Cysteine: The Lung Protecting Nutrient That People Aren’t Talking About

by Metabolic Meals

by Metabolic Meals

Updated Jun 20, 2021

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With the number of Coronavirus cases exponentially growing each day, a serious effort is underway to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system.

Social distancing and strengthening the immune system are a must right now. We need to not only decrease our chances of contracting the virus, but also lessen the likelihood of serious complications and hospital stays.

Traditional “immune nutrients” such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc have been talked about at length, but a lesser known amino acid powerhouse also exists that has some very specific benefits for the lungs: cysteine.

What is Cysteine?

Cysteine is an amino acid that is a precursor to glutathione, the body’s most powerful antioxidant which helps support healthy lungs, liver function, detoxification and muscle recovery.


How does Cysteine specifically protect the respiratory system?

Cysteine works to break up sulfide bonds that are responsible for thickening mucus. By supporting healthy mucus viscosity and decreasing inflammation, Cysteine helps maintain normal breathing patterns and supports healthy lung function.


What foods are good sources of Cysteine?

Per 100g:
Beef Steak345 mg

Grass-fed top steak and roasted vegetable meal on table.

Chicken Breasts – 336 mg

Chicken and vegetable medley meal on table.

Eggs – 292 mg

Free range egg breakfast meal on table.

Swiss Cheese – 290 mg

Swiss cheese bison burger and fries on table.

Oatmeal – 97 mg

Oatmeal and turkey sausage breakfast meal on table.

Beef Liver – 388 mg

Sunflower Seeds – 383 mg

Lean Pork Chop – 350 mg

Lentils – 118 mg

Tuna – 321 mg


How much Cysteine is needed per day for lung protection?

Multiple studies have shown that 600-1200mg of cysteine per day can significantly improve lung function in people with cystic fibrosis, asthma and pulmonary fibrosis, as well as symptoms of nasal and sinus congestion due to allergies or infections.

A diet high in quality proteins has many benefits including blood sugar regulation, immune system support and detoxification.

Season chicken and roasted vegetable medley in container on table.

Right now, protein rich foods should be considered a daily staple for an additional reason-to give our lungs the protection they need against the highly contagious Coronavirus.

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