Glutathione peroxidase (GSH) or simply glutathione is the most abundant and most powerful natural antioxidant in the human body. It is synthesized in the liver from the glutathione precursor amino acids glycine, glutamic acid, and cysteine. This premier antioxidant is critical to optimum functioning of the brain, immune system, cardiovascular system, eyes, and skin. GSH is also the body’s number one protection against the damage caused by pollution, stress, and over fatigue.
The liver stores and produces the largest amount of glutathione and it transport it to the bloodstream to be delivered in the cells of different organs in the body. Inside the cells, glutathione primarily works by protecting very important structures like the DNA and the mitochondria from oxidation and free radical damage. It is also used by the cells to recycle other antioxidants like Vitamins C and E so the body can have more antioxidant supply. By these mechanisms, this antioxidant is able to deliver critical glutathione benefits for health and wellness.
- The liver uses glutathione for natural detoxification of harmful microorganisms and substances through the bile. Low glutathione levels have been linked with poor liver function and diseases caused by toxins, bacteria, and viruses.
- Glutathione supports important neurologic functions like thought processes, balance and coordination. As an antioxidant, it helps boost memory and learning. There are even studies linking glutathione and other antioxidants in the prevention of short term and long term memory loss related to ageing.
- Glutathione is supplied to both the red blood cells and the white blood cells to support the immune system’s ability to fight infections. Healthy immune functions greatly contribute to general well being, especially during extreme weathers when infectious diseases are easily transmitted. More glutathione is associated with shortened sick periods and lowered instances of recurrences.
- Glutathione supplements are known for their skin whitening abilities. Glutathione inhibits the formation of melanin, the substance responsible for the hyper-pigmentation or darkening of the skin. Glutathione whitening supplements come in soaps, creams, injections, and pills.
- More glutathione in the cells increases energy for improved stamina and strength. It is also useful in reviving energy levels after a long day of work. The additional energy supply can be used for exercises and body building activities.
- Glutathione has shown to exhibit anti-ageing effects in the body. Wearing down of some bodily functions goes along with the decrease in glutathione associated with ageing. The theory behind is that the cells become more prone to free radical damage because the amount of glutathione needed to scavenge them is no longer enough.
Although glutathione performs crucial functions, natural glutathione sources are very easy to find. GSH can be obtained from the diet which includes almost all green leafy vegetables and most fruits. Glutathione supplements are among the best selling nutritional supplements. However, consumers who might want to buy glutathione supplements must purchase from trusted stores because there had been frequent reports of glutathione scams.
Glutathione Side Effects
While regular and long term use of glutathione supplements is considered safe, there are some considerable health risks and side effects. Reported side effects of glutathione use include bloating and intestinal cramping, which are often a result of decreased fluid intake while taking GSH.
People who are allergic to the milk protein casein are not recommended to take glutathione pills. Additionally, individuals who are currently on immune suppressive therapy and those who have undergone organ transplant must be prohibited from glutathione supplementation.