Glutathione is a tripeptide compound consisting of glutamic acid attached via its side chain to the N-terminus of cysteinylglycine. It is made from the amino acids glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid and is produced by the liver. Glutathione has a variety of biological functions, including participation in the Krebs cycle and sugar metabolism. It can activate a variety of enzymes, promote sugar, fat and protein metabolism, and influence the process of cell metabolism.
Glutathione can protect cells by neutralizing reactive oxygen species. It can also participate in thiol protection and redox regulation of cellular thiol proteins under oxidative stress by protein S-glutathionylation. Glutathione is also employed for the detoxification of methylglyoxal and formaldehyde, toxic metabolites produced under oxidative stress. This detoxification reaction is carried out by the glyoxalase system.
Glutathione can be used to protect the liver, promote the metabolism of bile acids, and is beneficial to the absorption of fat and fat-soluble vitamins. It can also reduce the toxic effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and protect the renal tubules from damage caused by cisplatin.
In addition to its role in protecting cells from oxidative stress, glutathione also plays a role in regulating the immune system. It helps to maintain the balance between the different types of immune cells and can enhance the function of immune cells such as natural killer cells and T-lymphocytes.
Glutathione levels in the body can be increased through diet and supplementation. Foods rich in sulfur-containing amino acids such as cysteine and methionine can help boost glutathione levels. These include meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Vitamin C, selenium, and alpha-lipoic acid are also important for glutathione synthesis.
*Special note - This article is for informational purposes only and cannot replace a doctor's treatment diagnosis and advice. It should not be regarded as a recommendation or proof of efficacy of the medical products involved. If it involves disease diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, please be sure to go to a professional medical institution to seek professional advice.