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Review
. 2012 Aug;90(8):1061-4.
doi: 10.1139/y2012-087. Epub 2012 Jul 11.

L-cysteine Supplementation as an Adjuvant Therapy for type-2 Diabetes

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Review

L-cysteine Supplementation as an Adjuvant Therapy for type-2 Diabetes

Sushil K Jain. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. .

Abstract

Diabetes remains a major public health issue. According to the American Diabetes Association, 23.5 million, or 10.7% of people in the USA aged 20 years and older, have diabetes. Type-2 diabetes is treated both by controlling the diet and with oral hypoglycemic drugs. However, for many patients, achieving a tight control of glucose is difficult with current regimens. This chapter discusses a relatively low-cost dietary supplement that could be used as an adjuvant therapy for type-2 diabetes. A review of the literature indicates that cysteine-rich whey protein improves glucose metabolism in diabetic animals and type-2 diabetic patients. Similarly, in animal studies, improvement in glucose metabolism is observed after supplementation with L-cysteine, or molecules containing a cysteine moiety. This chapter discusses the biochemical mechanisms by which L-cysteine can upregulate the insulin-dependent signaling cascades of glucose metabolism. Further studies are needed to examine whether clinical interventions using L-cysteine as an adjuvant therapy indeed help to control glycemia and vascular inflammation in the diabetic patient population.

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