Glutathione is a tripeptide compound.
Glutathione contains a most essential amino acid in the sulfur containing, cysteine.
The thiol side chain of cysteine is involved in many enzymatic reactions.
Glutathione is the body's master antioxidant.
The foods that contain the most glutathione are asparagus and avocados.
Other good sources of the antioxidant include broccoli, cabbage, tomato, watermelon, strawberries and walnuts.
Glutathione levels in the body can also be increased by supplementing the diet with n-acetylcysteine (NAC). The amino acid cysteine is used to synthesize gluthathione in the body.
Glutathione prevents damage to cells and their components by quenching reactive oxygen species (free radicals).
Glutathione contains a thiol group, a sulfur containing organic compound. The thiol group acts as a reducing agent in cells. Glutathione reduces the disulfide bonds within proteins by serving as an electron donor. In the process, glutathione is converted to its oxidized form of glutathione disulfide.
Once oxidized, glutathione can be reduced back to its reduced form. The ratio of its oxidized form to its reduced form is often used as a measure of cellular toxicity. An increased level of the oxidized form is indicative of oxidative stress.
Glutathione is the major antioxidant produced by cells.
Glutathione participates directly in the neutralization of free radicals and reactive oxygen species and also helps maintain proper levels of vitamins C and E in their reduced or active forms.
Every system in the body is affected by the glutathione system, especially the immune, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems.
Glutathione is presumed to improve the health of the liver and kidneys. Topical application of glutathione on the other hand is thought to protect the skin from UV radiation and ward of cancer involving melanocytes.