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Glutathione and Osteoarthritis

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Osteoarthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease[1] which results in the protective tissue (cartilage) at the joints of bones to break down.  It is a painful disease that worsens with both age and obesity and cannot be cured.  It is caused by several factors, but its progression is significantly related to oxidative stress and the generation of free radicals in the joint fluid [2].  

A recent review on the role of glutathione in osteoarthritis has revealed a that depleted glutathione exacerbated oxidative stress as seen in chronic inflammatory disorders such as osteoarthritis [3]. In addition, some studies showed that the current treatments for increasing glutathione including supplementation with n-acetylcysteine were showing some minor improvements in symptoms. 

With its ability to be efficiently transported into cells and rapidly increase cellular glutathione, orally administered gamma-glutamylcysteine is expected to show an even greater effect by reducing cartilage degradation and inflammation markers as well as significant improvements in pain and functional outcomes.   

References

1.            Daghestani, H.N. and V.B. Kraus, Inflammatory biomarkers in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis and cartilage, 2015. 23(11): p. 1890-1896. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26521734

2.            Zhu, S., et al., Glutathione as a mediator of cartilage oxidative stress resistance and resilience during aging and osteoarthritis. Connective Tissue Research, 2020. 61(1): p. 34-47. https://doi.org/10.1080/03008207.2019.1665035

3.            Setti, T., et al., The protective role of glutathione in osteoarthritis. Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Trauma, 2020. https://www.journal-cot.com/article/S0976-5662(20)30440-9/fulltext

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