What is Glutathione?
Glutathione (GSH) is a tripeptide molecule composed of glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine. It is one of the main nonprotein antioxidants in the cell, and has been referred to as the body’s “master antioxidant."
What is an Anti-Oxidant?
It is a nutrient or chemical that reacts with and neutralizes free radicals or chemicals that release free radicals. Antioxidants are also called free radical scavengers. Vitamins A, C, E and some of the B vitamins, beta-carotene, selenium and some key enzymes in your body are all antioxidants. By intercepting the free radicals, antioxidants prevent them from damaging molecular structures such as your DNA.
What is a Free Radical?
It is a highly reactive chemical that often contains oxygen and is produced when molecules are split to give products that have unpaired electrons (a process called oxidation). Free radicals can damage important cellular molecules such as DNA or lipids or other parts of the cell. Free radicals have been implicated in aging, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other kinds of damage to the body.
So, What does Glutathione do?
The reason why glutathione is billed as a master oxidant is that it has many functions at the cellular level.
- it binds to toxins such as heavy metals, solvents, pesticides, even overdosages of OTC medicine such as acetaminophen & transforms them into a form that can be excreted in urine/bile.
- it is essential for the functioning of the immune system.
- it protects individual cells & tissues of arteries, brain, heart, immune cells, kidneys, lens of eyes, liver, lungs and skin against oxidant damage.
- it helps in the prevention of cancer especially liver cancer and helps maintain the strength of red blood cells & protects white blood cells
- it is required for carbohydrate metabolism that prevents fat deposits and in breaking down oxidized fats.
as a secondary effect, it whitens skin by blocking/modifying conversion of black/brown/yellow melanin pigmentation (Eumelanin) to reddish white pigmentation (Phaeomelanin).
Who should take glutathione?
- those who are regular drinkers of alcoholic beverages
- those who are exposed to pollutants and other heavy metal
- those who took antibiotics for long periods of time (unused antibiotics and oil-soluble Vitamin A/C/E/K are stored in the liver)generally people who have been taking their liver for granted
- those who want to be fairer and healthier at the same time
Who shouldn't take glutathione?
Ask your doctor before taking glutathione and get their clearance if you are:
- pregnant, or want to be pregnant or lactating.
taking other medication allergic to any types of medication or supplements (i know plenty of hyperallergics)
- have health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, heart ailments, etc.
How much glutathione should I take?
Standard dosage computation for L-glutathione as anti-aging / anti-oxidant is 10mg/kg body weight per day.
But as a skin whitener, you should take 20-40mg/kg body weight per day in 2-3 divided doses or 2000mg maximum in divided doses a day.
How soon will I see results (whitening)?
We all react differently to glutathione, depending on our original skin tone and the amount of damage on our skin and body that glutathione, as an antioxidant, will have to face . When you drink or smoke on a fairly regular basis and do not take supplements, you may have to face the fact that whitening, as a secondary effect, will take the back seat as glutathione will have to escort the toxins out of your body first.
Otherwise, if you skin tone is fair to medium brown, expect to see results in 2 to 3 months. If you are dusky or morena, in 4 to 6 months. If dark, 12 months to 2 years. Once you have reached your desired skin tone, a maintenance dose of 500mg a day will be needed for the next 30-60 days at the least.
You still need to use sunblock, glutathione does not protect you from harmful UV rays especially when you have become lighter in skin tone and therefore have less melanin. Exfoliate, glutathione does not scrub your epidermis of dead skin. If you have facial scars, you will still need to undergo glycolic peel, glutathione does not induce peeling of skin.
Glutathione, as an internal whitening agent, also works well with external whitening regimen such as creams. You will discover that you will see results faster this way..
Why should I take extra Vitamin C when taking L-Glutathione?
When you take Glutathione supplements, it is very likely that our body will OXIDIZE the Glutathione to Glutathione Disulfide. This is not reduced glutathione anymore but oxidized glutathione and is not effective for anti-aging or skin whitening. You can mitigate this oxidation process by taking Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The recommended dosage for VitaminC is 1-2 times the dosage of L-Glutathione according to recent studies. So if you are taking 500mg of l-glutathione, you should accompany this with 1000mg Vitamin C. Generic ascorbic acid will suffice.