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Various websites promote glutathione for a wide variety of health problems, from preventing aging to enhancing sports performance. However, oral glutathione supplements are almost certainly useless for any condition since they are not absorbed.
There is a bit of evidence that injected glutathione might offer a few heath benefits, such as preventing blood clots during surgery, 1 reducing the side effects and increasing the effectiveness of cancer chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin, 2 3 treating male infertility , 4 5 6 7 and alleviating symptoms of early Parkinson’s disease . 8 Although oral glutathione is not likely to provide the same benefits, it is at least theoretically possible that taking the nutrients described in the previous section (and thereby raising glutathione levels indirectly) could offer similar benefits. However, there is no direct evidence to indicate that this hypothesis is true.
- Molloy J, Martin JF, Baskerville PA, Fraser SC, Markus HS. S-nitrosoglutathione reduces the rate of embolization in humans. Circulation. 98(14):1372-5.
- Campbell KC, Larsen DL, Meech RP, Rybak LP, Hughes LF. Glutathione ester but not glutathione protects against cisplatin-induced ototoxicity in a rat model. J Am Acad Audiol. 2003;14:124–33.
- Smyth JF, Bowman A, Perren T, Wilkinson P, Prescott RJ, Quinn KJ, Tedeschi M. Glutathione reduces the toxicity and improves quality of life of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer treated with cisplatin: results of a double-blind, randomised trial. Ann Oncol. 8(6):569-73.
- Lenzi A, Picardo M, Gandini L, Lombardo F, Terminali O, Passi S, Dondero F. Glutathione treatment of dyspermia: effect on the lipoperoxidation process. Hum Reprod. 9(11):2044-50.
- Lenzi A, Culasso F, Gandini L, Lombardo F, Dondero F. Placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over trial of glutathione therapy in male infertility. Hum Reprod. 8(10):1657-62.
- Lenzi A, Gandini L, Picardo M, Tramer F, Sandri G, Panfili E. Lipoperoxidation damage of spermatozoa polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA): scavenger mechanisms and possible scavenger therapies. Front Biosci. 5():E1-E15.
- Lenzi A, Gandini L, Picardo M. A rationale for glutathione therapy. Hum Reprod. 1998;13:1419–22.
- Bharath S, Hsu M, Kaur D, Rajagopalan S, Andersen JK. Glutathione, iron and Parkinson's disease. BiochemPharmacol. 2002;64:1037–48.