N-acetylcysteine benefits

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) Benefits

N-acetylcysteine – Learning Its Uses and Benefits

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a super nutrient, which is made from L-cysteine, an amino acid, and from many different studies it has been shown to have a wide range of health benefits.

Considering the fact that amino acids serve as the building blocks of protein, it is no longer surprising why NAC is so popular in the medical field. Among the many things that make this super nutrient useful are the powerful antioxidant properties.

Being an antioxidant, it can help to prevent cell damage and inflammation, it is also a precursor to help your body make glutathione, which is considered the master antioxidant.

With its ability to positively influence many different health conditions, it can be a useful supplement to add to your day, especially if you have any immune, mood or chronic health problems.

If you are taking a number of pharmaceutical medications make sure you consult with your doctor to make sure there are not interactions, actually your doctor probably has never heard of it so make sure you consult with a Functional Medicine Doctor, or schedule an appointment with Planet Naturopath to see if this is the right supplement for you.

Uses and Health Benefits of NAC

One of the major reasons why people use NAC is that it aids in improving the health of their liver. It also combats the symptoms of flu and cold while also helping anyone deal with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). If you plan to use this supplement, then it is important to be fully aware of its different uses and health benefits. Find out if your present condition warrants the intake of n-acetylcysteine by learning its many benefits, including the following:

  •  Might treat degenerative diseases – If you have a degenerative disease, then NAC might be of help to you. It is known for having the potential of curing degenerative diseases by ensuring that your healthy cells receive protection against damage. It is also known for blocking apoptosis, a process wherein your cells might self-destruct. Some of the degenerative diseases where clinical studies have shown NAC might be helpful are Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Prevents breathing disorders – You can also expect NAC to aid in curing respiratory disorders. It is possible by preventing the buildup of mucus. It is also a big help in reducing oxidative damage, which tends to contribute to various respiratory problems. The supplement shows that it can help those who have chronic bronchitis and obstructive pulmonary disease. Other breathing problems where NAC can work positively are cystic fibrosis, asthma, sinusitis and emphysema.
  • Offers protection from liver damage – One of the most common uses of NAC is as a treatment for liver failure. In fact, it has been known for increasing the chances of a liver disease patient to survive. It can also cure liver failure often triggered by certain factors, like environmental pollutants and excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • Protects the kidney – Aside from protecting your liver, NAC can also shield your kidneys from damage. Such benefit contributes a lot to improving your overall health as it plays a vital role in effective detoxification while also regulating your blood pressure. It has also been discovered that NAC can minimize the toxicity related to your kidneys, which is often caused by medications. With that, it is no longer surprising to see it being used in preventing kidney failure, especially in patients who are suffering from chronic kidney impairment.
  • Aids in treating chronic bronchitis – NAC is good for your respiratory system, which is the reason why it is also used in handling a number of respiratory problems – one of which is chronic bronchitis. This condition happens when your bronchial tubes get inflamed, eventually causing oxidation damage. The result of chronic bronchitis are mucus buildup in your lungs as well as coughing. With the aid of NAC, it is possible to lessen the symptoms linked to chronic bronchitis. It does so by reducing the radicals currently present in your bronchial tubes.
  • Reduces your risk of having inflamed tissues – NAC is capable of minimizing oxidative damage that might affect your tissues. It can eventually result to reduced tissue inflammation. It is possible since the supplement can help minimize the amount of inflammatory molecules that are currently living in your body.
  • Strong research showing that NAC can help with addictions,  this includes smoking, alcohol and even cocaine. Breaking substance addiction is very difficult and there is no “magic bullet” but NAC can help to reduce the cravings associated with withdrawal symptoms.

Inflammation is the driving force behind chronic health problems

The good thing about reducing inflammation is that it also offers instant relief against various ailments. You can also expect it to minimize the inflammation often caused by high intensity exercise, it can even help to speed up recovery and reduce muscle soreness afterwards.

Promotes general antioxidant protection – Different stressors coming from the outside can have a negative effect on your body and overall health. These include alcohol, pollution, and cigarette smoke. The problem with these outside stressors is that they stimulate free radical protection. Note that these free radicals are unstable and toxic compounds that can damage your healthy cells. With the high antioxidant content of NAC, and the fact that it stimulates glutathione production it will help to detox heavy metals and other environmental contaminants.

Apart from the mentioned benefits, expect NAC to be of help in preventing cancer, treating HIV, and fighting cellular oxidative damage. In addition, it can minimize your insulin resistance, prevent addictive behaviors, and help those who are suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Hospitals use N-acetylcysteine to combat acetaminophen (Tylenol/ Neurofen) poisoning

N-acetylcysteine Dosage

NAC can really provide several benefits to those who decide to take it. However, it is important for you to consult your practitioner so you will know if it is safe for you to take it and that it is not interacting with any of your other medications. Also, you need to find out the proper dosage for you. Note that effective dosage will be dependent on the specific reason for using it.

It would be best to start with a dosage of 500 mg every day if your goal is to receive general antioxidant protection.

Other health conditions might require higher doses in the range of 1 – 2 grams a day. Your Functional Medicine practitioner will guide you on the safest dosage for you so you can really gain its therapeutic effects without having to go too high, which might only lead to negative side effects.

Are There Negative Effects to Using NAC?

Just like other supplements or medications, NAC also has some side effects and flaws. For one, it has the tendency of negating the benefits that you can get from regular exercises, if your a serious athlete then this is still a supplement you should consider but you may have to cycle on and off it.

In addition, it does not have a good taste and might cause upset stomach or nausea in some people, I find the tablet form of NAC to be the best option here. Note, however, that these are just very minor flaws that anyone can easily manage.

NAC Supplement Recommendations

NAC is indeed one of the most powerful supplements that you can take considering the many good things that it can do for your body. The many health benefits and uses of NAC far outweigh its downsides, too, so supplementing with it is indeed one of the best things that you can do for your body and overall health.

Source Naturals N-acetylcysteine 1,000mg tablets, this is the one that I use as it means I only have to take the one tablet a day that I require. Also available from www.iherb.com

Jarrow Formulas N-A-C 500mg tablets, this is a good option if you want to start on a lower dose and adjust your dosage easily. Also available from www.iherb.com

About the Author Michael

Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions.

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