L-cysteine plays a vital role in the maintenance of several diverse metabolic functions. It is also among the building blocks for protein synthesis which is a very important process in the human body. While there are many claimed health benefits of using the compound as evaluated by experts, L-cysteine is most popular as glutathione support.
What is L-cysteine?
The dietary supplement ingredient L-cysteine is a natural protein building block that is found in the body and protein-rich foods such as eggs and dairy products. It is classified as a semi-essential amino acid, meaning, it is naturally produced in the body but is still necessarily supplemented by food. Experts say, however, that the need for L-cysteine supplementation is heightened among elderly individuals and those with certain metabolic conditions that affect nutritional absorption.
L-cysteine is the active form of cysteine. Its CAS number is 52-90-4 and its molecular formula is C3H7NO2S. The molecular weight of the compound is 121.16 g/mol.
The compounds are of white crystals or powder appearance and are generally soluble in water. It is known to helpful for several medical purposes.
Forms and specifications
The base compound L-cysteine is often combined with other chemical components to synergize its health effects and enhance certain factors related to absorbability. The common L-cysteine powder which is often used in the formulation of supplements is a potent antioxidant that may help cleanse body cells from circulating free radicals and other toxic compounds. These toxic compounds are known to contribute to the development of diseases like cancers.
Also known as NAC, N-acetyl-l-cysteine is a well-known supplement form of L-cysteine. Aside from possessing the vital properties of L-cysteine, the compound is also said to aid in the control of psychiatric disorders and other mental health conditions. This is because it helps regulate levels of neurotransmitters such as glutamate. Overall, NAC is taken for its ability to support mental wellness through mechanisms that include cellular detoxification.
In one study, medical experts suggested that the plain form L-cysteine has a higher availability for body cells than NAC. This finding further suggested that in terms of glutathione synthesis, the plain form L-cysteine is directly absorbed and used up while N-acetyl-l-cysteine is first deacetylated before being used up. These evaluated statements may support reviews stating that the plain cysteine supplements may be more beneficial and efficient for glutathione support.
Another common form of L-cysteine is L-cysteine hydrochloride. The compound is produced by adding a molar equivalent of hydrogen chloride.
Cysteine hydrochloride is known by the label ELCYS. It is used in the medical field as an additive to amino acids for patients who are undergoing total parenteral nutrition (TPN) due to several underlying medical conditions such as liver disease. Related studies also show that it may be helpful in infants who need TPN. The compound, for purposes of TPN, is however necessarily diluted.
L-cysteine vs Glutathione
Both L-cysteine and glutathione are health supplement ingredients that contain antioxidant properties which are beneficial to boost overall health and wellness by protecting cells and body organs from the damaging effects of circulating free radicals. Health care experts say that a combination of these compounds may help synergize their health effects, thereby improving overall benefits associated with their supplementation.
Essentially, one of the functions of L-cysteine supplements is to aid in replenishing intracellular glutathione levels. Thus, L-cysteine is a precursor to glutathione production. There are certain differences when it comes to L-cysteine supplementation and glutathione supplementation which are important considerations in the selection of effective supplement products.
In one study, health care experts have found that based on the chemical structure of L-cysteine, it has a lower molecular weight than glutathione. This makes the supplement product more absorbable by body cells to produce health benefits.
How does L-cysteine work?
L-cysteine has several mechanisms of action in the human body which are necessary for sustaining life. As an amino acid, the compound supports the stabilization of tertiary protein structure to promote metabolic activities. Cysteine also serves to promote the natural synthesis of glutathione in the liver, which, in turn, results in effective conjugation of circulating free radicals that are usually stored in body cells and affect their basic functions. This mechanism is also important to understand why the compound is believed by experts to be helpful among patients diagnosed with cancer and other metabolic conditions.
The antioxidant property of the compound and glutathione which is synthesized with the amino acid cysteine is believed to be contributory in the control of inflammation particularly in the gastrointestinal system.
In a recent review on the status of healthy individuals taking L-cysteine supplements, it was found that the ingredient can be beneficial in hair care, as well as in the protection of cardiovascular cells through pro-inflammatory signaling. A combination of the antioxidant powder L-cysteine with other vitamin ingredients like Vitamin D is believed to effectively boost glutathione synthesis and enhance healthy cellular detoxification.
Medical experts also use NAC, the common form of L-cysteine, as a mucolytic agent as it works by decreasing the viscosity of secretions in the lungs. This effectively promotes lung health and prevents the weakening of the cells of the organs.
An important finding on L-cysteine is that it may also control blood sugar among diabetic patients by preventing insulin resistance. The antioxidant properties of the compound may also contribute to sugar level control.
It promotes hair growth
Hair growth is affected by both genetic and environmental factors. Both men and women may experience hair loss due to damaging conditions which include unhealthy nutritional status. Experts say that L-cysteine supplementation may be helpful in regulating hair growth as it is among the important amino acids for keratin production. It was also explained in health care researches that L-cysteine supplementation improves hair health, thereby preventing damage brought about by environmental predispositions.
It was emphasized, however, that L-cysteine dietary supplement does not diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease involving hair growth that develops due to genetic predispositions.
It promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails
As a keratin and collagen-building block, the amino acid L-cysteine is also believed to improve the overall function of the integumentary system. The compound effectively enhances skin elasticity and texture and prevents the brittleness of nails.
Health care experts also say that as an antioxidant, the compound may help protect skin cells from the damaging effects of toxic chemicals which usually lodge in the interstitial spaces of cells. In effect, it is believed that supplements with L-cysteine may be useful in enhancing skin wellness.
It supports glutathione
Cellular detoxification is a very important function of the various chemicals and enzymes in all organ systems. This is because free radicals can damage cells gradually and compromise their effective functioning.
As a known glutathione synthesis support, L-cysteine in protein-rich foods and dietary supplements is helpful to promote cellular detoxification and prevent destruction at the cellular level, thereby preventing the development of more serious conditions affecting the organ system.
The standard dosage for L-cysteine and NAC supplementation is usually at a maximum of 500 milligrams per day. However, the compound may be used in medications at doses determined by a physician based on the individual needs of the patients and the medical condition sought to be managed.
Dosage for L-cysteine may depend based on a person’s age, weight, and overall physical condition. For its use among individuals who are taking medications in the treatment of other health conditions, reference to a physician is necessary.
L-cysteine side effects
Common side effects of L-cysteine and NAC supplementation include mild headaches, dry mouth, and dizziness which typically disappear after the first few doses as established in studies and presented in independent customer reviews. However, individual users are directed to contact their health care provider in case of the development of unusual adverse effects which affect the respiratory system and the nervous system.
Where to buy L-cysteine in bulk?
The price for bulk L-cysteine powder usually ranges from $25 to $35 per kilogram. Prices may vary depending on the quantity of purchase and the fees for shipping the powder.
If you are looking for a reliable ingredient supplier for the purchase of the L-cysteine in bulk, the prime consideration should be the supplier’s reputation and credibility. Nutriavenue is a very reliable and efficient ingredient supplier registered as such with the Food and Drug Administration. We are also recognized and certified by Halal, Kosher, GMP, and FDA.
The products we offer at Nutriavenue are of proven quality and purity. We are also preferred by customers all over the world as we offer dietary supplement ingredients at very affordable prices.
For more information on the products we offer, you may visit our site at Nutriavenue.com and make a simple search on our page to check product availability. You may also opt to contact our friendly and customer-oriented technical support staff to get a free quote or to get more information.
L-cysteine is quite beneficial to improve wellness as it acts in several different mechanisms. It must be used, however, within recommended doses to prevent side effects and adverse effects. Persons who are suffering from certain illnesses should take the compound only after consulting their physician.