N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) Benefits
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is difficult to say, but it’s easy to understand how it benefits the body. The N-acetylcysteine (or n-acetyl cysteine) compound is found naturally in the body. N-acetylcysteine supplements are powered by glutathione, which is the chemical that forms naturally when ingested.
The Benefits of N-acetyl Cysteine
Inside the body, N-acetylcysteine provides detoxification and is a natural antioxidant that neutralizes DNA damaging free radicals.
Certain studies have shown that a NAC-infused diet can have promising results. These include:
- Could lessen cellular damage and fewer bladder, colon and lung tumors
- Might protect against tissue damage from drugs used for cancer treatment.
- Can reduce mucus for patients with respiratory disorders such as chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
These effects are currently being tested in human studies or have had mixed results. Furthermore, extensive tests have been conducted to test psychiatric and addiction aliments, everything from nail biting to bipolar disorder.
Other purported N-acetylcysteine uses are likely valid but don’t have strong support in the form of clinical evidence as of now. These N-acetylcysteine benefits include as a treatment for cystic fibrosis, cirrhosis, and Lou Gehrig’s Disease. And the ability to raise cysteine and glutathione levels in HIV patients. N-acetylcysteine side effects can include upset stomach, diarrhea and nausea but these issues are not consistently reported and are not life-threatening.
As discussed, when taken orally NAC is well absorbed and utilized by the body as it’s converted to the compound, glutathione. This allows NAC to provide support as a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger. NAC can help provide the body, especially the liver, with increased glutathione and the antioxidant protection needed for long-term health.
Additionally, there’s some evidence that shows glutathione can help with fatty liver disease which can come as a side effect of alcoholism and in non-drinkers. One study found that participants who received high doses of glutathione had lower levels of malondialdehyde (an indicator of liver cell damage). Another study showed positive effects for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients who took 330 milligrams per day for several months.