Glutathione is a low molecular weight tri-peptide made up of three amino acids ( building blocks of proteins) that is normally found in the body. It plays the role of an anti-oxidant and removes oxygen free radicals. These oxygen free radicals are generated by various chemical reactions occurring inside the cells of our body. They are extremely reactive and cause cellular damage and are responsible for ageing.
Glutathione was used along with chemotherapy in cancer patients and in hepatic encephalopathy (liver disease) to reduce the undesirable effects of chemotherapy and help in quicker recovery of the patients. Other conditions where glutathione is used is for autism, coronary heart disease, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, cystic fibrosis, kidney diseases, lead exposure etc.
It was found to cause lightening of skin colour in these patients. It is now extensively used for rejuvenation and improvement of skin tone.
The skin lightening effect of glutathione is due to conversion of the brown pigment called Eumelanin to a red pigment called phaeomelanin. This effect of glutathione lasts as long as high levels of glutathione are maintained in the body.
Glutathione is administered as an injection, tablet, creams, chewable or sublingual tablets and sprays. The intravenous form is the best as all the glutathione administered enters into the body. The absorption of glutathione varies and can be as less as 10% in the oral form. Regular use of glutathione is needed to maintain the skin tone improvement achieved with glutathione.
Glutathione can also have side effects like allergic reaction, nausea, diahorrea, chest pain, lightening of hair and in severe cases Steven Johnson’s syndrome. It must be administered by trained medical professional in a hospital setup to help treat patients who may develop these side effects.
To know more about using glutathione for its antioxidant, rejuvenating and skin lightening effects, contact a dermatologist near you.
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