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Side Effects of Glutathione

Updated July 19, 2017

Glutathione is a simple molecule that is naturally produced by the body. This simple molecule serves as both an antioxidant and a detoxifying agent. Because glutathione is a natural substance that the body needs, it does not exhibit any negative effects. The artificial glutathione supplements that are available in the market today, however, are the ones associated with side effects.

Functions

Glutathione is a major antioxidant highly active in the human lungs, as well as in many organs, systems and tissues. It plays a vital role in protecting cells from oxidative stress and in maintaining the immune system. Glutathione also plays a fundamental role in numerous metabolic and biochemical reactions such as DNA synthesis and repair, protein synthesis, prostaglandin synthesis, amino acid transport and enzyme activation.

Effects

According to Healthline.com, glutathione whitens the skin because it inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, which simply means that it prevents the concerned cells in the skin from manufacturing melanin, the pigment that is responsible for the brown to black colouration of the skin.

Insideout-Quality.com adds that aside from skin whitening, glutathione has anti-ageing properties. It stimulates collagen synthesis, thereby eliminating fine lines and wrinkles that appear as a person ages.

Side Effects

There is no established evidence on the side effects of glutathione even when taken in large doses. However, some side effects may occur if you are allergic to this drug. These include swollen skin, skin hives, rashes, chest pain, tightness in the throat or chest and breathing problems.

Healthline.com further explains that although glutathione is generally safe, the ingredients used in the manufacturing of glutathione products may cause the above-mentioned side effects. It may therefore be helpful to some but detrimental to others.

Considerations

For safety, PDRHealth.com advises consumers to consult a doctor before taking in any glutathione supplements, especially those who have health problems, are breastfeeding, pregnant, or taking any kind of medication. According to EmedTV.com, there is no known cure for glutathione overdose, or if it is even possible. If you suspect an over-dosage of glutathione, you are advised to immediately seek medical attention.

Benefits

Glutathione helps detoxify many foreign compounds and carcinogens in the body. In addition, glutathione is also said to be the primary shield of the skin, lens, cornea, retina, liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines, epithelia and other organs. It is also used to treat infertility, cancer, cataracts and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

According to WebMD.com, glutathione helps the liver remove harmful chemicals such as drugs and pollutants. Without glutathione, other important antioxidants such as vitamins C and E cannot do their job adequately to protect the body against diseases.

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About the Author

Lita McLeary started writing professionally for the "Philippine Inquirer" in 1989, a daily national newspaper. She has written for private online clients for over seven years. At present, she writes full-time for various websites. McLeary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts from the University of the Philippines.