Glutathione Studies

Randomized controlled trial of oral glutathione supplementation on body stores of glutathione

Richie JP Jr1, Nichenametla S, Neidig W, Calcagnotto A, Haley JS, Schell TD, Muscat JE.

Author information

1Department of Public Health Sciences, Penn State Cancer Institute, H069, Penn State University College of Medicine, 500 University Drive, Hershey, PA, 17033, USA.

Eur J Nutr. March 2015, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 251-263



Glutathione (GSH), the most abundant endogenous antioxidant, is a critical regulator of oxidative stress and immune function. While oralGSH has been shown to be bioavailable in laboratory animal models, its efficacy in humans has not been established. Our objective was to determine the long-term effectiveness of oral GSH supplementation on body stores of GSH in healthy adults.


A 6-month randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of oral GSH (250 or 1,000 mg/day) on GSH levels in blood, erythrocytes, plasma, lymphocytes and exfoliated buccal mucosal cells was conducted in 54 non-smoking adults. Secondary outcomes on a subset of subjects included a battery of immune markers.


GSH levels in blood increased after 1, 3 and 6 months versus baseline at both doses. At 6 months, mean GSH levels increased 30-35 % in erythrocytes, plasma and lymphocytes and 260 % in buccal cells in the high-dose group (P < 0.05). GSH levels increased 17 and 29 % in blood and erythrocytes, respectively, in the low-dose group (P < 0.05). In most cases, the increases were dose and time dependent, and levels returned to baseline after a 1-month washout period. A reduction in oxidative stress in both GSH dose groups was indicated by decreases in the oxidized to reduced glutathione ratio in whole blood after 6 months. Natural killer cytotoxicity increased >twofold in the high-dose group versus placebo (P < 0.05) at 3 months.


These findings show, for the first time, that daily consumption of GSH supplements was effective at increasing body compartment stores of GSH.



Combined L-citrulline and glutathione supplementation increases the concentration of markers indicative of nitric oxide synthesis.

McKinley-Barnard S, Andre T, Morita M2, Willoughby DS. J Int Soc Sports Nutr.2015 Jun 10;12:27. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0086-7. eCollection 2015.



Nitric oxide (NO) is endogenously synthesized from L-arginine and L-citrulline. Due to its effects on nitric oxide synthase (NOS), reduced glutathione (GSH) may protect against the oxidative reduction of NO. The present study determined the effectiveness of L-citrulline and/or GSH on markers indicative of NO synthesis in in vivo conditions with rodents and humans and also in an in vitro condition.


In phase one, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were treated with either 0.3 mM L-citrulline, 1 mM GSH (Setria®) or a combination of each at 0.3 mM. In phase two, Sprague-Dawley rats (8 weeks old) were randomly assigned to 3 groups and received either purified water, L-citrulline (500 mg/kg/day), or a combination of L-citrulline (500 mg/kg/day) and GSH (50 mg/kg/day) by oral gavage for 3 days. Blood samples were collected and plasma NOx (nitrite + nitrate) assessed. In phase three, resistance-trained males were randomly assigned to orally ingest either cellulose placebo (2.52 g/day), L-citrulline (2 g/day), GSH (1 g/day), or L-citrulline (2 g/day) + GSH (200 mg/day) for 7 days, and then perform a resistance exercise session involving 3 sets of 10-RM involving the elbow flexors. Venous blood was obtained and used to assess plasma cGMP, nitrite, and NOx.


In phase one, nitrite levels in cells treated with L-citrulline and GSH were significantly greater than control (p < 0.05). In phase two, plasma NOx with L-citrulline + GSH was significantly greater than control and L-citrulline (p < 0.05). In phase three, plasma cGMP was increased, but not significantly (p > 0.05). However, nitrite and NOx for L-citrulline + GSH were significantly greater at 30 min post-exercise when compared to placebo (p < 0.05).


Combining L-citrulline with GSH augments increases in nitrite and NOx levels during in vitro and in vivo conditions.



Additional References

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