N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC), also known as L-cysteine or N-Acetylcysteine or N-Acetyl-Cysteine, is a form of the amino acid L-cysteine. This supplement is so much valued for its ability to increase glutathione levels in the body, which is extremely important for lung function, brain function and liver detoxification. Due to a number of health conditions deplete your glutathione levels, you need N-Acetyl L-Cysteine to make more within your brain and body tissues. Glutathione is the master antioxidant that’s important for your health. It is the body’s most important antioxidant since it is within the cell, making it essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and fighting cellular damage. Since this amino acid can be made in small amounts by the human body, many people can still benefit from consuming more L-cysteine from their diets or supplements because of its numerous health benefits.
N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) is usually considered to be a part of the “nootropic nutrients” supplement category, which consists of organic compounds that are required by your body for metabolism, immunity, and healthy cognitive function. NAC stimulates glutathione biosynthesis, promotes detoxification, and acts directly as a scavenger of free radicals. It is a powerful antioxidant and potential for diseases characterized by the generation of free oxygen radicals. The antioxidant effects in it help protect DNA, cells, tissues, and organs from damage, inflammation, and harmful substances. It can also break down and soften mucus and can improve lung diseases. NAC has long been used by people as a specific antidote to acetaminophen overdose, and it is also a common therapy for different type of cancers. It is employed as a relief for heavy metal poisoning, infections, and the healing of wounds. The other medications include chronic bronchitis, ulcerative colitis, liver cancer, muscle performance, hemodialysis, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. It is an excellent anti-oxidant with strong neuro-protective benefits.
The common health benefits of N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) incude:
- Improves cognitive function in schizophrenia 
- Has antioxidant properties 
- Boosts immune system 
- Increases male fertility 
- Improves liver health 
- Reduces heart disease risk 
- May reduce major depressive disorder (MDD) 
- Improves obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) 
- May help with sleep apnea 
- Reduces chemotherapy side effects 
- Protects ear health 
- May help with autism 
- Is helpful for eye health 
- Can inhibit acute muscular fatigue 
- Is beneficial for red blood cells and bleeding 
- Reduces inflammatory effects 
- Helps with type 2 diabetes and balances blood sugar levels 
- Helps people who have Alzheimer’s Disease 
- May help fight cancer 
- Helps with attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms 
- Helps relieve psychiatric disorders 
- Promotes detoxification 
People use N-acetyl cysteine to counteract acetaminophen (Tylenol) and carbon monoxide poisoning. It is also used for chest pain (unstable angina), bile duct blockage in infants, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s disease, allergic reactions to the anti-seizure drug phenytoin (Dilantin), and an eye infection called keratoconjunctivitis.
N-acetyl cysteine is used for chronic bronchitis, hay fever, a lung condition called fibrosing alveolitis, head and neck cancer, and lung cancer. It is also used for relieving of some forms of epilepsy; ear infections; complications of kidney dialysis; chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); an autoimmune disorder called Sjogren’s syndrome; preventing sports injury complications; radiation treatment; increasing immunity to flu and H1N1 (swine) flu; and for detoxifying heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium. N-acetyl cysteine is also used for inhibiting alcoholic liver damage; and for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
How it works
N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), widely known as an antidote to acetaminophen overdose, is now increasingly used for vascular and nonvascular neurological disorders. NAC as a precursor to the antioxidant glutathione modulates glutamatergic, neurotrophic, and inflammatory pathways. NAC can cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB). It facilitates recovery after traumatic brain injury, cerebral ischemia, and in treatment of cerebrovascular vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage. NAC is an antioxidant and a free-radical scavenging agent that increases intracellular GSH, a major component of the pathways by which cells are protected from oxidative stress. Low bioavailability of NAC is one of the major limitations for maximizing its effects on oxidative stress-related diseases.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) can regulate the amount of glutamate in the brain, which is the key compound related to a healthy metabolism and cellular energy. As a nootropic, NAC can boost glutathione and dopamine levels in your brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter connected to mental energy, drive, some motor control, pleasure, and mental focus.
N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) is generally well tolerated for most people when used as a prescription medication. But it may have some adverse effects for some people. These side effects may include vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. Starting at a lower dose may help to avoid these side effects.
As N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) dilates blood vessels and may increase blood flow, this supplement should not be taken with any blood thinning medication or blood pressure medications. Also this supplement should not be taken in combination with strong stimulants such as Adderall that affect dopamine levels, because this combination may lead to fast heart rate and difficulty breathing. However, those side effects are mild and short-lived for most people.
N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) can have a broad range of dosage recommendations to suit its many varied uses. Such as:
- For adults in good health, for cognitive purpose, the drug can be taken at a dosage of up to 600 mg, twice per day.
- For chest pain that is not relieved by rest (unstable angina): 600 mg 3 times daily with a nitroglycerin patch.
- For chronic bronchitis: 200 mg twice daily, 200 mg three times daily, 300 mg slow-release twice daily, and 600 mg controlled-release twice daily have been used.
- For chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): 600 mg once daily for up to 6 months.
- For a lung condition called fibrosing alveolitis that makes breathing difficult: 600 mg 3 times daily.
- For myoclonus epilepsy: 4-6 grams daily.
- For reducing flu symptoms: 600 mg twice daily.
- For reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients with end-stage kidney disease: 600 mg twice daily.
You are recommended to consult your physician or healthcare provider to determine the best dosage of N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) for your specific needs.