You may have heard the talk going on right now about the nutritional supplement N-Acetyl Cysteine or NAC. But, unfortunately, the FDA wants to impose regulations on this supplement, which would change how it is allowed to be sold and consumed. So they are trying to take it off the market as a supplement.
What is NAC?
NAC is derived from the amino acid L-cysteine. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and our body needs them to function. You can find cysteine in some foods, but you can only get NAC as a supplement or in drugs as it is not contained in any foods. It is considered an essential amino acid. It is made from other amino acids, but higher amounts can be beneficial. NAC is also a powerful antioxidant.
Why is NAC so valuable to our bodies?
NAC is the building block for our Master Antioxidant, glutathione. It is essential to many functions in our bodies, including:
- Your Immune System
- Liver Health and Detoxification
- Reducing Side Effects of Over-the-Counter pain meds
- May Help Reduce Symptoms of Respiratory Issues
- Boosting Brain Health By Protecting Neurotransmitters
Top 5 Benefits of NAC
1. Antioxidant Effects and Helps Form Glutathione: NAC is a precursor to glutathione, known as the body’s Master Antioxidant, and is arguably the body’s most important antioxidant. Not only is it a powerful antioxidant, but it also helps reduce inflammation. This is because it can increase glutathione levels, scavenge free radicals, and reduce oxidative stress. For this reason, it has the potential to help with disorders that result from free oxygen radicals like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, liver disease, and even cancer.
2. Helps Respiratory Problems by Breaking Up Mucus: NAC can help reduce coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, as well as mucus and phlegm. This is why it is helpful when you have conditions such as a cold or the flu and even bronchitis.
3. Protects the Liver and Kidneys: We already mentioned NAC’s ability to fight free radicals, directly benefiting the liver and kidneys. NAC can also help control the side effects of certain medications, also protecting the liver and kidneys. For example, it can help treat acetaminophen toxicity and acute liver failure.
4. Can Help Lift and Stabilize Your Mood: One of the contributing factors in mood and mental conditions is believed to be an imbalance of glutamate. NAC can be a complementary treatment for anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues because it impacts glutamate, a neurotransmitter in the brain.
5. May Help Prevent the Development of Cancer: NAC has not been shown to be a treatment for cancer; however, evidence shows it may be beneficial. This is because it may help neutralize free radicals that damage DNA. There are several ways that NAC helped in cancer treatments that were shown in clinical studies. These include:
- Regulating the expression of genes involved with oxidative stress and inflammation
- Reducing inflammatory cytokines and proteins
- Increasing antioxidants
It can also aid in helping with the side effects of cancer treatments.
As you can see, there are some significant benefits to NAC. It is hard to imagine why they would want to regulate this supplement, being that it can help so many people and is known to be very safe. Who knows what will happen, but if you would like to stock up on some just in case you can no longer get it in the near future, you can get a high-quality brand here. I have checked, and as of the time of writing this, they are still in stock!
With over 20 years in the field, Dr. Dody is a seasoned chiropractor specializing in Functional Nutrition, Neurofeedback, and the Koren Specific Technique (KST). His unique ‘whole person approach’ identifies the root causes of health issues, offering patients not just relief but lasting wellness. Recognized for his expertise, Dr. Dody’s treatments often yield dramatic improvements from the very first visit.