Glutathione (C10H17N3O6S), an endogenous antioxidant, inhibits the synthesis and agglutination of melanin.Glutathione is a tripeptide nutrient with antioxidant functions.
Function of glutathione in skin whiteningBeing an ingredient of skin whitening products it inhibits melanin synthesis by interrupting L-DOPA's ability to bind to enzyme Tyrosinase (monophenol monooxygenase).
Glutathione induces inhibition of tyrosinase glycosylation. This blocks the maturation as well as transfer of tyrosinase from Golgi-endoplasmic reticulum-lysosome (GERL) - coated vesicles to the premelanosome.
GSH is believed to direct tyrosinase inactivation within the enzyme's active site by chelating copper.
As glutathione takes part in the conversion of dopaquinone to pheomelanin, it mediates in the transformation of eumelanogenesis to pheomelanogenesis.
Its antioxidant properties help to neutralize the peroxides and free radicals which induce melanin synthesis.GSH modulates the capabilities of melanocytotoxic agents in depigmentation and whitening.
Advantages of glutathione skin whiteningUnlike other fairness products which can only be applied topically, GSH, apart from topical use ,can be taken orally or injected and it can work from inside the body.
In both topical and internal use it has been found to lighten, even tone, remove hyperpigmentation, freckles, age spots, acne scars and dark patches and give a glow to skin.
Simultaneously, being an endogenous antioxidant, it protects the epidermis from oxidative damages, age related disorders and sun exposure.
As we age, it is found that our plasma levels of glutathione drops steeply bringing about age related ailments like age spots and freckles.Unlike other fairness and whitening products, which can be harmful or allergic, GSH has been found to be safe in both topical and oral use.
Methods for increasing glutathione levels for skin whiteningGSH supplements are not well absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and it not possible to increase the circulating levels by this route.
A large dose of 3 gms also failed to increase the circulating glutathione to clinically beneficial levels and had no beneficial epidermis whitening results.
When taken along with high doses of vitamin C, the GSH is maintained in its absorbable reduced form and to some extent is absorbed and utilized.
However, circulating levels of Glutathione can be increased by supplementation with GSH precursors.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC), available as drug and supplement can increase the levels within the cells.
Whey protein and S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) are also found to increase the inter cellular GSH content of the cells.
Alpha lipoic acid, melatonin and silymarin have been found to replendish plasma levels.
Glutathione IV injections are available, but are priced high.Injections are better and more effective compared to taking GSH orally and faster results of fairness and increased whitening are achieved.
Time taken for visible glutathione skin whiteningThe process of achieving fairness is gradual taking a few months. Further GSH whitening dependant on many factors and the initial color of the skin.
Approximate time frame for different types of skin colors and tones is as follows.
|Light to medium color skin||2 to 4 months|
|Dark brown color||4 to 7 months|
|Very dark||8 to 12 months|
|Black||12 to 24 months|
Other functions of glutathioneApart from skin whitening function, being an endogenous antioxidant, GSH prevents oxidative damages to cell components by neutralizing reactive oxygen species like peroxides and other free radicals.
Glutathione also helps in maintaining exogenous antioxidants like vitamin C and E in their reduced forms for their antioxidant activity required for whitening.
GSH is known to have fundamental role in metabolism and biochemical reactions taking place in our cells.
Most of the systems of the body like immune system, respiratory system and gastrointestinal system and nervous system are negatively affected by the low levels of glutathione in blood plasma and cell content.To sum up, glutathione is a safe product with scientifically proven skin whitening properties.
Related topics on skin care:
GSH Whitening/lightening advantages
Treatments for fairness
Permanent methods for fairness
Natural tips for fairness
Discoloration problems and hyperpigmentation
Glutathione (GSH) for skin whitening (current topic)