Glutathione and Detoxification
Because of glutathione’s central role in detoxification, about 25% of all glutathione resides in the liver. Glutathione is more than simply an electron donor; glutathione plays an important role in protecting living cells from toxicity by detoxifying the reactive intermediates via enzymatic conjugation.
Glutathione and Immune Health
It is well known that the gastrointestinal cells, the mitochondria and the efficiency of immune cell function are three major factors in immune function. Glutathione happens to play a role in all three elements. When small intestinal mucosa atrophies, it causes an increase in epithelial permeability and compromised tight junctions, which can lead to translocation of bacteria. This translocation of bacteria is implicated in immune activation and autoimmunity. Studies have shown that this epithelial damage is in part due to the inability to mitigate reactive oxygen species (ROS). Supplementing with oral glutathione under conditions in which intracellular glutathione status is compromised can restore tissue glutathione and promote ROS metabolism, thereby mitigating tissue atrophy, according to a 2017 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.