L-cysteine is used therapeutically and nutritionally to improve the health of humans. It’s a basic building block of glutathione, which has been coined “the mother of all antioxidants.” L-cysteine supplementation, also known as N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), is valued for its ability to increase glutathione levels in the body, which is extremely important for lung function, brain function and liver detoxification. Because a number of health conditions deplete your glutathione levels, you need L-cysteine to make more within your brain and body tissues.
L-cysteine is also valued for its ability to break up mucus, thereby making it easier to cough up phlegm that’s caused by respiratory and pulmonary conditions. Plus, L-cysteine is involved in regulating glutamate levels, influencing the neurons in the central nervous system. (1)
In a nutshell, we all need enough L-cysteine in order to properly fight oxidative stress and conditions affecting the brain and lungs. L-cysteine is made in small amounts by the human body, and you can also get L-cysteine from high-protein foods and supplementation.
Benefits of L-cysteine
Cysteine is able to fulfill several important functions in the human body due to its specific structure including sulfur and contributes significantly to the general well-being.
Especially when the individual has chronic conditions, cataract or arthritis he or she will greatly benefit from the appropriate supplementation of this semi-essential amino acid.
Also illnesses of the intestines usually increase the needs for L-cysteine, because many nutrients simply cannot be absorbed and get lost as a result of the digestive system being compromised.
Environmental factors such as stress or extreme physical strain will also lead to an increased demand in Cysteine.
The effect of extreme Reduction Diets on the body is not to be underestimated. This can severely deplete the body’s levels of vitamins and amino acids.
L-cysteine is very soluble in water. When cooking the above foods, special care should be taken that they are not be kept in water for too long to avoid washing out the amino acid.