Classification: A tripeptide thiol composed of cysteine, glutamate and glycine.
Glutathione is used as a “master” antioxidant to combat the oxidative stress our cells and DNA go through as we age and the free radicals we accumulate through environmental factors, such as ambient radiation. Oxidative stress is a significant precursor to development of various types of cancers as this stress induces mutations in our DNA leading to uncontrolled cellular mitosis (division) also known as a tumor. Glutathione has suggested uses in male infertility, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and liver disease.
- Free radicals are unstable atoms created by the toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism; they cause significant damage to living cells and tissues in a process called “oxidative stress.” Factors that have been known to cause free radicals are smoking, alcohol, air pollution and fried foods.
Mechanism of Action / Benefits:
- Glutathione (GSH) is used as a cofactor in multiple peroxidase enzymes, which are enzymes that detoxify free radical attack on biological molecules
- GSH is also a cofactor in transhydrogenase’s which are enzymes that reduce oxidized centers on DNA, proteins, and other biomolecules.
- GSH is the primary protectant of the skin, lens, cornea and retina against radiation damage; it also detoxifies the liver, kidneys, lungs and intestines from accumulated free radicals.
- There are multiple accounts of GSH being used for rejuvenating purposes with the rationale that the aging process involves damage from free radicals and GSH neutralizes these free radicals.
- Studies have shown that GSH supplementation improves lipid metabolism and acidification in skeletal muscles caused by lactic acid buildup during exercise.
- The recommended adult intramuscular dosage is 600mg/day
- The recommended adult intravenous dosage is 600-1000mg/day
- Tylenol in high doses is known to deplete glutathione levels
- Glutathione has received “Generally recognized as safe” status from the US FDA
Potential Side Effects:
- Increased flatulence