Glutathione [GSH] and Skin Lightening


Glutathione (GSH) is often referred to as the body's master antioxidant. Composted of three amino acids - cysteine, glycine, and glutamate - glutathione can be found in virtually every cell of the human body. The highest concentration of glutathione is in the liver, making it critical in the body's detoxification process. In addition to its many recognized biological functions, glutathione has also been associated with skin lightening ability.Glutathione can be combined with many other agents like vitamin C to increase its absorption, N-acetyl cysteine to boost its level, and other antioxidants like vitamin E.

Mechanism of Action:  Skin Lightening / Whitening:



Study: “Glutathione as an oral whitening agent”

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study”, April 2012; 23(2):97-102, Journal of Dermatological Treatment. Arjinpathana N, Asawanonda P.

Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

This study is the first one to confirm the effect of oral glutathione skin whitening in general population.

In this study 60 healthy medical students from Bangkok were randomized to receive either glutathione capsules, 500 mg/day in two divided doses, or placebo for 4 weeks. The outcome of mean reduction of melanin indices was measured at six different sites on the body.

At 4 weeks, the melanin indices decreased consistently at all six sites in subjects who received glutathione. But the reductions were statistically significantly greater than in those receiving placebo only at two sites out of six: the right side of the face and the sun-exposed left forearm. There were no reported side effects from using oral glutathione in these prescribed dosages.

The research team concluded that “oral glutathione administration results in a lightening of skin colour.


References & Acknowledgments

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         2.     Prasad, Sahdeo; Srivastava, Smita; Singh, Madhulika; Shukla, Yogeshwer (2009). "Clastogenic Effects of Glyphosate in Bone Marrow  Cells of Swiss Albino Mice". Journal of Toxicology 2009: 1.

  1. Photochemistry and Photobiology Hugo J. Niggli1,* and Lee A. Applegate2Volume 65, Issue 4, pages 680–684, April 1997]

4.     Matsuki, M; Watanabe, T; Ogasawara, A; Mikami, T; Matsumoto, T (2008). "Inhibitory mechanism of melanin synthesis by glutathione". Yakugaku zasshi : Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan 128 (8): 1203–7. 

  1. Scott, D. M.; Mazurkiewicz, M; Leeman, P (1976). "The long-term monitoring of ventilation rhythms of the polychaetous annelid Nereis virens sars". Comparative biochemistry and physiology. A, Comparative physiology 53 (1): 65–8. 
  2.  Karg, E; Odh, G; Wittbjer, A; Rosengren, E; Rorsman, H (1993). "Hydrogen peroxide as an inducer of elevated tyrosinase level in melanoma cells". The Journal of investigative dermatology 100 (2 Suppl): 209S–213S.
  3. Shindo, Y; Hashimoto, T (1995). "Antioxidant defence mechanism of the skin against UV irradiation: Study of the role of catalase using acatalasaemia fibroblasts". Archives of dermatological research 287 (8): 747–53
  4. Ito, S (1993). "High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of eu- and pheomelanin in melanogenesis control". The Journal of investigative dermatology 100 (2 Suppl): 166S–171S
  5. Jara, J. R.; Aroca, P; Solano, F; Martinez, J. H.; Lozano, J. A. (1988). "The role of sulfhydryl compounds in mammalian melanogenesis: The effect of cysteine and glutathione upon tyrosinase and the intermediates of the pathway". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 967(2): 296–303.
  6. Libíková, H; Pogády, J; Wiedermann, V; Breier, S (1975). "Search for herpetic antibodies in the cerebrospinal fluid in senile dementia and mental retardation". Acta virologica 19(6): 493–5
  7. Tan, A. W.; Nuttall, F. Q. (1975). "Characteristics of the dephosphorylated form of phosphorylase purified from rat liver and measurement of its activity in crude liver preparations". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 410 (1): 45–60. 
  8. IJDVL   Year : 2013  |  Volume : 79  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 842-846
  9. Arjinpathana N, Asawanonda P. Glutathione as an oral whitening agent: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Dermatolog Treat 2012;23:97-102.

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