What is Cysteine?
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What is Cysteine?

What is Cysteine? Facts about Cysteine and Cysteine Supplement.

Cysteine is an amino acid containing sulphur that is found in most proteins. It oxidizes on exposure to air to form cystine. Cysteine occurs naturally in the foods and also can be manufactured by the body from methionine. Methionine is a crystalline amino acid containing sulphur, can be found in most proteins and essential for nutrition. Cysteine is known for several physiological roles and believed to have some health benefits. The production Cysteine is involved with other nutrients and deficiency of the nutrients such as methionine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, s-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) and folic acid may reduce the production of Cysteine.

Cysteine is known for promoting antioxidant activities. Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant and protects fatty tissues from free radical damages. Glutathione (GSH) can be found mostly in the liver and eyes. Glutathione is formed from Cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine and Cysteine boosts the antioxidant activity of glutathione.

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Cysteine is helpful in the treatment of bronchitis and other respiratory problems. Cysteine breaks down proteins found in mucous that settle in the lungs. Cysteine also plays an important role to keep the immune system work properly. As some studies suggested that low levels of Cysteine in the blood may either contribute to, or result from, immune suppression associated with HIV.

Cysteine can be found in several of foods such as garlic, onions, yogurt, grains, red peppers, egg yolks, and oats. It can also be found in other dark leafy vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Whey protein from non-pasteurized milk is also good source of Cysteine. When it is used as supplements, Cysteine normally comes in the form of N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC).

Cysteine plays a major role in the prevention and treatment of asthma, cancer, cataracts, acute respiratory distress syndrome, hair loss, heart disease, HIV, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and viral infections.

Cysteine deficiency is very rare and low intake of plant foods containing Cysteine and methionine can cause Cysteine deficiency. Low levels of Cysteine reduce body’s ability to prevent free radical damage. Also, low levels of Cysteine may cause impaired function of the immune system.

Cysteine containing foods is not likely to cause toxicity symptoms. But because it is a brain excitoxin, so it can cause damage to brain cells of few susceptible individuals who do not metabolize the amino acid correctly. High doses of N-acetyl-Cysteine can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergic reactions, low blood pressure, heart beat irregularities, breathing problems.

Sources:

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/cysteine-000298.htm

http://whfoods.org/

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Comments (1)

Thanks, good to know.

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