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L-cysteine supplement could be an adjuvant therapy for type-2 diabetes mellitus

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By Jimmy Downs

Tuesday Sept 24, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Taking L-cysteine supplements may help patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus better control blood sugar levels, according to a review in Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is estimated to affect 24 million or 11% of people in the U.S. aged 20 or older.  There is no cure for the disease, but prescription drugs can and dietary intervention help manage serum glucose levels although not all patients can get serum glucose well under control.

S.K. Jain of LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, LA  reported that L-cysteine supplements, which are relatively cheap could be used as an adjuvant therapy for type 2 diabetes mellitus.    Both in animals and people with type 2 diabetes mellitus, cysteine-rich whey protein has been demonstrated to be able to improve glucose metabolism.

Additionally, animal studies showed that L-cysteine supplements or compounds with cysteine moiety also improved glucose metabolism.

What L-cysteine does according to the author is that it upregulates the insulin-dependent signaling cascade of glucose metabolism.

The author said "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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