Sally T. NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) 500mg
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a natural sulfur-containing amino acid derivative found naturally in foods and is a powerful anti-oxidant. It is produced in all living organisms from the amino acid cysteine. Being a powerful anti-oxidant it helps the body eliminate free radicals and heavy metals, which improves cellular health.
The supplement, (NAC), is a form of the amino acid cysteine and a component of protein.
- Powerful anti-oxidant
- Helps break down mucous
- Sulphur compound
- Anti-tumour forming
- Good for gut health
- Phase 2 Detox of liver
- Boosts immune system
How it works and what it benefits
Mechanism 1. Cysteine is an important ingredient, the limiting one in fact, for the creation of glutathione. Glutathione is an “anti-oxidant”, one of the primary ones. These molecules clean up chemical debris in cells, to oversimplify quite a bit. Research suggests that people with depression have too little glutathione. Using NAC is really just a way to try to raise the glutathione levels.
Glutathione (GSH, L-gamma-glutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine) is the predominant anti-oxidant in the cytoplasm of cells. Virtually all cells require glutathione for viability and function. Glutathione is synthesized from three amino acids in a two-step process, beginning with the combination of glutamic acid & cysteine and ending with the addition of glycine. The liver & lungs are the primary sites of glutathione synthesis. Glycine & glutamic acid are plentiful in cells, so it is the availability of cysteine that controls the reaction rate.
Mechanism 2. Another amino acid, glutamate, acts as a neurotransmitter (serotonin is another neurotransmitter you are probably more familiar with). Too much glutamate activity is not good, and that may be part of the problem in mood and anxiety disorders. Well, it turns out that cysteine can lower the amount of glutamate stimulation getting through to some neurons. It does so through a close relationship with glutamate, in which it affects the balance between the two amino acids in brain neurons. It appears that changing cysteine levels can change this cysteine/glutamate balance for the better, for people with mood and anxiety problems.
NB. Diabetics should consult their physician before using N-Acetyl-Cysteine, since it may have an insulin-blocking effect.
Other health claims
Some other possible benefits, less relevant to mental health: NAC has been claimed or shown to lower the rates of viral infections, treat fluid in the ear, lower heart disease risk by lowering homocysteine, improve insulin sensitivity, decrease infections in lung diseases, and help prevent kidney stones.
Virtually every hospital emergency room in the country stocks it as an antidote for acetaminophen (Tylenol®) poisoning. Overdoses of acetaminophen, a common analgesic drug, deplete your liver’s supply of glutathione which is a powerful antioxidant, leading to liver failure. Large supplemental doses of NAC restore liver glutathione levels and help the organ break down acetaminophen.
It has proven to be effective in preventing kidney damage brought about by injections of iopromide (a contrast medium used in people undergoing CT imaging), and has been helpful in treating liver failure caused by drug toxicity, hepatitis, and more.
NAC supplements have also been shown to diminish the production of unwelcome cells present in the lining of the colon. It has been used to curtail recurring colon polyps
Protection of lung tissue
NAC has also been used since the 1960s as a “mucolytic” agent-that is, to break down lung-clogging mucous in chronic bronchitis and other respiratory disorders. Rich in what chemists call “free sulfhydryl groups,” NAC breaks down the disulfide bonds of mucous, in essence, thinning it out.
NAC is an excellent mucolytic agent. It keeps the membranes of the respiratory system moist, thereby lessening the irritation of dry air, dust, and pollutants.
Colds and Flu
NAC Reduces Flu Symptoms. It has the ability to clear congested lungs so researchers did a double blind study testing NAC and its benefits with colds and flu like symptoms. Results showed significant reductions in flu like symptoms with those people who were taking NAC as a supplement. It was not a virus specific protection but rather broad spectrum protection to ease or eliminate flu like symptoms, especially in the elderly.
Immunologically, NAC greatly enhances T-cell production. In fact, all AIDS patients are deficient in NAC and glutathione.
Muscle wasting in cancer patients and people who over exercise: NAC may also be of value in preserving muscle tissue in cancer patients, as well as people who over exercise. Wolf Dröge, Ph.D., an immunologist at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, found that reasonably fit men had a “significant decrease” in muscle mass and an increase in body fat after eight weeks weightlifting. However, when the subjects took 600 mg of NAC three times weekly, their loss of body mass was almost completely prevented.
Toxic reports in sport are unfounded.
Mercury detoxification (Heavy metal – detox)
NAC is a chelator of heavy metals. In other words, NAC binds to toxic heavy metals such as mercury and lead and removes them from the body. This is a slow process, but most chelating agents, such as EDTA, are generally given intravenously. NAC is one of the most effective oral chelating agents. Taken regularly over a period, NAC will remove many toxic heavy metals from the body. Toxic metals can accumulate in the body over time from many sources such as drinking water and possibly even from tooth fillings made of silver-mercury amalgam. These heavy metals catalyze free-radical reactions. In other words, they initiate free-radical reactions without being used up during the reaction. So, these heavy metals continue to cause free radical damage as long as they are present in the body.
NB. NAC also increases the excretion of zinc and other essential minerals when taken over an extended period. It is therefore necessary to supplement with zinc, copper and other trace minerals when taking N-Acetyl Cysteine over a long period of time.
Typical dosage recommendations are in the range of 250-1500mg of NAC daily for most therapeutic benefits.
When taking N-acetyl cysteine it is recommended that two to three times as much vitamin C be taken at the same time. Failure to do so may result in more harm than good from taking this product because of the prolonged presence of the oxidized form of L-Cysteine. The vitamin C also helps keep the glutathione that is produced from the Cysteine in its reduced form so that it can continue acting as an antioxidant.
Each cap contains
This medicine has not been evaluated by SAHPRA. This medicine is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.