What is NAC?
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) comes from the amino acid L-Cysteine. Amino acids are best known for their role as a building block for proteins, but they’re capable of much more. Here, we have highlighted some of NAC’s many benefits:
NAC Replenishes Glutathione Stores
Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants and is typically found in high concentrations throughout the body. It has been heavily studied as one of the most useful antioxidants, especially when it comes to reducing oxidative stress on the body from intense exercise.
Intense exercise isn’t the only way that oxidative stress is formed in the body though, it can also be formed from toxins in the environment, processed foods, stress and so much more! Glutathione is one of the antioxidants that comes to the rescue of your cells to try and minimize oxidative stress on the body.
Unfortunately, glutathione sources can become depleted if they need to come to the rescue too often. When this is the case, you may think to reach for a glutathione supplement, but that’s actually not the best plan of action! Glutathione supplements are very rarely absorbed because enzymes break Glutathione down during ingestion.
Alternatively, supplementing with NAC is a beneficial way to increase glutathione stores. NAC is needed for the body to make Glutathione, and when the intake of NAC is increased, Glutathione levels increase too!
NAC can be added to your VitaminLab custom vitamin here.
N-Acetyl-Cysteine is the “Superman” of Antioxidants
NAC is the “Superman” of antioxidants! In hospitals, NAC is used in high doses to protect the liver from damage when patients overdose on Acetaminophen (Tylenol). NAC supports healthy detoxification processes so that toxins can be removed from the body safely and easily.
NAC Benefits the Brain
NAC is not only an amazing supporter for our liver, it also strongly supports the brain in many ways! Many studies have been done to look at the benefits of NAC in treating neurological disorders including addictions, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and more.
A study completed by the Myrna Brind Centre of Integrative Medicine concluded that NAC increased Dopamine levels in those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
The reason that NAC benefits the brain is because it plays a role in numerous pathways throughout. NAC increases brain glutathione which reduces oxidative stress; this is beneficial because oxidative stress in the brain is a common denominator in many psychological conditions.
NAC’s antioxidant properties also help with reducing inflammation in the brain! Additionally, NAC helps regulate the neurotransmitter, glutamate, in the brain which is an important neurotransmitter for memory, learning and more!
NAC Can Improve Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
According to Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a common yet preventable disease which is defined by chronic airflow obstruction.
This airflow obstruction is usually related to inflammation in the lungs associated with free radical damage; this damage tends to be associated with inhaling toxic particles such as cigarette smoke or various gases.
NAC has been shown to reduce the damage done by these toxins, by clinging to the present free radicals and neutralizing them so that they do not contribute to any more damage. NAC is also a great preventative measure to reduce the chances of toxins creating damage in the first place!
NAC May Improve Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Arthritis can be a painful and unpleasant experience for those who suffer with it. It can make daily activities more challenging and can be a very discouraging experience.
NAC may improve symptoms of arthritis due to its antioxidant properties. These antioxidants help reduce inflammation around the joints, which may reduce some of the pain associated with arthritis.
A reduction in inflammation around the joints may also contribute to improved joint mobility!
Is NAC Right for You?
NAC is a powerful antioxidant that can benefit many conditions. Currently it is the focus of many studies, and has been shown to be an effective preventative measure for oxidative damage.
Despite all of the benefits of NAC, it may not be right for certain health conditions and it may interact with various medications. Remember to always consult a healthcare practitioner before beginning a new supplement to make sure that what you are taking is safe and effective.