Cysteine: The amino acid that helps to detoxify harmful toxins and protect the body from radiation damage.

Cysteine is a sulphur containing non-essential amino acid, which is formed from methionine. It is necessary in the detoxification of the body from harmful toxins. Cysteine helps protect the liver and brain from damage. It is required in the manufacture of taurine and is a component of glutathione. Skin nails and hair contain cysteine – and it is not only important in collagen production but also assists in skin elasticity and texture.

Cysteine and Cystine are closely related; each molecule of cystine consists of two molecules of cysteine joined together. Cysteine is very unstable and is easily converted to L-cystine; however, each form is capable of converting into the other as needed. Both are sulfur containing amino acids that aid in the formation of skin and are important in detoxification. Cysteine is present in alpha-keratin, the chief protein constituent of the fingernails, toenails, skin, and hair. Cysteine aids in the production of collagen and promotes the proper elasticity and texture of the skin. It is also found in a variety of other proteins in the body, including several of the digestive enzymes.

Function  and Benefits of Cysteine

  • It acts as precursor to glutathione which is an antioxidant. It therefore detoxifies the body from the free radical produced in the body which damages the cell membrane and DNA. The presence of these free radicals also results in number of disease like heart diseases or even cancers. So these needs to be eliminated which is done by cysteine.
  • Cysteine is closely related to cystine, as cystine consists of two cysteine molecules joined together
  • Cysteine is critical to the metabolism of a number of essential biochemicals – coenzyme A, heparin, biotin, lipoid acid, and glutathione
  • Cysteine is an unstable nutrient and easily converts to cystine, but this does not cause a problem, since both can convert into the other – as required by the body
  • Cysteine is needed for the skin and it performs detoxification action in the body as it is present in keratin which is the main protein found in the nails, hairs and skin.
  • Cysteine helps to detoxify harmful toxins and protect the body from radiation damage. It is one of the best free radical destroyers, and works best when taken with selenium and vitamin E.
  • Cysteine is also precursor to glutathione, a substance that detoxifies the liver by binding with potentially harmful substances there. It helps to protect the liver and brain from damage due to alcohol, drugs, and toxic compounds in cigarette smoke.
  • Stomach protection – cysteine has been found to help strengthen the protective lining of the stomach as well as intestines, which may help prevent damage caused by aspirin and similar drugs
  • Since cysteine is more soluble than cystine, it is used more readily in the body and is usually best for treating most illnesses. This amino acid is formed from L-methionine in the body. Vitamin B6, vitamin12 and folate are necessary for cysteine synthesis, which may not take place as it should in the presence of chronic disease.
Rich Food Sources of Cysteine
  • Foods of animal origin These are chicken, meat, turkey, eggs, meat, yogurt, cottage cheese, and whey proteins etc
  • Foods of plant origin: These include onion, broccoli, garlic, red pepper, sprouts, wheat, granola,  lentil and leafy greens etc.

Cysteine deficiency

  • No direct deficiencies have been reported, but in chronic diseases it seems the formation of cysteine from methionine can be prevented, resulting in a deficiency.
  • People on low protein diets – people who are not eating enough protein foods may not get enough cysteine in their diet

4 thoughts on “Cysteine: The amino acid that helps to detoxify harmful toxins and protect the body from radiation damage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s