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Glutathione (γ-Glu-Cys-Gly, GSH) is the most abundant antioxidant in animal tissues, at 0.1-10 mM, as well as in plants and microorganisms. Glutathione exists in two different forms: reduced (GSH) and oxidized (glutathione disulfide, GSSG), with GSH being the predominant form intracellularly. In the reduced state, the thiol group of cysteine is able to donate a reducing equivalent (H+ + e-) to other molecules, such as reactive oxygen species to neutralize them, or to protein cysteines to maintain their reduced forms. With donating an electron, glutathione itself becomes reactive and readily reacts with another reactive glutathione to form glutathione disulfide (GSSG). Such a reaction is probable due to the relatively high concentration of glutathione in cells (up to 7 mM in the liver). >> Read More
The tripeptide glutathione (GSH) is the most abundant free radical scavenger synthesized endogenously in humans. Increasing mechanistic, clinical, and epidemiological evidence demonstrates that GSH status is significant in acute and chronic diseases. Despite ease of delivery, little controlled clinical research data exist evaluating the effects of oral GSH supplementation.
Allen, J., & Bradley, R. D. (2011). Effects of oral glutathione supplementation on systemic oxidative stress biomarkers in human volunteers. The Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine, 17(9), 827-833.
Glutathione (gamma-glutamyl-cysteinyl-glycine; GSH) is the most abundant low-molecular-weight thiol, and GSH/glutathione disulfide is the major redox couple in animal cells. The synthesis of GSH from glutamate, cysteine, and glycine is catalyzed sequentially by two cytosolic enzymes, gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase and GSH synthetase. Compelling evidence shows that GSH synthesis is regulated primarily by gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase activity, cysteine availability, and GSH feedback inhibition. Animal and human studies demonstrate that adequate protein nutrition is crucial for the maintenance of GSH homeostasis. In addition, enteral or parenteral cystine, methionine, N-acetyl-cysteine, and L-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylate are effective precursors of cysteine for tissue GSH synthesis. Glutathione plays important roles in antioxidant defense, nutrient metabolism, and regulation of cellular events (including gene expression, DNA and protein synthesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis, signal transduction, cytokine production and immune response, and protein glutathionylation). Glutathione deficiency contributes to oxidative stress, which plays a key role in aging and the pathogenesis of many diseases (including kwashiorkor, seizure, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, liver disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, HIV, AIDS, cancer, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes). New knowledge of the nutritional regulation of GSH metabolism is critical for the development of effective strategies to improve health and to treat these diseases.
Wu, G., Fang, Y. Z., Yang, S., Lupton, J. R., & Turner, N. D. (2004). Glutathione metabolism and its implications for health. The Journal of nutrition, 134(3), 489-492.