TITAN OF ANTIOXIDANTS - NAC N-ACETYL-CYSTEINE
NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine) is an essential amino acid, meaning the body cannot make it, so it must be obtained through food or supplementation. N-acetylcysteine is a precursor to cysteine, the amino acid the body has the least amount of, and one the body tries to hold on to.
L-cysteine derived from NAC is used in many bodily reactions, but none may be as important in its role in health as replenishing glutathione, our master oxidant.
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 which comes from many different sources.
In the world of healthcare, NAC is used as a medicine that can treat conditions ranging from liver damage to asthma to acetaminophen overdose.
When a patient comes to the hospital with an acetaminophen overdose, standard of care is to use intravenous NAC to protect the liver and help the body excrete accumulated toxins. This is one of NAC’s primary benefits – the ability to replenish levels of glutathione in the liver after depletion.
NAC is not only an amazing supporter for our liver, it also strongly supports our brain in many ways! NAC increases brain glutathione which in turn, reduces oxidative stress. Oxidative stress in the brain is a common denominator in many psychological conditions including addictions, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and more.
NAC’s antioxidant properties also assists in reducing inflammation in the brain. Moreover, NAC helps regulate the neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain which is the “gas pedal” neurotransmitter. An excess of glutamate can lead to anxiety and excitotoxicity, which is the cause of many neurodegenerative disorders.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 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 associated with inhaling toxic particles such as cigarette smoke or various gases.
NAC has been shown to reduce the damage caused by these toxins, by clinging to the present free radicals and neutralizing them so that they do not contribute to anymore damage. NAC is also a great preventative measure to reduce the chances of toxins creating damage in the first place!
NAC plays a key role in the detoxification process of our body. In fact, it can even help prevent certain side effects of different drugs that would otherwise wreak havoc in the body and could cause kidney and liver damage. NAC may even help prevent side effects from environmental toxins, such as exposure to heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, lead, and arsenic.
Restoring glutathione levels with NAC supplementation makes liver cells more able to protect themselves from ongoing damage caused by fatty accumulation, viral infections, drug induced damage, alcohol excess, autoimmune inflammation, and many more.
Autoimmune diseases are worsened by inflammation in the body. For this reason, reducing an inflammation can significantly improve symptoms.
Due to the fact that NAC is a precursor to glutathione, it can help reduce the systemic inflammation which worsens many autoimmune disease symptoms.
NAC has also been shown to inhibit certain inflammatory cytokines, making it a potential treatment for Th1-mediated autoimmune diseases.
Harmful organisms in our gut form protective layers - biofilms - to shield themselves from our immune system and antibiotics. Healthy levels of friendly bacteria help fight biofilm defenses to allow our immune system naturally eradicate harmful bacteria. For many people, however, there may not be enough friendly bacteria to break down these biofilms which can contribute to digestive imbalances such as SIBO - small intestine bacterial overgrowth.
N-acetyl cysteine can help break down the biofilms that harmful bacteria hide behind.
This means that NAC helps disarm harmful bacteria, so that antibiotics and any other therapies can reach the vulnerable part of the cell to do their job of ridding it from our body.
In view of the fact that NAC has an ability to support antioxidants in the body, NAC has the potential to help with fertility in both women and men and improve hormone-related conditions like PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).
Many male infertility issues increase when antioxidant levels are insufficient to combat free radical formation in the reproductive system. The oxidative stress can cause cell death and reduced fertility.
According to the studies, supplementation with NAC has been shown to improve both sperm motility and quality along with decreasing oxidation of sperm DNA.
Those days most of us are aware that high blood sugar and obesity are some of the key contributors to inflammation within fat tissue. Unfortunately, t