What is Cysteine?
Cysteine, or L-cysteine (abbreviated as Cys), is a proteinogenic amino acid that contributes in building protein and also has the element sulfur. It is produced in the liver which doesn’t qualify it to be an essential amino acid. It should, however, be supported by supplements to achieve the required amounts daily. This amino acid is usually found in protein supplements at only 2%, so a variety of foods should be taken to cover the needed amount. It is also an essential component of glutathione.
Cys depends on L-methionin because the former is made from them. This means that the number of the L-methionine is crucial to the body’s stock of the former. This makes it a semi-essential amino acid instead of non-essential not only because of the way it is synthesized, but also because of its position as the starter for many metabolic cycles.
Cys also has a role in detoxifying the body especially of sulfuric acid and in protection of the cells against free radicals. This is because of its very strong antioxidant characteristic. It also aids in building Glutathione, the body’s most powerful antioxidant if it is combined with glycine and Glutamic acid. Glutathione and cysteine work together in detoxifying the body. While Glutathione helps in reducing used Vitamin C and Vitamin E, the latter on the other hand fights copper poisoning and protects the cells from damaging substances, which are commonly resulting from too much consumption of nicotine.
The benefits of Cysteine
The level of Cys in the body should always be kept high by taking in special supplements together with a healthy diet. The body needs it to fulfill many functions. Most protein-rich foods contain cysteine, only in small amounts though. The diet should always be different and partnered with a good supplement. This is to ensure that only enough amounts of this amino acid are absorbed by the body.
Cys is needed by people with recurring conditions, as well as arthritis and cataract. They will greatly benefit from good supplementation. Also, this semi-essential amino acid is more needed by people with diseases of on their intestines. It aids in absorbing nutrients from food, and if the intestines cannot function properly in absorbing food, this amino acid can help them in doing so.
What foods contain Cysteine?
Many foods contain Cys. Soy products and meat are the most appropriate amount of cysteine that can provide the daily requirement of 1,400 mg. Pork, chicken and eggs also have high amounts of this amino acid. Even vegetarians can get their daily supply. Walnuts and sunflower seeds as well as soybeans can provide them the highest concentration of Cys.
Cystein is soluble in water, which is why extra care should be observed when cooking foods with it. Cys should not be kept in water for prolonged periods of time to avoid washing it out. Cys can fulfill a lot of crucial body functions because of its structure which includes adequate amounts of sulfur which commits to the general health of the body.