As glutathione is a supplement of a substance that is produced naturally in the body, the frequency and seriousness of glutathione side effects tend to be minimal. Allergic reactions to glutathione can occur in certain people, especially when it is taken in large doses. This tends to be more of a case of having too much of the substance in one's body, which results in one's system beginning to reject it. Anyone experiencing allergic reactions while on glutathione should cease the use of the supplement and contact a doctor immediately.
- Zinc Deficiency. Zinc deficiency is a particularly serious glutathione side effect that is common in patients who have used glutathione over a long period of time. This condition is characterized by growth, retardation, loss of appetite, and suppression of the immune system. Other symptoms may include hair loss, diarrhea, impotence, and lesions in the skin and eyes.
- Skin Whitening. Another common glutathione side effect is whitening of the skin. This is a considerably less serious glutathione side effect that is caused by the qualities of glutathione as an antioxidant that aids in cell regeneration. Some users actually welcome this side effect, and may use glutathione to achieve a lighter skin tone.
- Abdominal Cramps and Nausea. Other glutathione side effects reported by patients include abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. These side effects often occur in patients who use glutathione for its skin whitening effect, primarily due to the large doses that usually need to be taken to achieve the desired skin tone.
- Other Glutathione Side Effects. Some glutathione users have reported experiencing sore throats, chest pains, and breathing problems, People who have preexisting gastrointestinal problems have found that glutathione often made these problems worse.
The effects of glutathione supplements on pregnant or lactating women are not well documented. The effects on glutathione and glutathione side effects on unborn children are unknown, but as always it is advisable for expectant mothers to consult a doctor before taking such supplements.