Taking L-glutathione can help detoxify the body of heavy metals, such as mercury, and improve the symptoms of many diseases, according to AminoAcidStudies.org. It helps protect the body from oxidation and occurs naturally in the liver. Depleted levels increase the risk of developing age-related diseases.
Increasing the levels of glutathione in the body helps reduce oxidative stress and aids the body in fighting free radicals that can cause diseases such as Parkinson's, sickle cell anaemia, cancer, asthma, heart attacks, Alzheimer's and macular degeneration, according to WebMD. It has also shown to improve fertility in men. While taking glutathione orally has yet to be thoroughly researched, there are documented cases of its effectiveness when taken intravenously.
When taken as a supplement, it is most effective to take combinations of L-cysteine and L-glutamine with the amino acids selenium, zinc and magnesium, according to AminoAcidStudies.org. Another way to increase the body's production of glutathione naturally is to eat foods rich in the substance. These include most fresh vegetables, fruits and red meat. Foods that are high in sulphur are particularly effective, and AminoAcidStudies.org recommends eating cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower and garlic. Cooked foods lose many of their benefits, so it is best to consume the fruits and vegetables fresh.
L-Glutathione in supplement form is less effective because it is a protein and is broken down by the gut before it reaches the cells. A way around this problem other than taking glutathione intravenously is to take a precursor, according to AminoAcidStudies.org. A precursor contains the molecules that are needed for the body to stimulate glutathione production. An example of a precursor is the micro-nutrient N-Acetyl-Cysteine.