Hello! I’m Kaycee aka Kikaysikat and I’ve been a regular Glutathione user since 2012 (more or less). I’ve written TONS of articles on glutathione. From glutathione supplement reviews, glutathione on skin lightening, benefits etc. But I haven’t really tackled the supplement from a different standpoint. Health benefits of glutathione besides skin lightening (which is really a side effect tbh)
So get ready for a super duper extensive lengthy write-up on our favorite master anti-oxidant. Ladies and gentlemen, Glutathione!
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is produced and used by every single cell in the human body and, therefore, has a very wide range of scientifically-proven health effects.
- Excellent antioxidant
- Good detoxifier
- Helps liver function
- Has numerous health benefits (will be discussed below)
- Has an unpleasant taste (if taken via tablet)
- Absorption and bioavailability is poor unless taken in liposomal form
- If health is very poor, must begin slow and take in higher dosages
Benefits of Glutathione
1) Glutathione & Acne
A decline in antioxidative activity, especially a decrease in glutathione quantity, may play a key role in the development of acne [R].
Increasing glutathione levels may help reduce acne by decreasing oxidative stress levels.
2) Glutathione May Help Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
Oxidative stress is one of the major cause of Rheaumatoid Arthritis symptoms. Once glutathione levels have increased. Studies shown significant improvement from the patients and their diagnosis.
Studies have shown that antioxidant mechanisms can be impaired in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis. Glutathione levels were shown to be significantly lower in these patients [R].
3) Glutathione and Healthy Pregnancy
In pregnant women, low glutathione levels caused by depression may lead to impaired brain development in the unborn child [R].
Increased amounts of reactive oxygen species in a fetus have been linked to preterm labor. Thus, by reducing these oxygen species, glutathione can delay the onset of labor to a biologically healthier time [R].
4) Glutathione as a Skin Lightening Agent
This is because glutathione causes the production of a different type of melanin in skin cells [R]. It’s still melanin but in a lighter color. Now let’s talk about skin color and respect. Some wants to be tan, some wants to have fair skin. So let’s just understand the wants and needs of one another without any judgement.
I for one prefer to have a fairer complexion so let’s leave it at that 🙂
I reviewed the best glutathione supplements in the blog too! Go check it out
5) Glutathione Can Treat Sleep Apnea
A study showed that glutathione levels were low in subjects who were diagnosed with sleep apnea, and that increasing those levels of glutathione to normal improved sleep quality in these patients [R].
6) Glutathione Protects Against Liver Damage
Liver disease is caused by oxidative stress. Glutathione keeps the liver healthy by helping in reducing this oxidative stress in the liver [R].
Oral administration of reduced glutathione (300mg/day) is effective at preventing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can eventually lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer [R].
7) Glutathione May Treat Psychiatric Disorders
Schizophrenics have low levels of glutathione. NAC, which increases glutathione levels in the brain, was shown to improve the symptoms of schizophrenia in human subjects [R].
Furthermore, glutathione may help to reduce stress, which is a major symptom, and possibly contributing factor, of OCD [R].
Multiple drugs used to treat bipolar disorder work by increasing glutathione levels [R].
8) Glutathione May Control Inflammation
Glutathione inhibits the production of most inflammatory cytokines [R].
In many of these diseases, restoring glutathione to a healthy level is protective, indirectly supporting the idea that glutathione is anti-inflammatory [R].
Ways to Intake Glutathione
Glutathione is made in the body from 3 amino acids: glutamate, cysteine, and glycine (making it a “tripeptide”).
However, when we ingest glutathione as a supplement, it has to pass the liver before it reaches the bloodsteam. The liver can contain high amounts of GGT, which can break down glutathione. This means that most oral forms of glutathione may not acheive the desired effects [R].
There are several ways to bypass this limitation, such as [R]:
- Liposomal glutathione [R]
- Sublingual glutathione (absorbed directly into the bloodstream) [R]
- Slow-release tablets dissolved in the mouth (orobuccal) or lozenges [R, R]
- Inhaled glutathone [R]
- Methyl glutathone, where another compound (the methyl group) is attached to glutathone, so GGT cannot degrade it [R]
- Coated glutathone tablets [R]
- IV glutathone is also available, but the safety has not been established [R]
Taking glutathione with vitamin C mayincrease its absorption
Glutathione Side Effects
The only side-effect of taking glutathione is change in melanin production (aka Skin lightening). However, taking it with supplements that boosts its efficiency like ALA may cause hyper acidity and heart burn.