Postprandial cysteine/cystine redox potential in human plasma varies with meal content of sulfur amino acids.
Few data are available on plasma redox responses to sulfur amino acid (SAA) loads. In this study, we had 2 aims: to determine whether the SAA content of a meal affected postprandial plasma cysteine (Cys), cystine (CySS), or redox potential (E(h)CySS) in humans and whether SAA intake level (adequate or inadequate) in the days preceding the meal challenge affected these postprandial levels. Eight healthy individuals aged 18-36 y were equilibrated for 3 d to adequate SAA, fed chemically defined meals without SAA for 5 d (inadequate SAA) and then fed isoenergetic, isonitrogenous meals with adequate SAA for 5 d. On the first and last days with the chemically defined meals, a morning meal containing 60% of the daily food intake was given, and plasma Cys, CySS, and E(h)CySS were determined over an 8-h postprandial time course. Following equilibration to adequate intake, provision of the meal with SAA resulted in increased plasma Cys and CySS concentrations and more reduced plasma E(h)CySS compared with the postprandial values following the same meal without SAA. Equilibration to inadequate SAA intake for the days preceding the meal challenge did not affect this response. The magnitude of the difference in postprandial plasma E(h)CySS (10 mV) due to meal content of SAA was comparable to those which alter physiologic signaling and/or are associated with disease risk. Consequently, the SAA content of meals could affect physiologic signaling and associated disease mechanisms in the postprandial period by changes in Cys, CySS, or E(h)CySS.
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