We speculate that the glutathione (GSH) status of human subjects could be an indicator of health and functional age. In this regard, in a study in which, 80 young and 40 elderly healthy individuals were selected as control. We also studied 145 patients with chronic illnesses namely, ischaemic heart disease, diabetes, preeclampsia, cataract, chronic renal failure and leukaemia (age 52 +/- 8.6 years). We observed that all the subjects had high malonadildehyde and low glutathione levels as compared to control. These early observations support the hypothesis that oxidative stress may have an important aetiological rule and antioxidants a potential therapeutic role.