L-Glutathione (GSH) is a tripeptide that contains three amino acids: cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid.(1) These are considered crucial components which may protect cells from oxidative stress, mainly when too many toxins and free radicals exist. Besides acting as a potential intracellular scavenger of free radicals, L-Glutathione peptide may also promote the synthesis of other antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, CoQ10, and alpha lipoic acid.(2)
L-Glutathione (600mg) is a water-soluble antioxidant that, besides playing a pivotal role in removing harmful toxins from the body, may exhibit potential to boost the immune system, heal wounds and burns, and reduce inflammation.
L-Glutathione is naturally occurring. It has been found in meat, fish, dairy products, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. L-Glutathione appears to come in different forms, such as L-glutamine, N-acetyl cysteine, N-acetyl methionine, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), and L-methionine. These forms of glutathione are all metabolized into glutathione in the body.
L-Glutathione may act as a naturally produced antioxidant via a redox reaction between amino acids Glutamate and Cysteine. Within the cysteine structure of GSH, the sulfur ion undergoes a redox reaction and is considered to thereby remove all free radicals, peroxides, nitrogen dioxide, and various other toxins, ultimately protecting cellular structures.(2)
L-Glutathione may help alleviate chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms by increasing energy levels, reducing depression and anxiety, improving cognitive function, and relieving muscle pain and headaches. Researchers are still exploring the potential of this peptide, but have posited additional actions, such as possibly reducing blood pressure via lowering blood viscosity. Researchers also suggest that decreasing levels of the peptide may indicate disease severity and progression.(3) Referring to L-Glutathione as ‘the master antioxidant,’ Garrett Teskey et al. state that:
‘Glutathione (GSH) participates not only in antioxidant defense systems but many metabolic processes, and therefore its role cannot be overstated. GSH deficiency causes cellular risk for oxidative damage, and thus, as expected, GSH imbalance is observed in a wide range of pathological conditions, including tuberculosis (TB), HIV, diabetes, cancer, and aging. Consequently, it is not surprising that GSH has attracted the attention of biological researchers and pharmacologists alike as a possible target for medical intervention’.(3)
Research and Clinical Studies
- Research(4,5) has suggested that this peptide may aid the proper folding of the proteins and forming disulfide bonds, allowing them to bind with the receptors and function adequately.
- There are ongoing discussions within the research community about whether this peptide can act as a neurotransmitter. This peptide has been suggested to activate ionotropic and purinergic receptors in the Muller cells. These cells are considered to be present in the retina, ensuring proper functioning of the retinal cells. This may indicative that either GSH is a neurotransmitter itself or it is crucial for maintaining neurotransmitter regulation. One of the other potential actions of the peptide is as a supportive component to Muller cells located in the eye retina, possibly protecting the eyes from viral infection and diabetic retinopathy.
- The antioxidant potential of this peptide may impact aging processes such as oxidative damage. Oxidative reactions are considered to cause damage to cells and tissues and enhance hormonal and metabolic aging.
- Glutathione may exhibit a complex interaction with cancerous cells. It has been suggested as a potential mitigator of cancer cell proliferation, potentially similar to other toxins, glutathione may mitigate the growth of tumors and carcinogens that cause cancer.(6) Tava Shelan Nagapan et al. further suggest that ‘L-Glutathione has the potential to be developed as a photoprotection agent against UVB-induced oxidative stress and melanogenesis.’
- With age, scientists posit that the levels of L-Glutathione decreases, and the brain may become more susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases.(8) When a body is stressed, L-Glutathione protein has been observed by scientists to get triggered to possibly reduce stress. With a possible decline in L-Glutathione levels, the elderly may become more prone to stress.
- Research(9)in animal models has suggested that the peptide may play a role in promoting retinal health and maintaining good eyesight. Combined with other antioxidants, L-Glutathione peptides have been theorized to reduce oxidative stress on the eye and prevent age-dependent changes such as cataracts and poor eyesight.
- L-Glutathione may also contribute in some way to cartilage development and maintenance. Aged or poor cartilage is considered to be a cause of arthritis and osteoarthritis. L-Glutathione may delay the degradation of cartilage.(10)
- Studies(11) suggest that when L-Glutathione was present in test subjects for 12 weeks, it appeared to enhance dermal health and elasticity by possibly mitigating the formation of wrinkles and photo-aging. Results also indicated that aging spots and puffiness were reduced in the test subjects, potentially due to lower instances of melanin synthesis.
L-Glutathione and Immunity
L-Glutathione has been widely researched for its potential interaction with the immune system. Researchers have suggested the peptide may remove toxins, possibly enhancing the functioning of the natural killer (NK) cells. Clinical studies(12) have suggested that test subjects with HIV exhibited apparently improved immunity when the peptide was presented. The researchers speculated that this was due to the peptide’s potential to create stores of glutathione, possibly enhancing the lymphocytes’ ability to proliferate and making the immune system more robust. R Sinha et al. mention that ‘Although [the clinical study being] small in size, the results from this study provide support for the potential use of oral liposomal GSH as an intervention strategy for enhancing tissue GSH levels for use in disease therapy or prevention.’(13)
L-Glutathione peptide is available for research and laboratory purposes only. Please review and adhere to our Terms and Conditions before ordering.
- Joseph Pizzorno, Glutathione!, IMCJ Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 2014 Feb, 13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684116/
- Henry Jay Forman et al., Glutathione: Overview of its protective roles, measurement, and biosynthesis, Mol Aspects Med.2009; 30(1-2); 1-12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696075/
- Teskey G, Abrahem R, Cao R, Gyurjian K, Islamoglu H, Lucero M, Martinez A, Paredes E, Salaiz O, Robinson B, Venketaraman V. Glutathione as a Marker for Human Disease. Adv Clin Chem. 2018;87:141-159 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30342710/
- S. Tsunoda et al, Intact protein folding in the glutathione-depleted endoplasmic reticulum implicates alternative protein thiol reductants, eLife, vol. 3, p. e03421, Jul 2014. https://elifesciences.org/articles/03421
- Hércules Rezende Freitas & Ricardo A. de Melo Reis (2017) Glutathione induces GABA release through P2X7R activation on Müller glia, Neurogenesis, 4:1, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25091901/
- Bansal A, Simon MC. Glutathione metabolism in cancer progression and treatment resistance. J Cell Biol. 2018 Jul 2;217(7):2291-2298. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29915025/
- Nagapan TS, Lim WN, Basri DF, Ghazali AR. Oral supplementation of L-glutathione prevents ultraviolet B-induced melanogenesis and oxidative stress in BALB/c mice. Exp Anim. 2019 Nov 6;68(4):541-548. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31243189/
- Maher P. The effects of stress and aging on glutathione metabolism. Aging Res Rev. 2005 May;4(2):288-314. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15936251/
- Babizhayev MA. New concept in nutrition for the maintenance of the aging eye redox regulation and therapeutic treatment of cataract disease; synergism of natural antioxidant imidazole-containing amino acid-based compounds, chaperone, and glutathione boosting agents: a systemic perspective on aging and longevity emerged from studies in humans. Am J Ther. 2010 Jul-Aug;17(4):373-89. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20463577/
- Zhu S, Makosa D, Miller B, Griffin TM. Glutathione as a mediator of cartilage oxidative stress resistance and resilience during aging and osteoarthritis. Connect Tissue Res. 2020 Jan;61(1):34-47. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31522568/
- Weschawalit S, Thongthip S, Phutrakool P, Asawanonda P. Glutathione and its anti-aging and antimelanogenic effects. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2017 Apr 27;10:147-153. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28490897/
- Dröge W, Breitkreutz R. Glutathione and immune function. Proc Nutr Soc. 2000 Nov;59(4):595-600. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11115795/
- Raghu Sinha et al., Oral supplementation with liposomal glutathione elevates body stores of glutathione and markers of immune function, European Journal 2018 Jan. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6389332/
NOTE: These products are intended for laboratory research use only. L-Glutathione for sale (600mg) is not intended for personal use. Please review and adhere to our Terms and Conditions before ordering.
Dr. Marinov (MD, Ph.D.) is a researcher and chief assistant professor in Preventative Medicine & Public Health. Prior to his professorship, Dr. Marinov practiced preventative, evidence-based medicine with an emphasis on Nutrition and Dietetics. He is widely published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals and specializes in peptide therapy research.