N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is the supplement form of the amino acid cysteine. The supplement helps facilitate essential biological functions by bonding with two other amino acids—glutamine and glycine—to create a powerful antioxidant known as glutathione.
NAC is important for a variety of health reasons — including replenishing the most powerful antioxidant in your body, glutathione. These amino acids also help with chronic respiratory conditions, fertility, and brain health.
N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC) Benefits
- Powerful Antioxidant Glutathione properties.
- Help with Detoxification to prevent decrease Kidney and Liver Damage.
- May improve Psychiatric Disorders and Addictive Behavior.
- Helps regulate levels of glutamate - the most prominent neurotransmitter in your brain.
- May help decrease symptoms and improve your overall ability function.
- Help decrease withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse in cocaine addicts.
- Help relieve symptoms of Respiratory Conditions.
Antioxidant and expectorant properties.
- It can improve lung function.
- Boost Brain Health by regulating glutamate and replenishing glutathione.
- May improve fertility in both Men and Women.
- May Stabilize blood sugar by Decreasing Inflammation in Fat Cells.
- May reduce Heart Disease risk by Preventing Oxidative Damage.
- May Improve Immune Function.
- Help treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- It can enhance the effects of psychotropic drugs to treat bipolar disorder.
- May reduce Oxidative Stress.
- May reduce Muscles Fatigue during exercise.
- Support electrolyte function during exercise.
- It provides support in breaking behavioral habits.
- Maintain cellular health.
The master antioxidant Glutathione consists of three amino acids: glutamate, glycine, and cysteine. Glutathione scavenges oxygen and nitrogen radicals but is degraded quickly and requires more L-cysteine to resynthesize. N-acetylcysteine is an acetylated form of L-Cysteine, and by supplementing with NAC, there is more L-cysteine available to replenish Glutathione.
When NAC is available to a cell, it is hydrolyzed to release the cysteine amino acid and then synthesized into GSH via enzymatic reactions with c-glutamylcysteine synthetase and GSH synthetase. Glutathione synthesis is restricted by the number of substrates that are available for it. Glutathione’s primary function is to provide antioxidant defense, modulate oxidation-reduction reaction signal transduction, detoxify electrophilic xenobiotics, store and transport cysteine, regulate cell proliferation and synthesis of deoxyribonucleotide synthesis, regulate leukotriene and prostaglandin metabolism, and regulate immune system responses.
NAC increases intracellular Glutathione and may decrease inflammation and promote blood vessel health by acting as a vasodilator by facilitating nitric oxide. NAC also reduces the release of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter that is neurotoxic in large amounts.
NAC provides a direct antioxidant effect by protecting against ROS (reactive oxygen species). ROS is the production of reactive oxygen species in response to any situation resulting in chronic or sudden overconsumption of oxygen, and can occur inside mitochondrial, in the capillary system, or by inflammatory cells, but is mostly produced by mitochondria as a byproduct of cell conversion of molecular oxygen to water. ROS can damage or modify DNA, lipids, or proteins in the cells by oxidation and peroxidation. Oxidative stress is a result of an imbalance between antioxidants and oxidants.
NAC has also been used to treat acetaminophen toxicity.
NAC provides 500 mg per 1 capsule.
Suggested use for adults is 1 capsule by mouth daily, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine Side Effects and Toxicity
NAC is generally well tolerated. Side effects may include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Most side effects occur at doses of 9 grams or higher used in a single administration, or at greater than 30 grams daily.
If you are taking any medications, please consult your healthcare practitioner before beginning supplementation with NAC to learn of any potential pharmaceutical medication interactions which may occur.