Recent studies have demonstrated that plasma total cysteine (tCYS) levels are a risk factor of vascular disease in the coronary, cerebral, and peripheral vessels (1). CYS is sulfhydrl-containing amino acid with structural and chemical properties similar to those of
homocysteine. Autoxidation of CYS in vitro promotes several processes considered to be involved in atherogenesis and thrombogenesis. CYS has a cytotoxic effect in vitro against several cell types. CYS supports superoxide-mediated modification of LDL, which may facilitate foam cell formation. Finally, CYS forms an adduct with nitric oxide and may thereby impair endothelial function (2-4).
People with high levels of the amino acid cysteine carry 6 -10 kilograms more fat than other people. Professor Refsum’s research indicate that cysteine plays a key role in how the body metabolizes energy, stores fat, and breaks down fat (5-6).
Measurement of plasma tCYS levels is very impotent to diagnose risk for these diseases, and prevent and treat life-threatening obesity.