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Review
. 2018 Mar 3;23(3):575.
doi: 10.3390/molecules23030575.

Effects of the Usage of l-Cysteine (l-Cys) on Human Health

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Free PMC article
Review

Effects of the Usage of l-Cysteine (l-Cys) on Human Health

Noelia Clemente Plaza et al. Molecules. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

This review summarizes recent knowledge about the use of the amino acid l-Cysteine (l-Cys) through diet, nutritional supplements or drugs with the aim to improve human health or treat certain diseases. Three databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) and different keywords have been used to create a database of documents published between 1950 and 2017 in scientific journals in English or Spanish. A total of 60,885 primary publications were ultimately selected to compile accurate information about the use of l-Cys in medicine and nutritional therapies and to identify the reported benefits of l-Cys on human health. The number of publications about the use of l-Cys for these purposes has increased significantly during the last two decades. This increase seems to be closely related to the rise of nutraceutical industries and personalized medicine. The main evidence reporting benefits of l-Cys usage is summarized. However, the lack of accurate information and studies based on clinical trials hampers consensus among authors. Thus, the debate about the role and effectiveness of supplements/drugs containing l-Cys is still open.

Keywords: ">l-cysteine; biological medicine; dietary supplements; nutraceutical; nutritional therapy.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Chemical structure (a) and structural model (b) of an l-cysteine molecule (adapted from [1]).
Figure 2
Figure 2
Summary of cysteine metabolism [8].
Figure 3
Figure 3
Number of publications per year (January 1950–December 2017). Database: PubMed. Keyword: l-Cysteine.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Chemical structure of N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC).

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