Glutathione your ultimate Guide

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione, often referred to as the “master antioxidant”, is a small protein that is produced naturally by the liver. It is composed of three amino acids: glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine. Glutathione is important for many bodily functions, including detoxification, immune system support, and antioxidant activity.

The body's production of glutathione declines with age, which may contribute to the age-related decline in immunity and increase in oxidative stress. Supplementing with glutathione may help to maintain levels of this important nutrient.

What are the benefits of Glutathione?

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect your cells from damage. It can also boost your immune system and help your body detoxify.

Glutathiones are a natural defence mechanism that protects us from the damaging effects of reactive molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that contain unpaired electrons. They are formed during normal metabolic reactions, but they also occur when the body is exposed to environmental toxins, radiation, smoking, and certain medications.

Free radicals attack healthy cells and destroy DNA, causing mutations that may lead to cancer. They also oxidize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, causing them to become damaged.

When glutathione levels decrease, free radicals increase. This causes more damage to cells and tissues, resulting in inflammation, premature ageing, and even death.

Glutathiones help maintains optimal health by preventing the formation of free radicals. Glutathione also acts as a cofactor for enzymes involved in energy production and detoxification.


A deficiency of glutathione results in decreased immunity, impaired wound healing, and increased susceptibility to infection. Low glutathione levels are associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke, neurodegeneration, and cancer.

Glutathiolipid Metabolism

Glutathione serves as a reservoir for cysteine, which is needed for protein synthesis. Glutathione provides protection against oxidative stress by converting free radicals into harmless substances.


Glutathione works as a scavenger for free radicals. It binds to free radicals and converts them into non-harmful substances. Glutathione reduces the toxicity of heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium.


Glutathione reacts with methyl groups on toxic chemicals, rendering them inactive. Methyl groups are attached to toxins by the enzyme S-adenosyl methionine synthetase.


Glutathione combines with thiocyanate ions to form mercapturic acid. Thiocyanate is released into the urine after ingestion of cyanide. Mercapturic acid is excreted in the urine.


Glutathione forms part of the structure of some proteins. For example, glutathione is present in haemoglobin and myoglobin.

Glutathionic Aciduria

Glutathione deficiency leads to the accumulation of glutathionic acid in the blood and urine. Glutathionic acid is a waste product of glutathione metabolism.


Glutathionalphaeinuria is the result of excessive consumption of foods high in vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the conversion of alpha-ketoglutaric acid to glutathione. Excess alpha-ketoglutarate accumulates in the blood and is converted to glutathionalphaenoic acid. Glutathionalphaenoic acids are excreted in the bile.

How Does Glutathione Work?

Glutathioleukotriene Synthesis

Glutathione activates leukocyte elastase, which degrades neutrophil chemoattractants. Leukocyte elastase is secreted by activated white blood cells.

Glutathialipoxin Synthesis

Glutahione inhibits lipoxygenases, which catalyze the peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Lipoxygenases are enzymes that convert arachidonic acid into hydroperoxides. Hydroperoxides are precursors to prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and platelet activating factor.

Glutathiotransferase Synthesis

Glutathaione stimulates the synthesis of glutathiotransferase, which transfers sulfur atoms from glutathione onto glutathione disulfide. Glutathiatransferase is required for the biosynthesis of sulfated glycoproteins.


Glutathione promotes autophagy, which is the degradation of defective organelles and macromolecules. Autophagy recycles nutrients and eliminates damaged structures.

Glutathiosalicylicacid Synthesis

Glutathese acids inhibit salicylic acid synthase, which catalyzes the condensation of acetyl CoA and pyruvic acid to yield salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a potent anti-inflammatory agent.


Glutathione exchanges sulfur atoms with selenite ion. Selenium is essential for thyroid hormone synthesis.

Glutathienucleotide Synthesis

Glutathiose phosphate adenylyltransferase uses ATP and glutathione to transfer AMP to ribose 5-phosphate. The reaction produces ADP and ribose 1-5 diphosphate. Ribose 1-5 dpohosphate is used to make RNA and DNA.

Glutathianucleoside Synthesis

Glutathelipidsyntheisis uses glutathione to synthesize phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine. Phosphatidylethanolamines are components of biological membranes. Phosphatidylcholines are structural components of cell membranes.

Glutathinucleotide Synthesis

In this process, glutathione donates one of its sulfur atoms to the nucleotide guanosine monophosphate. Guanosine monophosphates are precursors to purines, which are important components of DNA and RNA.


Glutathione dimerizes with itself to form a glutathione tetramer. Glutathione tetramers are storage forms of glutathione.

Other Uses Of Glutathione

Glutathione has been shown to have antiviral properties. It is effective against herpes simplex virus type I and II, varicella-zoster virus, vaccinia virus, human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis A virus, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, cytomegalovirus, parainfluenza virus, rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, and rotaviruses.


Glutathionemethylesterase removes glutathione esters from the body. Glutathione esters include glutathione ethyl ester, glutathione propyl ester, and glutathione butyl ester.


Glutathione aminohydrolase releases ammonia from glutathione. Ammonia is an excitatory neurotransmitter.


Glutathione amidohydrolase cleaves glutathione amide bonds. Glutathione

Skin lightening

Glutathione is a small molecule that is produced naturally in the body. It is made up of three amino acids: glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine. It is found in every cell in the body, with the highest concentrations in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys.

Glutathione plays a vital role in many cellular processes, including detoxification, cell proliferation, and repair of DNA. It is also an important antioxidant that scavenges harmful toxins and radicals that can damage cells.

Glutathione has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including skin lightening. A study published in 2013 found that glutathione was effective in lightening skin tone in people with Fitzpatrick skin type IV (dark skin). The study participants were given either glutathione injections or a placebo for eight weeks. At the end of the study, those who received glutathione injections had significantly lighter skin than those who received the placebo.

Other studies have also shown that glutathione can help protect the skin from damage caused by UV radiation, pollution, and other environmental toxins. It can also help reduce inflammation and improve wound healing.

If you’re looking for a safe and effective way to lighten your skin tone, glutathione may be worth considering.


The body naturally produces glutathione, but levels decrease as we age. This decrease is thought to contribute to the aging process. Some research suggests that taking glutathione supplements may help reverse some of the effects of aging by increasing levels of this compound in the body.

One study found that people who took glutathione supplements for six months had a significant increase in lean muscle mass and a decrease in fat mass compared to those who didn’t take the supplements. The researchers also found that the participants who took glutathione had a significant increase in their strength and stamina.

Another study found that glutathione supplementation was associated with better quality of life, including increased energy levels and decreased fatigue, compared to those who didn’t take the supplements.

Glutathione is also thought to have anti-aging effects on the skin. One study found that people who took glutathione supplements for 12 weeks had significantly lighter skin and fewer wrinkles compared to those who didn’t take the supplements.

There is also some evidence that glutathione may help improve cognitive function in older adults. One study found that people who took glutathione supplements for three months had significantly better memory and verbal fluency compared to those who didn’t take the supplements.

Liver detoxification

Glutathione is important for liver detoxification. It’s involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics, which are foreign compounds that come into our bodies from the environment. These include pesticides, herbicides, pollutants and other toxic chemicals. Glutathione helps the liver break down these toxins so they can be excreted from the body.

Immune system support

One of the most important functions of glutathione is to support the immune system. Glutathione levels are known to decline with age, which may contribute to the age-related decline in immunity. Studies have shown that glutathione supplements can boost immunity in elderly people.

Glutathione also has powerful antioxidant properties. It scavenges harmful toxins and free radicals, which can damage cells and lead to disease. Supplementing with glutathione may help protect against some chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

What Decreases Glutathione Levels?

Lower glutathione levels are prevalent with many health conditions and can be depleted through stress, lack of sleep and exposure to toxins. Addressing the negative aspects of your lifestyle is important in maintaining high levels of glutathione.

Glutathione is a key factor in age acceleration: as we age, our glutathione levels will naturally reduce.

Additionally, low levels of glutathione in the body will increase ageing, so it’s a key component in slowing the ageing process.

The side effects of glutathione

Although glutathione is considered safe, there are a few potential side effects that you should be aware of. These side effects include skin lightening, nausea, and diarrhoea. If you experience any of these side effects, you should discontinue use and speak with a doctor.

How to increase glutathione levels

Although our bodies produce glutathione, levels can become depleted due to certain factors. Luckily, there are ways to increase glutathione levels.


If you're looking for ways to increase your glutathione levels, diet is a good place to start.

There are a few foods that are particularly rich in glutathione, including:

-Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage

Glutathione is also found in meats, but the levels tend to be lower than in plant foods.

Dietary supplements are also available that claim to increase glutathione levels, but it's unclear if they're effective.


While glutathione is found in many foods, it is difficult to get high levels of glutathione from diet alone. Therefore, some people may benefit from taking supplements.

The most common way to take glutathione supplements is in the form of pills or capsules. These are generally well tolerated, but may cause some side effects, such as nausea and diarrhoea.

Another way to take glutathione supplements is through IV drip or injection. This method delivers the supplement directly into the bloodstream and is thought to be more effective than oral supplements. However, it is also more invasive and can cause side effects, such as pain and swelling at the injection site.

If you are interested in taking glutathione supplements, talk to our doctor first to see if they are right for you.


Exercise is a great way to increase your glutathione levels. Research has shown that people who exercise regularly have higher levels of glutathione than those who don't. Additionally, exercise helps to improve the function of your liver, which is responsible for producing and storing glutathione.

Stress reduction

Glutathione levels can be increased through stress reduction. Chronic stress depletes glutathione levels, so by reducing stress, you can increase your glutathione levels. There are many ways to reduce stress, including yoga, meditation, and Exercise.

Glutathione is a naturally occurring compound found in every cell of the body. It is responsible for detoxifying cells and neutralizing toxins. Glutathione is also known as gamma-glutamylcysteinylglycine (GGCG). GGCG is an antioxidant that helps protect against free radicals and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is too much free radical activity within the body. Free radicals are unstable compounds that cause damage to cells and tissues.

Oxidative stress can lead to chronic diseases, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and ageing. Glutathione plays a vital role in protecting the body from oxidative stress.

Glutathione Dosage Recommendations

A typical dose of glutathione ranges from 500 mg to 1 g per day. Most research shows that dosages greater than 2 grams per day may cause adverse effects.

Is it safe to take glutathione every day?

Studies have shown that taking glutathione daily can improve the health of your lungs and improve your immune system. It can also reduce the risk of developing cancer. It may reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and celiac disease. In people with autoimmune diseases, the reduced levels of glutathione may lead to increased oxidative stress.

However, you should consult our doctor before taking glutathione supplements.

Dr Saskia Kloppenburg Vieth Medical doscotr and holistic and complementary care practitioner

Consultant in General Internal Medicine (GMC reg. number: 7541548) and Specialist in Complementary Cancer Care
MBBS, MRCIM (Spain), MSc Homeopathy, MFHom, Master practitioner in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and Neurolinguistic Programming, MSc in Nutrition

Integrated medicine Doctor and Holistic Medicine Practitioner


Private Complementary and Alternative Healthcare clinic.
1st Floor
185 Tower Bridge Road
United Kingdom
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