Glutathione is one of the most important substances in our body. Without it, life would not be possible. It plays a crucial role in many processes such as cell division, DNA synthesis, immune system function and many other functions that are vital for survival. However, there are certain situations where excessive levels of glutathione may cause problems or even lead to disease.
There are two main sources of glutathione: endogenous (produced within the body) and exogenous (released from food). Exogenous glutathione is produced through the metabolism of dietary amino acids and fatty acids. These compounds are found naturally in animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products etc.
However, they can also be obtained from supplements or drugs.
The amount of glutathione released from these sources varies greatly depending upon the type of diet and activity level. The average daily intake of glutathione in healthy individuals ranges between 100 – 200 micrograms per kilogram body weight (mg/kg bw). For example, a 70 kg person will have around 5 mg/kg bw in their blood.
A 150 lb individual will have around 10 mg/kg bw in their blood.
Glutathione deficiency is normally caused by a malfunction of the enzymes that release or degrade this compound. This can be due to a genetic defect or as a result of heavy alcohol abuse. Deficiency during early childhood may lead to poor health and growth.
Glutathione has gained a reputation in recent years as being the “elusive” “beauty” antioxidant, helping to keep skin and hair looking healthy and youthful.
Sources & references used in this article:
The evaluation of novel natural products as inhibitors of human glutathione transferase P1-1 by AH Pressman, S Buff – 1998 – Macmillan
Elevation of glutathione induced by low-dose gamma rays and its involvement in increased natural killer activity by S Mukanganyama, M Bezabih, M Robert… – Journal of Enzyme …, 2011 – Taylor & Francis
Sleep deprivation induces brain region-specific decreases in glutathione levels by S Kojima, H Ishida, M Takahashi… – Radiation …, 2002 – meridian.allenpress.com