Tag Archives: L-Cysteine

L-methionine Supplements for HIV or Immune-Compromised Patients

A study from South Africa has investigated the effects of L-methionine supplements for HIV or immune-compromised patients, with positive results.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a major global public health issue. Over 25 million people have died from HIV in the past 30 years, and more people are being diagnosed every day. According to the World Health Organization, there were about 34 million people living with HIV in 2011. HIV, in a matter of a decade, can develop into AIDS, which is the most advanced form of HIV.

HIV causes the immune system to fail, which means life-threatening infections and cancers can develop. The virus affects T cells in the immune system, leading to declines in the amounts of these vital cells.  HIV specifically affects CD4 T cells, white blood cells which are an essential part of the immune system.  If untreated, HIV causes the amount of CD4 cells to drop to a critically low level. Immunity is lost.

There’s no cure for HIV, but the virus can be treated with antiretroviral drugs. These are widely available in North America, but in Africa, where most of the new cases are diagnosed, fewer people have access. Research into boosting the immune system, therefore, is a growing field.

R Van Brummelen and D du Toit, researchers with the Tshwane University of Technology, Gezina, South Africa, developed a clinical study to test L-L-methionine supplements. Would the amino acid improve the immune system of HIV infected patients?

L-methionine, one of the sulfur-containing amino acids, is important for many bodily functions.  It converts to L-cysteine in the body, when it becomes a vital antioxidant, scavenging damaging free radicals and boosting the immune system.

L-methionine tested as immune supportive supplement

The researchers designed a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. HIV patients were given either L-methionine supplements, or a placebo. Treatments continued for six months, then the patients were tested.

Results were statistically significant. In the L-methionine supplement group, CD4 counts showed a decreased level of decline, meaning the HIV was not destroying as many of these crucial cells in the immune system.

Additionally, there were no serious side effects from the treatment.

The researchers concluded that L-methionine supports the immune system, and can play a role in the treatment of immune-compromised patients.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17006600

Cysteine – Anti-Aging Amino Acid?

Cysteine often called an anti-aging amino acid.  It appears to have many qualities that prevent or reverse aging. In fact, it has been said that aging may actually be a deficiency in cysteine.  

Cysteine is an anti-aging supporting anti-oxidant that protects cells by scavenging free radicals and chelating with heavy metals in order to keep the body clean of these ‘criminal’ elements that cause aging.

In fact, if you are into scientifically specific material, I highly suggest that you read Wulf Dröge’s article “Oxidative stress and aging: is aging a cysteine deficiency syndrome on the Royal Society Publishing website.

Cysteine – an anti-aging machine?

Cysteine, and its N-Acetyl Cysteine form, is also a precursor that provides another important anti-oxidant: glutathione. Glutathione is seen to be depleted in people who have many of the diseases frequently associated with old age. Cysteine provides a boost in glutathione levels even where it has been seen to be low in people with ailments such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.  Cysteine is one of the anti-aging supporting building blocks required along with glutamine and glycine to make glutathione.   In fact, article the Washington Times called glutathione an anti-aging machine!

Cysteine and N-Acetyl-Cysteine are powerful detoxifiers – leading to a potential anti-aging effect

In a young, healthy system, cysteine is recirculated and works to remove toxins every day, bringing natural anti-aging health benefits on a daily basis.  It is when the system gets overloaded with heavy metals, poisons, radiation and free radicals of every kind that cysteine levels are seen to fall and gradually the body loses the ability to restock its storehouse of cysteine in order to prevent these toxins from causing aging.  Cysteine deficiency is a symptom of aging that can be rectified and the effects of aging and disease stopped through proper diet and the use of supplements.

N-Acetyl Cysteine form of cysteine is often used in emergency rooms to detoxify the liver if a patient has overdosed on Tylenol (acetaminophen) and is experiencing a liver failure. Obviously, there are numerous anti-aging effects of cysteine and its other forms.

Cysteine is absorbed through diet as well as the body’s anti-aging functions being able to make much of its own cysteine.  It is found in foods like poultry, eggs yolks, red peppers, garlic, onions and brussel sprouts. These are all known to be natural anti-aging type foods—and they all have cysteine! It is also easy to take through supplements.  If you are interested in anti-aging, maybe you should look into cysteine supplements to see if they might work for you!

The author of this story, Michelle Carraway, is a freelance contributor to National Nutraceuticals’ online news portals, which include Medicinal Mushroom Information Center, Amino Acid Information Center, Vancouver Health News and Today’s Word of Wisdom.  The opinions are the writer’s own and the owner and publisher of the site assume no responsibility for the accuracy of the content. Our articles are for informational, educational and entertainment purposes only. Please do your own due diligence, verify any health claims by doing additional research and consult your doctor before starting any supplementation program or making any lifestyle changes, including changes to your medication and supplementation.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC436956/

http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/360/1464/2355.long