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An important antioxidant in the human body that helps cells stay healthy. Glutathione is also used to whiten skin, but there isn't any conclusive study as to this actually working. The price of glutathione products that market such claims is relatively high.
Glutathione is an antioxidant that is present in animals, plants, fungi and some bacteria and archaea. This antioxidant is capable of preventing damage to important components in the cells of a body. Mitigating the damage is caused by reactive oxygen species such as free radicals, peroxides, lipid peroxides and heavy metals; thus safeguarding cells.
If one is unwell the levels of glutathione go down. The diseases one can see this with include cancer, HIV/AIDS, type 2 diabetes, hepatitis and Parkinson's.
Glutathione is taken as an antioxidant and as a detoxification agent. People undergoing chemotherapy also take it to protect themselves from the harmful effects of radiation; though the effectiveness for this purpose does not have enough evidence.
Taking glutathione orally does not work as the body's enzymes break it down. People tend to eat foods such as avocados, asparagus, garlic, broccoli, spinach and meat to increase the levels inside the body. One can also take other supplements so the body increases production of glutathione. These include curcumin, N-acetylcysteine, selenium, silymarin, vitamin C and vitamin E.
There is some study into supplementation with gamma-glutamylcysteine which increases the level of glutathione in the body at a cellular level, but this is nascent.
Some people also use glutathione cremes or serums for whitening skin. There is little evidence to prove that this works.
The price of glutathione cremes and serums that claim it whitens the skin is relatively high.