NAC has recently been reportedly pulled from sale off Amazon as the FDA hovers its crosshairs over this much-studied supplement. As NAC is to be relisted as a drug, and not a dietary supplement, here are 5 reasons why you should take NAC.
What is NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)?
NAC is a semi-essential amino acid that has enjoyed relative success as a supplement for a variety of reasons.
Your body can produce it naturally from methionine and serine. But if methionine and serine levels are low, NAC is upgraded to an essential amino acid.
Cysteine itself is found in a variety of protein sources such as poultry, dairy, and legumes [R].
Cysteine and Cysteine supplements (NAC) are crucial for a number of functions from brain health to fertility.
Most importantly, however, Cysteine is necessary for refueling Glutathione levels, which is one of the most potent antioxidants in the body — and can go a long way for immune health.
So let’s jump right in and check out five valuable reasons why you should include this supplement.
1. Improved Liver and Kidney Function & Illness Prevention
Party animals, elite lifters, and biohackers alike all supplement NAC for this reason — to stave off liver and kidney problems from their lifestyle choices.
Some use it as a hangover cure or to protect themselves from heavy drinking; others take it to reduce liver enzymes while cycling oral steroids or SARMs.
Doctors even prescribe NAC to protect the liver and kidneys from Acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdoses. Some recovering cocaine addicts are given the supplement to reduce withdrawal symptoms [R].
Additionally, it can help cleanse the body of certain environmental toxins as well as boost the immune system, making it an attractive supplement to add to your regimen [R].
2. It Helps Make The Most Powerful Antioxidant: Glutathione
Amino acids Glycine and Glutamine, when taken together with NAC, synthesizes Glutathione — which is the most powerful antioxidant — that helps expel free radicals that can harm healthy cells and tissue.
Powerful antioxidants such as Glutathione are believed to reduce oxidative stress and can even potentially increase your life expectancy.
In addition to this, both physical and mental aging can be slowed through careful supplementation.
Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have been linked to a myriad of other immensely positive health benefits.
3. It Can Improve Cognitive Function
Because NAC can help regulate the important neurotransmitter Glutamate, it is believed that those with brain and memory ailments such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can benefit from NAC — like with Creatine.
Glutathione may prevent brain cell oxidation that leads to the aging of the cells and a host of related ailments.
A depletion of both Glutamate and Glutathione can cause brain damage [R].
Some of these complications may include Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Addictive Personality, and OCD [R].
The onset of these debilitating diseases can be slowed down by NAC; those who suffer from dopamine-related issues or tremors can also find alleviation with NAC [R].
As previously mentioned, addicts may find relief due to the removal of certain toxins and antioxidant effects.
4. It Can Help With Chronic Respiratory Illnesses & Immune System
Aside from its functions as a powerful antioxidant, NAC can also assist with clearing mucus from the lungs’ pathways, providing relief for sufferers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Patients with COPD also typically suffer from inflammation and damage of the lung tissue. NAC, along with being a powerful antioxidant, is also an anti-inflammatory.
Those who suffer from chronic bronchitis may also benefit from supplementing NAC due to its Glutathione-replenishing abilities in preventing oxidation of the lung tissue and in clearing mucus.
Glutathione has been linked with improved immune function for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Chronic inflammation is linked to most diseases.
NAC has been shown to restore immune function in those who have been compromised — with conditions such as HIV — as well as improving immune function in others [R].
A complete restoration of natural killer cells has been shown in environments with high levels of NAC [R].
The supplement can suppress HIV-1 reproduction and the ability of certain viruses such as the flu to reproduce, which can shorten the duration of viral illnesses [R].
Test-tube studies have also linked NAC with cancer cell death and blocking cancer cell reproduction [R].
Click Here to read our article on Vitamin D and the immune system.
No wonder the FDA wants it banned!
5. It Can Improve Fertility in Both Men and Women
This one is great news for those trying to conceive.
Men may struggle with fertility when inadequate antioxidant levels cannot fight off free radicals in the reproductive system [R].
Oxidative stress causes cell death in the reproductive system. Varicocele — enlarged veins in the scrotum due to free radical buildup — is one of the contributing factors to male infertility.
Surgery, in conjunction with NAC supplementation, has been shown to restore fertility in men, with 22% of the men conceiving with their partners in months following the medical procedure [R].
NAC supplemented alongside selenium may improve semen quality as well as helping women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) induce ovulation [R].
In my experience, I have used this supplement mostly for liver protection on cycle, but its vast array of other health benefits cannot be sneezed at.
Now that it has been pulled from Amazon and the FDA reportedly attempts to relist it, I would advise purchasing it below before it becomes more scarce.
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