Glutathione is an antioxidant produced in cells. It’s comprised largely of three amino acids: glutamine, glycine, and cysteine.

Glutathione levels in the body may be reduced by a number of factors, including poor nutrition, environmental toxins, and stress. Its levels also decline with age.

In addition to being produced naturally by the body, glutathione can be given intravenously, topically, or as an inhalant. It’s also available as an oral supplement in capsule and liquid form. However, oral ingestion of glutathione may not be as effective as intravenous delivery for some conditions.

Glutathione, also known as GSH, is a molecule found naturally in your body. Produced by the liver as well as by neurons in the central nervous system, glutathione is made up of three amino acids: L-cysteine, glycine, and L-glutamate.

Glutathione is an antioxidant. It is involved in the metabolism of toxins and carcinogens, DNA synthesis and repair, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, amino acid transport, immune system function, prevention of oxidative cell damage, and enzyme activation. Proponents claim that glutathione supplements can help treat and prevent a number of health conditions.

Glutathione is said to protect against a wide range of health problems, including atherosclerosis, Lyme disease, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, colitis, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, alcoholism, asthma, cataracts, diabetes, glaucoma, heart disease, hepatitis, liver disease, and Parkinson’s disease.1

In addition, glutathione is purported to reverse the ageing process, prevent cancer, and preserve memory.

Maintaining optimal levels of glutathione is essential to your health, according to a 2014 report published in Integrative Medicine. The author notes that glutathione plays a key role in antioxidant defence, the breakdown of nutrients, and the regulation of many biological processes (including immune response).