Cysteine, or specifically N-acetyl-cysteine, has been the focus of over two hundred research studies. Cysteine is a reactive essential amino acid important in the production of glutathione, as well as certain proteins and enzymes. It primarily occurs in keratin, the protein most important to the growth of hair, skin, and the nails. Keratin is also necessary for collagen production, which affects the flexibility and movement of skin. If cysteine levels are not maintained, keratin production will be affected.
There are also important anti-oxidant and anti-toxin effects that cysteine contributes to. Heavy metals can be bound by cysteine, which helps the body eliminate them. The anti-oxidant properties of cysteine will help counter the oxidizing effects of cholesterol, which can improve the prognosis of any one who is in early stages of possible artery hardening. High levels of cysteine are helpful for dealing with arthritis, and some cancers. When it’s not present in sufficient levels, the body will have a harder time tapping into fat for energy, and maintaining or improving muscle cells.
Foods high in protein are a good source of cysteine. This includes most meats, especially beef, but also certain vegetables such as beans and lentils. Nuts, corn, and milk are other sources of cysteine. An essential amino acid indeed.
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- 1Cysteine traps heavy metals in the body and removes them.
- 2Cysteine may help with fat burning and muscle growth. Cysteine â€‹â€‹is thought of as an essential amino acid.
- 3Natural sources of cysteine can be found in beef, poultry and other high-protein foods.
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