Glutathione and Skin Care: Everything You Need to Know – Longevity.Technology

Most men and women throughout the ages have always placed a premium on their appearance – the youthful and supple skin, often misrepresenting their actual age. 
Today, the same trend continues, with the beauty industry reaping billions of dollars each year in earnings. A phenomenon that affirms how men and women value their appearance. This is not surprising as studies [1] show that physical appearance is associated with self-esteem and overall health. Women, in particular, have been shown to want radiant and fairer skin [2]. Others want to eliminate wrinkles, acne, eczema, dryness or puffy eyes. In short, everyone wants to achieve flawless and beautiful skin. 
However, the aging process often catches up. Exposure to the sun and wind, engaging in outdoor activities and housework can result in aging and the early development of age spots and wrinkles. Those heavily exposed to the sun daily may look older than their actual age. 
Besides the daily tolls of sun exposure and work, stress, poor nutrition, hormonal changes, and lack of exercise can further lead to faster aging. 
It is no wonder that many people buy moisturisers and creams to look younger. However, you do not have to burn the bank to achieve a more youthful appearance. You can solve this by increasing a potent, natural antioxidant already present in your body called glutathione! This antioxidant can help regenerate cells and other antioxidants. This same antioxidant can also regenerate itself. 
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant produced naturally in body cells [3]. Interestingly, the levels produced are as high as other crucial molecules in the cells, such as glucose, cholesterol, and the critical element, potassium. The high levels of glutathione in the cells reflect its importance in maintaining cell health. 
Glutathione is a tripeptide that exists in two forms: the oxidised glutathione (GSSG), inactive form and reduced glutathione (L-glutathione or GSH), which is the active form. It comprises three amino acids, cysteine, glutamine and glycine. Eating foods high in amino acids can also boost the glutathione level in our body! 
Food rich in glycine includes pork, chicken and fish meat. Meanwhile, food rich in glutamine are eggs, beef, white rice, corn, tofu and skimmed milk. In addition, poultry and meat are also high in cysteine. 
Glutathione plays a vital role in scavenging free radicals produced during cellular metabolism. When in appropriate amounts, these free radicals are not harmful to the body. However, when there is an excess of free radicals, these can destroy the cells or lead to cellular damage. High levels of free radicals are also attributed to inflammation. 
When inflammation is prolonged and becomes chronic, this can lead to several diseases, such as Parkinson’s, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other long-term conditions. 
Fortunately, the presence of glutathione can counter the effects of chronic inflammation. As GSH or L-Glutathione scavenges free radicals, they bind with these free radicals and become oxidised or turned into an inactive form. 
The inactive forms are reverted to active forms through an enzyme named glutathione reductase. However, when the body is exposed to toxins, free radicals and heavy metals, glutathione reductase may need to catch up with the demands of reversing inactive GSH to active GSH.
When there is too much oxidised GSH compared with the active form of GSH, this leads to cellular damage. When this occurs, this leads to early aging and other hosts of diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases. 
Cellular glutathione, however, decreases with age. Hence, older adults are more prone to developing long-term conditions due to lower levels of GSH in the body. 
Glutathione has several benefits. One of the recorded benefits includes improving the overall health of the skin. A study [4] revealed that even at low levels of GSH, administered at 250 mg/day, patients who took the supplements for 12 weeks exhibited increased suppleness and strength of the skin in the face compared with the placebo group. Further, the experimental group had fewer wrinkles than the control group. 
The study also demonstrated that areas most exposed to the sun were less pigmented in the experimental group compared with the control group. This showed that glutathione appeared to have more protective effects against pigmentation or darkening in areas newly exposed to the sun. It is still being determined if glutathione can whiten naturally dark parts when not exposed to the sun. Hence, when planning to sunbathe but still want to retain fairer skin, it is best to take glutathione supplements weeks before the scheduled sunbathing. 
Notably, the study [4] showed that starting at lower doses of glutathione is advisable when deciding to brighten the skin and reduce wrinkles. You can increase your dosage under the supervision of your doctor to achieve more wrinkle-free and fairer skin. 
Melanin exists in two types: eumelanin (blackish-brown) and pheomelanin (reddish-yellow) [5]. The higher the pheomelanin levels, the fairer the skin. In contrast, the higher levels of eumelanin, the darker the skin. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can increase hyperpigmentation of the skin. Further, ultraviolet radiation increases the production of free radicals such as reactive oxygen and nitrogen species [6]. Glutathione clears these free radicals. 
However, when glutathione reductase is overwhelmed, this can lead to an increased number of free radicals in the skin. When this is not countered, this will lead to skin aging and wrinkles. Hence, it is always advisable to wear sunscreen when exposing yourself to the sun. 
When glutathione is present, it can brighten the skin by converting eumelanin to pheomelanin. 
The good news is that you can take intravenous glutathione or oral supplements to help you achieve that brighter and more supple skin. 
Evidence from a literature review [7] that reviewed three clinical trials reported that intravenous glutathione could be readily absorbed. Although glutathione has low bioavailability and a short half-life of only 10 minutes, when administered intravenously, it becomes readily available to the cells. Half-life is the amount of time that half of the substance is disabled or destroyed. Hence, it would appear that intravenous administration can help increase the bioavailability of glutathione. 
An essential result of the literature review [7] showed that regardless if the skin was exposed to or shielded from the sun, intravenous glutathione improved skin elasticity and suppleness. Notably, skin wrinkles smoothened in all areas of the skin, whether this is exposed to the sun or not. 
Considering the impressive effects of glutathione on smoothening skin wrinkles, strengthening the skin’s strength and increasing its suppleness, you could try glutathione to improve your skin! 
The effects of glutathione are only transient [4]. The results are also absent during the first few weeks of intake. A study [4] showed that effects are achieved only after 12 weeks of glutathione intake. 
Continuous intake or intravenous infusion of glutathione may be needed to sustain its skin brightening, smoothening, suppleness and anti-wrinkle effects.  
When considering the proper dosage for you, you should consult your doctor on the appropriate dosage of glutathione to achieve the skin whitening and anti-wrinkling effects. Even 250mg/day of glutathione is sufficient to improve the skin after 12 weeks. Increasing the dosage could lead to better results. 
Intravenous and oral glutathione is generally safe to use. There have been no reports of adverse events except in isolated incidents. 
One incident reported a patient who developed severe hepatic injuries following an infusion of intravenous glutathione [7]. However, the injuries were reversed. In another incident, a patient took a high amount of acetaminophen with intravenous glutathione. The increased amount of acetaminophen led to reduced effectiveness of glutathione. 
Although glutathione is recognised as safe to use, there are some side effects reported by some patients that, include the following: 
Research studies have yet to determine how glutathione affects older adults. There are also no studies examining the effects of glutathione on pregnant or lactating women. The lack of recommendation on appropriate glutathione dose for these patients should be considered when you are pregnant or lactating and are planning to take glutathione. 
The dose of glutathione will depend on why you are taking these supplements. A higher amount may be needed to improve symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases such as arthritis or prevent cardiovascular diseases. Doses as low as 250 mg/day are safe to take to amounts as high as 2000 mg/day [7]. Prolonged intake or infusion of intravenous glutathione is also found to be safe. Except for some rare side effects, you can generally continue to take glutathione for more extended periods. 
Always consult your doctor when you are planning to take glutathione. Supervision from a doctor will ensure that you are taking the correct dose at the right time. You can decide on receiving glutathione intravenously or taking it in oral form. However, oral glutathione is easily decomposed, making it less effective than intravenous glutathione. 
Finally, you can begin enjoying glutathione’s skin-brightening, antiaging and skin-smoothening effects! Talk to your doctor to take this powerful antioxidant’s appropriate dose. 
[1] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01568/full
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246902/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684116/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5413479/
[5] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/09546631003801619
[6] https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0923181110000782
[7] https://www.drugs.com/npp/glutathione.html


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button