Everyone wants to lead a long and healthy life, and after a certain age, the quest for eternal youth is a concern that preoccupies the human mind more often than one would like to admit. The initial signs of aging are easily noticed on the skin, like wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes, and pigmentation. But aging is not just the outcome of one factor. Its impact is experienced even on a cellular level, which eventually affects one’s overall health and well- being. Researchers and medical practitioners are always on the lookout for anti-aging remedies. And one such antioxidant that helps in maintaining youthfulness and sustaining wellness is l-glutathione.
What is L-Glutathione?
An important antioxidant, l-glutathione, is produced within the cells. It’s made largely of three amino acids - glutamine, cysteine, and glycine. Several factors, such as a diet devoid of proper nutrition, unprecedented stress levels, and environmental toxins, can reduce the body's l-glutathione levels. Age is another factor that causes this antioxidant to decline in the body. It is likely that only a few people may have heard about l-glutathione. However, given its anti-aging effects, it is high time that more and more people get acquainted with this antioxidant and detoxifying agent.
Anti-aging Benefits of L-Glutathione
One of the major benefits of l-glutathione is its anti-aging properties. Let us look at some of its benefits below:
1) Antioxidant activity:
Unstable atoms such as free radicals can cause serious damage to the cells, thereby resulting in aging and different kinds of illnesses. Antioxidants like glutathione help to protect the body from damages caused due to free radicals. It detoxifies the body and gives the immune system a boost, preventing seasonal flu infections, cough cold, and more.
2) Enhances skin health:
L-glutathione benefits for skin are important and diverse. As you age, your skin and complexion are the first things to get affected. Wrinkles, pigmentation, acne, fine lines, and dryness are some of the signs of aging. However, instead of fixing the problem on the exterior, you can take an inside-out approach. Thanks to glutathione, your cells can heal and regenerate themselves. This antioxidant will not only decrease the wrinkles on your skin whilst improving skin elasticity, but it will also reduce hyperpigmentation by reducing your skin’s melanin production. The process will also inhibit an enzyme known as tyrosinase, which is involved in producing melanin, thereby whitening the skin complexion. It is also an important antioxidant as far as your skincare routine is concerned.
3) Reduces oxidative stress:
Oxidative stress manifests when there is a disparity between the building up of free radicals and the body’s ability to stave them off. It turns out that oxidation, a chemical reaction responsible for iron to rust, can play a similar corrosive and destructive role in our bodies. Too high levels of oxidative stress may be the root cause of numerous diseases. These include diabetes, cancer, heart ailments, and rheumatoid arthritis to name a few. L-glutathione helps reduce the risk of oxidative stress, which may in turn prevent chronic diseases.
4) May help prevent autoimmune disease:
Aging can impact the immune system in multiple ways. One of it is the chronic inflammation that is caused due to autoimmune diseases like celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and the like. This inflammation can increase oxidative stress in the body. According to one study, l-glutathione helps lessen oxidative stress by either restoring or lowering the body’s immunological response. Autoimmune diseases attack the mitochondria in certain cells. Glutathione is used to protect the cell, mitochondria, by eradicating free radicals and preventing or delaying the onset of chronic diseases.
5) Reduces symptoms of age-related diseases like Parkinson's:
Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological disorder, impacts the central nervous system, and its symptoms are determined through tremors. Research shows the positive effects that intravenous glutathione has on nerve rigidity and these tremors. Reports suggest that l-glutathione may help reduce the symptoms and enhance patients' quality of life with Parkinson's. However, additional scientific evidence is required supporting this benefit.
So does l-glutathione work?
As evidenced above, l-glutathione for aging is a blessing thanks to its antioxidant potential that helps prevent and neutralise toxins and slows down aging. When it comes to aging, it’s not your genes alone but your lifestyle choices that have a tremendous impact. Include foods rich in glutathione such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, garlic, eggs, legumes and lean protein in your diet. If you are taking supplements, it is advisable to consult with your doctor about its dosage. Simply put, l-glutathione must feature in your daily diet plan.
- Ghezzi P. Role of glutathione in immunity and inflammation in the lung. Int J Gen Med. 2011;4:105-113. Published 2011 Jan 25. doi:10.2147/IJGM.S15618, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048347/)
- Sonthalia S, Jha AK, Lallas A, Jain G, Jakhar D. Glutathione for skin lightening: a regnant myth or evidence-based verity?. Dermatol Pract Concept. 2018;8(1):15-21. Published 2018 Jan 31. doi:10.5826/dpc.0801a04, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5808366/)
- Sastre, J., Pallardó, F.V. & Viña, J. Glutathione, oxidative stress and aging. AGE 19, 129–139 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02434082, (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02434082#citeas)
- Glutathione: a key player in autoimmunity, Carlo Perricone, Caterina De Carolis, Roberto Perricone, Autoimmunity Reviews, 2009, doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2009.02.020., (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19393193/)
- Effect of Glutathione Infusion on Leg Arterial Circulation, Cutaneous Microcirculation, and Pain-Free Walking Distance in Patients With Peripheral Obstructive Arterial Disease: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial, Enrico Arosio, MD, Sergio De Marchi, MD
Massimo Zannoni, MD, Manlio Prior, MD, Alessandro Lechi, MD, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, DOI:https://doi.org/10.4065/77.8.754, (https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)62019-3/abstract)