When it comes to dietary supplements, the most common types used by all age groups in the U.S. are multivitamin-mineral supplements, followed by vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
You’d be forgiven for missing out N-Acetyl L-Cysteine, or NAC from your daily dose of nutrition. This relatively unknown amino acid is being touted for its ability to improve overall health due to its powerful antioxidant properties which help strengthen the immune system, support brain function, fertility, and lung function.
This article will explore some of the benefits of adding a dose of NAC to your daily dietary supplementation.
NAC helps to replenish glutathione levels in the body, which is a powerful antioxidant, responsible for supporting healthy lung tissue. That is why it is often given to people with lung disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In a 12 month study, lung function and symptoms in those with COPD were shown to significantly improve when given NAC 600 mg twice a day.
By decreasing inflammation in the bronchi and lung tissue, NAC assists in relieving respiratory conditions as it helps loosen and thin the mucus in the lung membrane thereby preventing the passageways from becoming inflamed and blocking the airways to the lungs. In this way, people with COPD can experience relief in symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
In addition to COPD and bronchitis, NAC may also prove beneficial for other respiratory conditions such as asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and even COVID-19. Clinical trials are underway to test its effects on coronavirus patients.
Good for the Brain
NAC helps regulate glutamate levels in the brain. This neurotransmitter is necessary for healthy brain function as an imbalance can cause brain damage or mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and addictive behaviors such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Cognitive functions such as learning and memory may improve as a result of taking NAC, so whether you are brain training or would simply like to keep your brain functions healthy as you age, NAC could be a worthwhile supplement to take.
Liver and Kidney Detox
NAC plays a key role in the body’s detoxification process,,and helps to prevent or reduce kidney and liver damage. It is regularly given intravenously to patients who have overdosed on acetaminophen, more commonly known as Tylenol.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, NAC can also help to prevent side effects caused by drugs and environmental toxins such as lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium.
NAC may improve fertility issues, especially in men. Infertility problems in men are often a result of low antioxidant levels which are necessary for free radical scavenging. Cell death can occur from the oxidative stress on the reproductive system.
NAC may also improve fertility in women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) by improving ovulation.
Now that you know some of the powerful benefits of NAC for improving your overall health, consider adding it to your supplementary intake.