Yes they can.
Oxidative stress is recognized as an important factor in the creation of cardiovascular disease.
The following research is interesting because the participants were 114 healthy non-smokers without any known atherosclerosis (Ashfaq S, et al. 2006).
Oxidative stress was estimated by measuring blood levels of glutathione, it’s oxidized form and also their redox state in addition to other factors related to oxidative stress.
The carotid intima-media thickness was measured using ultrasound.
The findings showed that the glutathione redox state, which is a measurement of intracellular oxidative stress, is an independent predictor of the presence of early atherosclerosis in an otherwise healthy population.
What can you do about it?
You can take glutathione to be sure your cells are not depleted.
You have to get glutathione into the cells, and regular glutathione does not get into the cells.
There is only one form of glutathione available which has shown to get into the cells and that is S-Acetyl Glutathione (Cacciatore I, et al. 2010).
Ashfaq S1, Abramson JL, Jones DP, Rhodes SD, Weintraub WS, Hooper WC, Vaccarino V, Harrison DG, Quyyumi AA. The relationship between plasma levels of oxidized and reduced thiols and early atherosclerosis in healthy adults. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Mar 7;47(5):1005-11. Epub 2006 Feb 9.
Cacciatore I1, Cornacchia C, Pinnen F, Mollica A, Di Stefano A. Prodrug approach for increasing cellular glutathione levels. Molecules. 2010 Mar 3;15(3):1242-64. doi: 10.3390/molecules15031242.
Effective S-Acetyl Glutathione
Glutathione is your primary defense against aging, but regular glutathione is oxidized (destroyed in the stomach) and provides little value. S-Acetyl Glutathione is easily absorbed and provides protection.