Glutathione protects the cells from oxidative-stress-induced apoptosis and glutathione levels are magnesium dependent. Glutathione is a very important detoxifying agent, enabling the body to get rid of undesirable toxins and pollutants. It forms a soluble compound with the toxin that can then be excreted through the urine or the gut. The liver and kidneys contain high levels of glutathione as they have the greatest exposure to toxins. The lungs are also rich in glutathione partly for the same reason. Many cancer-producing chemicals, heavy metals, drug metabolites etc. are disposed of in this way.
Glutathione (glū'tə-thī'ōn') is a polypeptide, C10H17N3O6S, of glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid. Glutathione synthetase requires γ-glutamyl cysteine, glycine, ATP, and magnesium ions to form glutathione. In magnesium deficiency, the ss y-glutamyltranspeptidase is lowered. There is a direct relationship between cellular magnesium, GSH/GSSG ratios, and tissue glucose metabolism.