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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Glutathione in Disease

Authors
item Reid, Marvin - TMRU WEST INDIES JAMAICA
item Jahoor, Farook

Submitted to: Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 20, 2000
Publication Date: January 20, 2001
Citation: REID, M., JAHOOR, F. GLUTATHIONE IN DISEASE. CURRENT OPINION IN CLINICAL NUTRITION AND METABOLIC CARE. 2001. v. 4(1). p. 65-71.

Interpretive Summary: The cells of the body make several toxic chemicals called oxidants. These oxidants will kill the cells or destroy their normal functions. Cells make another compound called glutathione which neutralizes oxidants and make them harmless. In several diseases, the supply of glutathione decreases because cells cannot make a sufficient quantity of it because of a shortage of another compound called cysteine. Doctors found that when more cysteine was given to injured and malnourished patients they were able to make more glutathione and they recovered more quickly.

Technical Abstract: Altered glutathione metabolism in association with increased oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases. However, whether strategies aimed at restoring glutathione concentration and homeostasis are effective in ameliorating or modifying the natural history of these states is unknown. In this review we discuss the pathogenic role for altered glutathione metabolism in such diseases as protein energy malnutrition, seizures, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, sickle cell anaemia, chronic diseases associated with ageing and the infected state. In addition, we discuss the efficacy of glutathione precursors in restoring glutathione homeostasis both in vitro and vivo.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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