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Types of Amino Acids
Alanine
Arginine
Aspartic Acid
Citrulline
Cysteine
Cystine
Glutamic Acid
Glutamine
Glycine
Histidine
Isoleucine
Leucine
Lysine
Methionine
Ornithine
Phenylalanine
Proline
Serine
Threonine
Tyrosine
Valine

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Dec 14,2017
Cysteine C (Cys)
Chemical Properties: Sulfur-containing (Sulfur containing group)
Physical Properties: Polar (uncharged)

Cysteine is one of two sulfur-containing amino acids; the other is methionine. Cysteine differs from serine in a single atom-- the sulfur of the thiol replaces the oxygen of the alcohol. The amino acids are, however, much more different in their physical and chemical properties than their similarity might suggest.

Consider, for example, the differences between H2O and H2S. The hydrogen bonding propensity of water is well known and is responsible for many of its remarkable features. Under similar conditions of temperature and pressure, however, H2S is a gas as a consequence of its weak H-bonding propensity. Furthermore, the proton of the thiol of cysteine is much more acid than the hydroxylic proton of serine, making the nucleophilic thiol(ate) much more reactive than the hydroxyl of serine.

Cysteine also plays a key role in stabilizing extracellular proteins. Cysteine can react with itself to form an oxidized dimer by formation of a disulfide bond. The environment within a cell is too strongly reducing for disulfides to form, but in the extracellular environment, disulfides can form and play a key role in stabilizing many such proteins, such as the digestive enzymes of the small intestine.

Cysteine and methionine are the only sulfur-containing amino acids.
Cysteine amino acid information page
Cysteine is a sulfur containing non-essential amino acid and is closely related to cystine, as cystine consists of two cysteine molecules joined together. It 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 required for
Your skin, as well as detoxification of your body, requires cysteine. It is found in beta-keratin, the main protein in nails, skin as well as hair. It not only is important in collagen production but also assists in skin elasticity and texture.

Cysteine is also required in the manufacture of the amino acid taurine and is a component of the antioxidant gluthione. It is useful to detoxify the body from harmful toxins and help protect the brain and liver from damage from alcohol, drugs etc.

It has also been found that it may help in strengthening the protective lining of the stomach as well as intestines, which may help prevent damage caused by aspirin and similar drugs.

Cysteine is also critical to the metabolism of a number of essential biochemicals including coenzyme A, heparin, biotin, lipoid acid, and glutathione.

Deficiency of cysteine
No direct deficiencies have been reported as such.

Dosage
The dosage listed is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.

General dosage is not known but as supplement cysteine is used at 200 mg two to three times per day.

Toxicity and symptoms of high intake
None known, but damage to nerve cells in rats has been reported in very high dosage, and research data is still being waited upon.

People suffering from diabetes and cystinuria should be careful of cysteine supplements.

Best used with
Best taken with selenium vitamin B6 and vitamin E.

When more may be required
People suffering from AIDS/HIV may benefit from cysteine in proper amounts, as low levels are normally reported in people with this problem.

Food sources of cysteine
The body can synthesize cysteine from the amino acid methionine but is also found in high protein foods such as poultry, wheat, broccoli, eggs as well as garlic, onions and red peppers.
  • Formation of hair, skin and collagen.
  • A precursor to Glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant and is necessary for a healthy respiratory and immune system.
  • The formation of Taurine, an amino acid and antioxidant, important for myocardial health.
  • Detoxification of heavy metals, and helping to protect liver and brain from free radical damage, including toxicity of alcohol, drugs, and cigarette smoke.
  • Promoting healing and improving the immune system by the effect on white cell function, especially in burn and HIV patients, whose immune systems are severely impaired.
  • Management the genetic sun-sensitivity disorder called Erythropoietic Porphyria.


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