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is found in every human cell, and produced abundantly by the liver. Glutathione
also exists naturally in fruits, vegetables and meats. The majority of its
benefits can be summarized in the acronym “A.I.D.S.”

A – Antioxidant

is often referred to as the master antioxidant. It is. Glutathione recycles and
recharges all the antioxidants in our cells. None of the antioxidants could
function at their optimum level without the presence of glutathione. The
process of recharging antioxidants is enhanced by the addition of vitamin C to

I – Immune System Booster
By keeping
our intracellular glutathione level up, we also keep our immune system fully
armed. Glutathione supports the ability of the body’s immune system to fight
pathogens and antigens – agents of cellular damage, toxicity and disease.
to, people take glutathione supplements to prevent aging, hepatitis,
liver disease, heart disease, high cholesterol, diseases that weaken the body’s
defense system, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoarthritis, and
Parkinson’s disease. Healthcare providers also give glutathione intravenously
for preventing anemia, patients undergoing hemodialysis treatment, treating
Parkinson’s disease, improving blood flow and decreasing clotting in
individuals with hardening of the arteries, treating diabetes, and preventing
toxic side effects of chemotherapy.
D – Detoxification
levels are highest in the liver, the body’s major detoxifying organ.
Experimental studies have shown that low glutathione levels lead to poor liver
and kidney function, and result in unnecessarily large quantities of toxins.
Chronic liver diseases, whether alcohol or non-alcohol related, have been
successfully treated with high dose of IV-glutathione treatment, resulting in
improved liver function.
S – Skin Lightening
Aside from
its many biologic functions, glutathione has become popular in the Philippines
and other Asian countries for its purported skin lightening effect. There are
clinical research data to support the beneficial effect of glutathione in
pigmentary disorders. Various concepts have been proposed to explain the
lightening activity. One of these is the same mechanism attributed to most
antioxidants: Glutathione neutralizes free radicals that contribute to
activation of melanin formation.

It is important to understand that glutathione, or any whitening active for that matter, cannot make you any whiter than what you really are. It may only bring back your original skin color that may have been made several tones darker by accumulated sun exposure. Your lifestyle will determine how far you will maintain the effect. One day of unprotected and prolonged sun exposure will negate all the gains you have made in making your skin tone lighter. 

cannot give the same absolute results for everyone. What’s effective to others
may not be effective to you. Always seek medical advice.

Skin Smart seeks to clarify facts and myths on skin care. This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on June 11, 2013.  The author  received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry.  He is the CEO of SkinStation and can be reached at 

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