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What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is a tripeptide which is composed of the amino acids glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine. It is found in all cells in the body, in the bile, in the epithelial lining fluid of the lungs and at much smaller concentrations in the blood. The active for is the chemically reduced form, called “GSH” that serves as a substrate for enzymes, including the glutathione peroxisases and the glutathione-S-transferases [1-5]

What are some of the functions of Glutathione (GSH)?

Sustains proper oxidation- reductions potential inside cells. Also known as Redox, this affects sulfur oxidation in enzymes and the amount of biochemical reactions that happens in cells.

  • Scavenges peroxides and oxidizing free radicals and helps as the foundation for the antioxidant network.
  • Phase II detoxication is performed in the liver of heavy metals like mercury, organophosphate pesticides, chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents, estradiol, prostaglandin, leukotrienes, acemunophen long with other foreign toxins.
  • Cysteine is stored and transported throughout the body
  • Amino acids along with cysteine are transported into the kidney cells
  • It monitors cell cycle, DNA, protein synthesis, proteolysis and gene expression.
  • Controls signal production
  • Contributes in bile production
  • Guards thyroid cells from self-generated hydrogen peroxide

The significance of Glutathione

“The Guardian of the Cell”

  • Master Anti-oxidant in each cell
  • Master Anti-inflammatory in each cell
  • Master Detoxifier inside each cell
  • Primary Detoxifier of heavy metals
  • Chelator-50% as effective as oral chelation in getting rid of Mercury
  • It transforms haemoglobin into its reduced state, enabling in to accept oxygen and carry it to the cell
  • Major protector of the mitochondrial DNA (power house of the cell)
  • Major protector of the nucleus of the cell and the DNA of the cell
  • Major protector of the immune cell and the immune system
  • Cardoivascular system enhancer
  • Only antioxidant that can recycle itself. First line of protection against environmental chemicals and toxins

In carrying out several of the above functions, GSH plays a very important roll in helping to:

  • Maintain mitochondrial function and integrity,
  • Monitor cell proliferation (shows an increase of the number of cells and defined by the balance of cell divisions and cell loss through cell death)
  • Support the immune system

How is Glutathione (GSH) synthesised in the body?

The first step involves the ATP-powered enzyme glutamin cysteine ligase (formerly called gamma-glutamylcyseteine)
The second step consist of the use of the ATP-powered enzyme glutathione

Glutathione depletion

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • GSH deficiency is of great significance in the pathogenesis if Diabetes Mellitus
  • Glutathione depletion may contribute to the production of phototoxicity by UVA, UVB and by PUVA

Glutathione as a depigmentation agent

The skin melanin index was considerably lower with Glutathione disulfide (GSSG) treatment than with placebo. During the study period GSSG treated sites had a substantial rise in moisture content of stratum corneum, reducing the formation of wrinkles and improves the skin overall smoothness. There were no marked effects from this application.

Overall GSSG is generally safe, effectively helping to whiten and improve the condition of skin in healthy women.

Glutathione is a compound found in our bodies, which has been implicated in skin lightening. Vito and vivo studies show evidence of its participation in melano-genic pathway and shed light on its anti-melanogenic effect.

The action of proposed mechanisms include:

  • Direct inactivation of enzyme tyrosinase
  • Moderating the switch from eumelanin to phaeomelanin production
  • Free radicals and peroxides which contribute to tyrosinase activation and melanin formation and also modulation of depigmentating abilities of melanocytotoxic agents

These theories are supported by experimental evidence shown on the basis for future research in the use of glutathione in pigmentary disorders.

Glutathione benefits:

  • Increased energy
  • Slows down the aging process
  • Reduces muscle and joint discomfort
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Detoxifies the liver and cells
  • Improves mental focus and clarity
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Reduces the effects of stress
  • Improves the skin
  • Athletic performance and recovery


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