Formal Name: N-acetyl-L-cysteine
Supplement Forms: Pills, food, liquid

Recommended Daily Allowance

  • Infants: (0 to 12 Months) n
  • Children: (1 to 13 years) N/A
  • Adolescents: (14 to 18 Years) N/A
  • Adults: (19 and Older) N/A
  • Lactating Women: N/A
  • Pregnant Women: N/A

Notes: Cysteine is a non-essential amino acid that is produced internally within the body.

Additional Information

The human body is able to convert cysteine amino acid from cystine, its sulphur-containing amino acid counterpart. The richest areas of cysteine in the body are skin and hair areas as well as in digestive enzymes.

Bodily Functions Cysteine Assists

Cysteine's greatest influence is in the stimulation of glutathione, one of the body's most abundant forms of antioxidants. The various free radicals that penetrate the body and induce damage on all types of cells can be neutralized by the presence of antioxidants. Cysteine works to increase the level of glutathione levels within the body which help reduce damage from free radicals. Similarly, the increased levels of glutathione help detoxify the liver and promotes the excretion of heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium that can accumulate in the body. Additionally,the combination of vitamin C, another antioxidant, with cysteine may help in obesity reduction associated with an insulin-resistant state.

Symptoms Of Deficiency:
  • Stunted growth in children
  • Fatigue
  • Grey hair
  • Skin lesions
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Reduced levels of protein in blood stream
Foods High In Cysteine

Sources of cysteine include poultry, egg yolk, wheat germ, garlic, onions, red peppers, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

Ailments That Cysteine Helps Against:
  • Aids in the treatment of acetaminophen overdose
  • May contribute in the treatment of skin disorders
  • Assists in the healing of burns and wounds
  • Helps against symptoms of various respiratory illnesses
Side Effects And Toxicity

Cysteine is not known to be dangerous in high doses. A particular form of cysteine known as N-acetyl cysteine is associated with several side-effects such as nausea, upset stomach, and vomiting. Cystine, the counterpart to cysteine, is known to be associated with the formation of kidney stones. Patients who are diabetic or suffer from cystinuria should consult their doctor before supplementing with this amino acid