Glutathione contains several important amino acids and is beneficial in the body for many reasons. Some of the glutathione benefits include providing antioxidant properties, helping improve immune function, and metabolizing toxins and carcinogens. These benefits may help to treat or prevent certain health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and liver disease. Although glutathione supplements are available, research indicates that these products are not well absorbed when taken orally.
What Are Some Possible Benefits of Glutathione?Glutathione is a naturally occurring molecule made up of three different amino acids. In humans, glutathione is made in the liver. Although some foods contain glutathione (and many oral glutathione dietary supplements are available), research suggests that glutathione is probably not well absorbed when taken by mouth.
People claim that glutathione is beneficial for preventing and/or treating a variety of different conditions, such as:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Anemia in people undergoing dialysis
- Chemotherapy toxicity (the toxic side effects of chemotherapy treatment)
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
- High cholesterol
- HIV and AIDS
- Liver disease, including hepatitis
- Lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis
- Male infertility
- Parkinson's disease.
People also claim that glutathione can help slow the aging process, "detoxify" the body, and whiten the skin.
There is little evidence to suggest any glutathione benefits for most of these uses (see Does Glutathione Work? for more information).