Glutathione is an antioxidant that helps protecting cells from reactive oxygen species such as free radicals and peroxides. By acting as an electron donor, glutathione reduces any disulfide bond formed within cytoplasmic proteins to cysteines. Glutathione is found almost exclusively in its reduced form, since the enzyme that reverts it from its oxidized form, glutathione reductase, is constitutively active and inducible upon oxidative stress. In fact, the ratio of reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione within cells is often used scientifically as a measure of cellular toxicity.
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