Taking oral glutathione over the long-term is associated with low zinc levels, while inhaled glutathione may spark asthma attacks indicated by wheezing, states WebMD. As of 2015, it is unknown whether glutathione is safe for pregnant or breast-feeding women.
Naturally occurring within the cells of the body, glutathione is comprised of the amino acids cysteine, glutamate and glycine, states WebMD. It acts as an antioxident in the body, assisting to combat free radicals and aiding the body in detoxification. Glutathione production in the body naturally decreases with age or in response to certain conditions, such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, HIV or AIDS, Parkinson's disease and hepatitis.
Glutathione supplements are touted as a treatment for variety of health problems, such as preventing aging and improving athletic performance, however oral glutathione supplements do not appear to remain in the body long enough to provide these benefits, according to NYU Langone Medical Center. As of 2015, there is some evidence that injected glutathione may offer health benefits, such as preventing blood clots during surgery, treating male infertility and reducing early symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
As of 2015, studies show that glutathione may help the body protect itself from the damaging effects of cancer treatment, indicates WebMD.