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

Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2016 Dec;62(4):316-324. Epub 2016 Sep 7.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Glutathione / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Liver Diseases / etiology
  • Liver Diseases / mortality
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / drug therapy
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antioxidants
  • Glutathione