October 17, 2008

Take this nutrient to protect your bones as you age

In the past, I've told you about some of the best nutrients you can use to protect your bones. These include strontium, magnesium, glutathione, vitamin K, and lactoferrin. All of these will help keep your bones strong as you age. But today, I'd like to tell you about another nutrient for bones. And, I assure you, your doctor hasn't told you about this one.

Very few doctors realize that cysteine is a key nutrient for bone protection. But a new study proves that it does just that.

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In the study, the researchers followed 328 postmenopausal women. They found that those with the lowest levels of this key amino acid also had lower bone mineral density.

Cysteine is an essential amino acid. It's a crucial participant in your body's ability to make the all important glutathione. It also participates in homocysteine metabolism, so it can protect your heart as well.

Unfortunately, most people don't tolerate cysteine very well by supplement. So I use a safer version of it, N acetyl cysteine. This supplement is readily available and well tolerated. I've used NAC (500 mg, two to three times daily) to treat osteoporosis for many years.

You can also get cysteine residues in undenatured whey protein, also on my list for preventing osteoporosis. Please don't look for cysteine. NAC or undenatured whey protein are your best bets here. You can find both in high-quality health food stores and on the Internet.

Ref: "The association between cysteine, bone turnover, and low bone mass," Baines M, Kredan MB, et al, Calcif Tissue Int, 2007; 81(6): 450-4.

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