Cystine: The amino acid that functions as an antioxidant and is a powerful aid to the body in protecting against radiation and pollution.

Cystine is a nonessential amino acid (protein building block), meaning that cystine can be made in the human body.  Cystine is formed from methionine and is required for proper vitamin B6 utilisation.  Cystine is one of the few amino acids that contains sulfur. This allows cystine to bond in a special way and maintain the structure of proteins in the body. Cystine is a component of the antioxidant, glutathione. The body also uses cystine to produce taurine, another amino acid.

Cystine can also be converted into glucose and used as a source of energy. Cystine strengthens the protective lining of the stomach and intestines, which may help prevent damage caused by aspirin and similar drugs. In addition, cystine may play an important role in the communication between immune system cells. Cystine is rarely used as a dietary supplement. N-acetyl cystine (NAC), which contains cystine, is more commonly used as a supplement.

Function and Benefits of Cystine

  • It is helpful in the healing of burns and wounds and helps break down mucus deposits in illnesses such as bronchitis and cystic fibrosis.
  • Cystine is a crystalline, sulphur-containing amino acid, formed from two molecules of the amino acid cysteine
  • Strengthens the protective lining of the stomach and intestines, which may help prevent damage caused by aspirin and similar drugs.
  • Functions as an antioxidant and is a powerful aid to the body in protecting against radiation and pollution.
  • Detoxification from cigarettes and alcohol – cystine has been shown as a detoxification agent to protect the body against damage of alcohol and cigarette smoking, and may be effective in preventing hangovers, as well as preventing liver and brain damage
  • Cystine or the N-acetyl form of cysteine (N-acetylcysteine, or NAC) may be used in place of L-cysteine. NAC aids in preventing side effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Because it increases glutathione levels in the lungs, kidneys, liver, and bone marrow, it has an anti aging effect on the body-reducing the accumulation of age spots, for example. NAC has been shown to be more effective at boosting glutathione levels than supplements of cystine or even of glutathione itself.
Cystine deficiency
  • Deficiency of cystine is rare, as it is found in so many protein foods, although in patients with chronic diseases, the synthesis of cystine from methionine appears to be prevented and could result in a deficiency.
  • People in these groups at risk of cystine deficiency should talk to a medical professional about cystine supplementation.
Rich Food Sources of Cystine
 leafy vegetables, bananas, broccoli, dates,nuts, seeds, meat, eggs, and milk.
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