Sunday, May 31, 2009

Function of glutathione

Glutathione exists in reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG) states. In the reduced state, the thiol group of cysteine is able to donate a reducing equivalent (H++ e-) to other unstable molecules, such as reactive oxygen species. In donating an electron, glutathione itself becomes reactive, but readily reacts with another reactive glutathione to form glutathione disulfide (GSSG). Such a reaction is possible due to the relatively high concentration of glutathione in cells (up to 5 mM in the liver). GSH can be regenerated from GSSG by the enzyme glutathione reductase.

In healthy cells and tissue, more than 90% of the total glutathione pool is in the reduced form (GSH) and less than 10% exists in the disulfide form (GSSG). An increased GSSG-to-GSH ratio is considered indicative of oxidative stress.

GSH is known as a substrate in both conjugation reactions and reduction reactions, catalyzed by glutathione S-transferase enzymes in cytosol, microsomes, and mitochondria. However, it is also capable of participating in non-enzymatic conjugation with some chemicals, as in the case of N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI), the reactive cytochrome P450-reactive metabolite formed by paracetamol (or acetaminophen as it is known in the US), that becomes toxic when GSH is depleted by an overdose of acetaminophen.

How does Glutathione make Skin whiter?

In order to achieve the whitening "side effect" of Glutathione, dose must be doubled (20-40mg/Kg Body
weight per day divided into 2-3 doses). This is the main reason why glutathione helps in whitening
skin. In Asia, oral glutathione is also referred to as skin whitening capsule, whitening pill, bleaching
pill, or skin whitener that were proven to be very safe and effective.

Why is Glutathione Important to Health?

It is a very powerful anti-oxidant that protects the body by targeting & destroying reactive oxygen
molecules & free radicals. It is found in high concentration in the liver, where it binds to heavy metals
such as mercury & lead, chemical pollutants, & carcinogens and transforms them into form that can
easily flushed out of the body via enzymatic pathway.

It enhances the body’s immune response. Studies have shown depleted levels of gluthatione are
associated with enhanced toxicity & weakend immune system.

According to Journal of Immunology, “ …Immune depressed individuals have lower Glutathione levels
when fighting disease. Lymphocytes, cells vital for your immune response depends on GSH for their
proper function & replication. Glutathione is crucial to the function & multiplication of these disease
fighting cells, in order to ward off invading viruses, bacteria & parasites. Restoring glutathione levels to
those found in healthy people is likely to help immune deficient person.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How Should Glutathione Be Taken?

Glutathione is probably not well absorbed into the body when taken by mouth. One way to get around that is to take it by vein. A more practical solution is to take the precursors -- that is, the molecules the body needs to make glutathione -- rather than glutathione itself. While there is no solid proof this works, the consensus among experts is that that doing so will increase the amount of glutathione in the cells.

What Does Glutathione Do?

The strong antioxidant effect of glutathione helps keep cells running smoothly. Bounous and another glutathione expert, Jeremy Appleton, ND, say it also helps the liver remove chemicals that are foreign to the body, such as drugs and pollutants.

Appleton is chairman of the department of nutrition at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Ore., and senior science editor for Healthnotes, a database on complementary and alternative medicine available at newspaper stands and health food stores.

Evidence for the important role that glutathione plays in health comes from studies in people who are severely ill.

"If you look in a hospital situation at people who have cancer, AIDS, or other very serious disease, almost invariably they are depleted in glutathione," says Appleton. "The reasons for this are not completely understood, but we do know that glutathione is extremely important for maintaining intracellular health."


Glutathione (GSH) is a tripeptide. It contains an unusual peptide linkage between the amine group of cysteine and the carboxyl group of the glutamate side chain. Glutathione, an antioxidant, protects cells from toxins such as free radicals.

Thiol groups are kept in a reduced state at a concentration of approximately ~5 mM in animal cells. In effect, glutathione reduces any disulfide bond formed within cytoplasmic proteins to cysteines by acting as an electron donor. In the process, glutathione is converted to its oxidized form glutathione disulfide (GSSG). Glutathione is found almost exclusively in its reduced form, since the enzyme that reverts it from its oxidized form, glutathione reductase, is constitutively active and inducible upon oxidative stress. In fact, the ratio of reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione within cells is often used scientifically as a measure of cellular toxicity.

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