, on the other hand, is both healthy and necessary (in short bursts) in the fight against infectious invaders.

Inflammation can also be triggered by injury. Your immune system responds the same way whether you're talking about trauma, infection, toxins, or allergies.

First, the blood vessels in the injured area expand and widen to allow your body's natural healing compounds to reach the injured site as soon as possible. Fluid and immune cells frequently flood the area as a result of increased blood flow.

The physical manifestations of acute inflammation, such as redness, pain, stiffness, and swelling, are caused by an increase in the permeability of the blood and lymph vessels. The acute inflammatory response usually subsides and disappears after the infection or injury has been repaired.

When you need it, the inflammatory response comes to your aid, and it cools down once the healing is complete. However, we do not live in an ideal world.

In the real world, environmental toxins, your diet, stress, and other lifestyle issues have disabled the system's checks and balances, and inflammation does not subside and disappear as it should. As a result, many people are afflicted with chronic, systemic inflammation.

You're in big trouble if this happens. You're going to need a lot of extra protection. That's where glutathione comes in.

By instructing and influencing our immune white cells, glutathione (GSH) regulates when inflammation increases or decreases as needed. This is a distinct mechanism from its antioxidant properties.

Restoring glutathione balance reduces chronic inflammation and improves immune function.

6. The Immune System and Glutathione

Glutathione maintains your immune system's strength and readiness to fight infections. While vitamin C seems to get all of the attention when it comes to immunity, glutathione is the underappreciated supporting actor who deserves to be the star.

According to research, active glutathione (GSH) primes white cells like a natural killer (NK) and T cells, which are your body's front-line infection fighters. GSH-enhanced T cells can produce more infection-fighting substances, allowing them to control both bacterial and viral infections.

After only six months of use, one clinical trial discovered that GSH doubled NK cells' ability to be cytotoxic (kill invaders). Glutathione has a strong antibacterial effect because it aids immune cells known as macrophages in fighting the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Researchers discovered that GSH modulates the behaviour of many immune system cells, affecting adaptive immunity and protecting against microbial, viral, and parasitic infections in another study.

Many chronic infections, including EBV, hepatitis, herpes viruses, and Lyme disease, to name a few, can deregulate and suppress the immune system. Glutathione can modulate and reverse this suppression.

Autoimmune diseases appear to be characterised by low glutathione levels.

7. Athletic Performance and Glutathione

When taken before a workout, glutathione supplements can improve athletic performance. The best part is that you don't have to be an ultramarathoner or a bodybuilder to participate. This exercise enhancer can benefit everyone from the average runner to the weekend warrior.

In a study of eight men, the glutathione group performed better, felt less fatigued, and had lower blood lactic acid levels than the placebo group.

This is critical because high levels of lactic acid in the body can cause fatigue, low blood pressure, muscle aches, a drop in body temperature, and respiratory issues.

Glutathione combined with L-citrulline increased NO production more than placebo or L-citrulline alone.

Nitric oxide is well known for its ability to dilate blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles and tissues. This boosts athletic performance as well as exercise output.

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