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You may have heard of glutathione as a skin-lightening compound. But glutathione plays more than a cosmetic role in the body.
Considered to be a master antioxidant, glutathione helps in boosting immunity and managing certain conditions such as fatty liver and acute kidney failure.
Glutathione is safe to take as a supplement and through food. It does not cause damage to the kidneys if taken in recommended amounts.
What Is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a protein made up of three amino acids: cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid. It is found in the same concentration in the body as potassium and cholesterol.
Its main role is detoxifying the body from the metabolites of antibiotics and free radicals from environmental pollutants. (1)
Long-term exposure to heavy metals, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration, and even AIDS/HIV can reduce the levels of glutathione in the body. (1)
Glutathione in the Kidneys – How It Helps
Glutathione’s antioxidant activity is important in all tissues and organs of the body including the kidneys. Since the kidneys are the sites for clearing most waste and toxins from the body, the role of antioxidants such as glutathione is extremely important. (2)
Studies have found low levels of glutathione in the kidneys of patients who have suffered acute kidney failure. These low levels can further contribute to oxidative stress and may also cause kidney failure. (3)
Appropriate levels of glutathione are therefore necessary to reduce potential damage to the kidneys caused by oxidants that can interact with DNA and the healthy cells of the body and cause inflammation, which leads to damage in the organ and ultimately disease. (4)
How Much Glutathione Can I Take?
Glutathione is produced in the body, but spinach, okra, and asparagus are some rich food sources of glutathione. Through supplements, you can take 500 mg daily for a period of 2–3 months.
However, not a lot of information is available on the symptoms of overdose; it is highly advised to consult a doctor to identify a safe dose for you.
Can A Person With Kidney Disease Take Glutathione?
There is no evidence that supports increasing glutathione supplements for kidney health.
Thus, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor as glutathione requirements can vary between people.
- Glutathione is a strong antioxidant in the human body.
- Glutathione protects body tissues and organs from damage caused by free radicals and environmental toxins.
- Since the kidneys are the sites for clearing waste and toxins from the body, glutathione can play a protective role in preventing the organ from damage.
- Daily 500 mg supplementation with glutathione is generally considered safe.