Cysteine is a nonessential amino acid, yet a biochemical powerhouse. Ever since the Greeks used garlic therapeutically, elemental sulfur has been employed to treat a wide variety of disorders. Cysteine, a higher quality source of sulfur than garlic, is active in many different situations in the body because of its special properties of the thiol grouping at the end of each molecule.
Thiol compounds not only prevent oxidation of sensitive tissues, which can cause aging and cancer, by sacrificing themselves for oxidation first, but they also help the body process and render harmless toxic chemicals and carcinogens. This is what makes cysteine, and its well-known star derivatives N-acetylcholine-cysteine and glutathione, extremely powerful components.
Foods rich in cysteine are high in sulfur. They include egg yolks and red peppers. Other good sources are garlic, onion, muscle protein, asparagus, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.