March 21, 2017


Other name(s):


Unsubstantiated claims

Please note that this section reports on claims that have not yet been substantiated through studies.

Cystine may help speed recovery after surgery. It may also boost your immune system. It may also help treat bronchitis.

It also may play a role in cystic fibrosis, angina, and fibrosing alveolitis. It may also aid in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), end-stage renal disease (ESRD), epilepsy, and the flu.

Recommended intake

Amino acids (AAs) are available as individual AAs or in AA combinations. They also come as part of multi-vitamins, proteins, and food supplements. The forms include tablets, fluids, and powders.

Note that by eating enough protein in your diet, you get all of the amino acids you need.

There are no conditions that increase how much cysteine you need.

Side effects, toxicity, and interactions

Using a single amino acid supplement may lead to negative nitrogen balance. This can decrease how efficient your metabolism is. It can also make your kidneys work harder. In children, taking single amino acid supplements may also cause growth problems.

You should not take high doses of individual amino acids for long periods of time.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use cystine supplements.

People with maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) or cystinuria shouldn’t use cystine supplements.




March 21, 2017


Cystine Stones. UpToDate., Cystinuria—Diagnosis and Management. Biyani, Chandra. European Association of Urology. 2006, Issue 4, pp. 175–183.

Reviewed By:  

Brittany Poulson, RD,Wilkins, Joanna, R.D., C.D.