[Glutathione Film] Summary of Questions.  From Absorption to Side Effects of Glutathione

[Glutathione Film] Summary of Questions. From Absorption to Side Effects of Glutathione

Dec 03, 2023KimSunhyo

[Glutathione Film] Summary of Questions.

From Absorption to Side Effects of Glutathione

Glutathione Film
Glutathione Film, Has No Effect?
This content is health information about ingredients and not directly related to a specific product.
Three Misconceptions About Glutathione
1. Low absorption rate?
2. Glutathione has no effect?
3. Glutathione has side effects?

Hello, I am Jinny, a pharmacist.

If I were to choose the most sought-after dietary supplement these days, it would undoubtedly be glutathione. I have introduced this ingredient alongside research on several occasions. Lately, there seems to be a lot of popularity surrounding glutathione products in the form of films designed for absorption through the oral mucosa.

Therefore, today I'd like to present an intriguing research paper about glutathione. The paper is titled "Enhanced Absorption of Glutathione in the Oral Mucosa and Its Impact on Skin Pigmentation: A Clinical Review." It researched the effects of glutathione absorption through oral mucosal films on skin pigmentation. This paper was published in the SCI-grade journal "Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology" last year.

1. Low Absorption Rate?

First of all, glutathione is very difficult to absorb in the body. When glutathione is administered orally, it passes through the gastrointestinal tract and is rapidly broken down by enzymes in the body.

Due to this difficulty in absorption, some people resort to intravenous injection of glutathione to experience its benefits, such as skin whitening. However, there are still debates about the safety of high-dose glutathione administered intravenously, and there have been reported cases of side effects in South Korea.

Therefore, in the study mentioned earlier, the focus was on finding a route for glutathione absorption within the body that offers higher absorption rates than oral administration while being safer than intravenous injection.

After the assessment, the study proposed a method for delivering glutathione through oral dissolvable film to enhance absorption through the oral mucosa. The researchers observed that, in contrast to oral administration, where less than 10% of the substance enters the bloodstream, oral administration through dissolvable film resulted in over 80% of the glutathione being directly absorbed into the circulation.

"As discussed, glutathione is rapidly absorbed through the oral route and reaches sufficiently high levels in the bloodstream to have therapeutic efficacy. Research comparing intestinal absorption and oral absorption of glutathione has demonstrated that the latter is significantly superior, as glutathione enters the circulatory system directly and quickly reaches high levels."

Reference :  Sharma, D. K., & Sharma, P. (2022). Augmented Glutathione Absorption from Oral Mucosa and its Effect on Skin Pigmentation: A Clinical Review. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 15, 1853–1862.
2. Glutathione Has No Effect?

Glutathione is not a functional ingredient in health functional foods. Some argue that this fact is a reason to negatively assess the effects of glutathione consumption, even going as far as deeming it useless.

Glutathione is a component used as an oral medication for the treatment of drug overdose and improvement of liver function. Medications are used for the purpose of disease prevention or treatment, so it's unfounded to claim that taking glutathione has no effect.

Indeed, various clinical trials have demonstrated the effects of glutathione intake, including skin beautification by reducing melanin index, as well as antioxidant effects and improvements in liver function. [1-8]
[1] Arjinpathana, N., & Asawanonda, P. (2012). Glutathione as an oral whitening agent: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The Journal of dermatological treatment, 23(2), 97–102.
[2] Duperray, J., Sergheraert, R., Chalothorn, K., Tachalerdmanee, P., & Perin, F. (2022). The effects of the oral supplementation of L-Cystine associated with reduced L-Glutathione-GSH on human skin pigmentation: a randomized, double-blinded, benchmark- and placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 21(2), 802–813.
[3] Weschawalit, S., Thongthip, S., Phutrakool, P., & Asawanonda, P. (2017). Glutathione and its antiaging and antimelanogenic effects. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 10, 147–153.
[4] Handog, E. B., Datuin, M. S., & Singzon, I. A. (2016). An open-label, single-arm trial of the safety and efficacy of a novel preparation of glutathione as a skin-lightening agent in Filipino women. International journal of dermatology, 55(2), 153–157.
[5] Wahab, S., Anwar, A. I., Zainuddin, A. N., Hutabarat, E. N., Anwar, A. A., & Kurniadi, I. (2021). Combination of topical and oral glutathione as a skin-whitening agent: a double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial. International journal of dermatology, 60(8), 1013–1018.
[6] Sinha, R., Sinha, I., Calcagnotto, A., Trushin, N., Haley, J. S., Schell, T. D., & Richie, J. P., Jr (2018). Oral supplementation with liposomal glutathione elevates body stores of glutathione and markers of immune function. European journal of clinical nutrition, 72(1), 105–111.
[7] Richie, J. P., Jr, Nichenametla, S., Neidig, W., Calcagnotto, A., Haley, J. S., Schell, T. D., & Muscat, J. E. (2015). Randomized controlled trial of oral glutathione supplementation on body stores of glutathione. European journal of nutrition, 54(2), 251–263.
[8] Honda, Y., Kessoku, T., Sumida, Y., Kobayashi, T., Kato, T., Ogawa, Y., Tomeno, W., Imajo, K., Fujita, K., Yoneda, M., Kataoka, K., Taguri, M., Yamanaka, T., Seko, Y., Tanaka, S., Saito, S., Ono, M., Oeda, S., Eguchi, Y., Aoi, W., … Nakajima, A. (2017). Efficacy of glutathione for the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: an open-label, single-arm, multicenter, pilot study. BMC gastroenterology, 17(1), 96.

3. Glutathione Has Side Effects?

Glutathione is indeed an endogenous antioxidant found in our bodies and is considered a relatively safe ingredient. The research mentioned earlier also describes glutathione as a safe and effective substance.

Of course, as mentioned earlier, administering glutathione at high doses intravenously can lead to side effects, including allergies. Regardless of any substance known for its health benefits, if administered in high doses over a short period, unexpected side effects can occur.

In most human clinical trials utilizing glutathione [1-8], subjects were administered glutathione at doses ranging from 250 to 1,000mg. At these dosage levels, no serious side effects were reported.

"Glutathione treatment is safe, and the occurrence of side effects such as itching, reticular purpura, erythematous spots on the skin, and fatigue is rare."

Reference :  Sharma, D. K., & Sharma, P. (2022). Augmented Glutathione Absorption from Oral Mucosa and its Effect on Skin Pigmentation: A Clinical Review. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 15, 1853–1862.

Today, we've looked at glutathione from its oral mucosal absorption to potential side effects through an SCI-level paper. For popular ingredients like glutathione, it's essential to be cautious as there's often misinformation that can lead people astray.

If you have any more questions about specific ingredients in the future, feel free to leave a comment anytime. I'll be here to provide you with a thorough reading of the scientific papers.

I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.

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