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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2016 December;62(4):316-24

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Glutathione in the treatment of liver diseases: insights from clinical practice

Rodolfo SACCO 1, Roberto EGGENHOFFNER 2, Luca GIACOMELLI 2

1 Department of Gastroenterology, Cisanello Hospital, Pisa, Italy; 2 Department of Surgical Sciences and Integrated Diagnostics, School of Medicine, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy


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Liver diseases markedly contribute to the global burden of mortality and morbidity. The pathogenesis of alcohol- and non-alcohol-induced liver diseases is complex, and many factors have been described to contribute to the progressive loss of liver functions, including the over-generation of reactive oxygen species. Glutathione (GSH) is the most important low-molecular-weight antioxidant synthesized in cells, as it is a reducing molecule which can react to oxygen species by neutralizing the unpaired electrons that make them highly reactive and dangerous. ROS over-production impairs the intracellular GSH homeostasis, leading to GSH deficiency, a pathophysiological hallmark in alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver diseases.Judging on the basis of the evidence obtained from experimental research and previous clinical studies, GSH administration seems to be a promising strategy to recover oxidative stress-induced liver damages in alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver diseases.

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