Two interrelated amino acids known as cysteine and cystine play key roles in the health of our hair, skin, and nails. When you factor in that they are also used to produce glutathione – the powerful antioxidant that helps the body remove toxins and neutralize free radicals – their need in human nutrition becomes even more significant.
Cysteine is a sulfur-based amino acid that is found in beta-keratin, which is the main protein of our hair, skin, and nails. Cysteine encourages skin elasticity and collagen production that is essential for maintaining healthy bones and connective tissue.
Cysteine is considered a non-essential amino acid that can be manufactured internally and obtained from red peppers, cruciferous vegetables, and high protein food sources such as meat and eggs.
The detoxification protein known as glutathione is made in the liver from cysteine, glycine, and glutamine. Glutathione acts like a scavenger in being able to bind with potentially harmful compounds such as mercury and other heavy metals, pesticides, and chemical pollutants. Without glutathione, our natural immune system would be hard-pressed to ward off toxins and disease.
On the other hand, cystine consists of two molecules of cysteine joined together. Both of these amino acids can be converted into the other form as needed. Of the two, cysteine is more volatile. However, our bodies can absorb cysteine much more easily than cystine. Moreover, an overabundant supply of cystine can trigger an unusual condition called cystinosis which may result in the formation of kidney or bladder stones. Our bodies require vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid (folate) in sufficient quantities in order to use cystine. Taking vitamin C supplements can help reduce the risk of converting too much cysteine to harmful levels of cystine.
Cysteine vs. Homocysteine
Homocysteine is an amino acid waste product that is created when our bodies use cysteine. Various B vitamins (of which thiamine B1 and biotin B7 contain sulfur) are needed to convert homocysteine into methionine (another essential, sulfur-based amino acid) that can be safely recycled and used by our body. As noted in a report entitled Measurement of Homocysteine that was authored by Dr. Gillian Hart, BSc (Hons), PhD, Cert Mgmt (Open), MIBMS and was published on the Food For The Brain website, when homocysteine levels are above normal, various health maladies may result.
Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid produced as part of the methylation process. It has the formula C4H9NO2S and is a derivative of protein that is found in blood plasma when body chemistry is out of balance. It is a homologue of the amino acid cysteine, differing by an additional methylene (-CH2-) group. Homocysteine is not obtained from the diet, instead, it is biosynthesized from methionine via a multi-step process that probably occurs in every cell of the body…
A constantly increasing number of studies have been published that show homocysteine to be a predictor of potential health problems. It is clear now that raised plasma homocysteine concentrations both predict and precede the development of cardiovascular disease including stroke… Raised levels of homocysteine are also linked to Alzheimer’s, dementia, declining memory, poor concentration and judgment and lowered mood.
N-acetylcysteine, or NAC, is a sulfur-based antioxidant supplement that is promoted as a way to boost glutathione levels quickly. Taken orally, NAC raises blood and tissue levels of cysteine. As a high-demand detoxification supplement, NAC functions as the precursor in the production of taurine (a sulfur-based animo acid used to regulate heartbeat) and metallothionein (a cysteine-rich, metal-binding protein).
NAC has been used in conventional medicine for over 30 years, mostly as a mucolytic (mucous-thinner) to manage conditions such as cystic fibrosis. When administered intravenously, NAC has been a lifesaver for treating acetaminophen poisoning caused by pain-killing drugs such as Tylenol®. In addition, NAC has found use as a way to protect against influenza and flu-like illnesses.
Determine Your Amino Acid Levels by the Frequencies in Your Voice
Sound Health Options is an Ohio research and development firm that has been at the forefront of educating the public in the use of its cutting-edge software programs that map the human voice to various nutritional and health issues. As stated below by Sound Health Options founder Sharry Edwards, her software applications offer a safe and detailed view at the human condition without the use of drugs.
Using the idea that the voice is a holographic representation of health and wellness, non-invasive techniques are being advanced to the extent that a computerized Vocal Profile, using a system of Frequency Equivalents™ can be used to accurately quantify, organize, interpret, define, and extrapolate biometric information from the human voice.
–Definitive Theory of Human BioAcoustic Vocal Profiling & Sound Presentation
by Sharry Edwards, MEd
As a test, I used a couple of Sound Health programs (PreVac and Cancer Crusade) to assess the health of a person I know who is currently bound to a wheelchair. Reports generated from just those two applications alone revealed that this individual’s health problems are linked to low levels of cystine, glutathione s-transferase alpha 2, acetylcysteine, glutamine, and N-acetyl-cysteine.
Professional practitioners who have taken the requisite classes and are equipped with a special tone box are capable of generating the specific set of audio frequencies that can aid in addressing various health maladies.
N-acetyl Cysteine: The Overlooked Compound That Saves Lives
By Julius Goepp, MD
Life Extension Magazine | May 2010
What is the difference between cysteine and cystine?
What Vitamins Contain Sulfur?
by Temesha Aldridge
LiveStrong | Last Updated: Sep 15, 2015
The Master Antioxidant
Golden Wellness Center
Methylation and Homocysteine
Food for the Brain
Better Nutrition: Your Guide to Healthy Living
The Role of Metallothionein in Oxidative Stress
PUbMed | Mar 13, 2013
Sound Health Options