What function does l-cysteine have in the body?
L-cysteine acts as the primary source of sulphur for the body. The amino acid forms sulphur bridges that give our connective tissues the strength they need. It also stimulates the production of collagen and thus helps to give the skin a firm, youthful appearance. L-cysteine is also a component of keratin – the substance that makes the hair and nails strong and stable. As an antioxidant, L-cysteine combats damage to the cells by free radicals too. This prevents oxidative stress and slows down the natural ageing of the skin. The versatile amino acid also supports the liver in the detoxification process and protects the brain. Last but not least, it strengthens the immune system.
What happens if there is a deficiency of l-cysteine?
Those who are not always able to eat a healthy and balanced diet can easily find that they are taking in too little L-cysteine. A deficiency becomes apparent, among other things, through brittle hair, hair loss, weak nails, dry and cracked skin and frequent infections. Those with liver problems can also suffer from an L-cysteine deficiency, even if they are eating a balanced diet. The liver is then unable to form the amino acid adequately itself. If you are concerned, you should ask your doctor to check your L-cysteine level and liver values.
How can I meet my Day-to-day need for l-cysteine?
Do you have an L-cysteine deficiency? You can do something about it. The first step is to include foods in your diet that contain a lot of L-cysteine. These include, above all, protein-rich products such as beef and pork, fish, eggs, pulses, cereals, nuts and mushrooms. You can also use nutritional supplements that contain L-cysteine. For firm skin, beautiful hair and strong nails, you can supply your body with other antioxidants, too – such as selenium or the coenzyme Q10.