Glutathione, or GSH, is a naturally occurring protein that protects every cell, tissue, and organ from toxic free radicals and diseases. The supplement contains three amino acids: glycine, glutamate (glutamic acid) and cysteine.
GSH supplements contain a high concentration of cysteine and have many of the same proteins found in breast milk which enhances immune system function. Glutathione can help repair damaged cells caused by stress, radiation, pollution, infection and a host of other ailments. Throughout the stages of aging, cells begin to lose their ability to repair themselves and produce strong antioxidants.
Benefiting your body with glutathione supplements increases levels of this naturally occurring antioxidant. Cysteine is a type of amino acid that’s combined in your body with glutamic acid and glycine to make glutathione. Glutathione is a type of protein. Both cysteine and glutathione are available in various supplement forms and are taken for a variety of health purposes, ranging from providing antioxidant effects to correcting a deficiency.
While vitamins C and E are the most well-known antioxidant supplements, because they neutralize free radicals, glutathione has the added benefit of being a powerful antioxidant because glutathione exists within the cell. Glutathione is found in every type of cell, including cells in the immune system. Glutathione helps to fight against disease, which is why proponents of the supplement suggest it works against cancer and other diseases.
Cysteine is considered a “nonessential” amino acid, meaning that your body can create it and you don’t need to get it from your diet. Cysteine is unique among amino acids in that it contains sulphur, which helps it to maintain protein structure in your body. Also, cysteine is necessary in your body’s production of glutathione and the amino acid taurine. The protein glutathione plays an important role as an antioxidant in your body’s defence system. Glutathione fights damaging free radicals, mostly in your liver, and can combat toxins like heavy metals and chemicals. Both glutathione and cysteine play parts in your body’s defences and immune-system function.