Last Updated on 22 January 2022 by Ray Plumlee

N-acetylcysteine, or NAC Chemical Diagram
N-acetylcysteine, or NAC Chemical Diagram

N-acetylcysteine, or NAC, an amino acid, has potent antioxidant attributes. It is a slightly altered version of N-acetyl-L-cysteine and seems to offer the ideal form of this antioxidant.

Antioxidants reduce the chance of inflammation and cell damage, making it useful for a few conditions. Research indicates it has demonstrated benefits for a wide range of conditions, but not all analyses showed positive results.

In our body system, oxidants are at constant war. NAC can have an immense effect on the way toxins are processed in our body system. Acetylcysteine was first patented in 1960 and authorized for use in 1968. It is included on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the best and safe prescriptions required in the health system.


1. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is on the list of ten most disabling psychiatric illnesses worldwide and affects roughly 2-3% of all Americans. OCD symptoms cause significant impairment in patients’ academic functioning, work performance, and interpersonal relationships, leading to poor quality of life.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a weakening neuropsychiatric disorder that is described by the repetitive experience of intrusive thoughts, ideas or impulses that lead to significant anxiety.

Researches on the adequacy of glutamate‐modulating agents as novel pharmacotherapeutics for OCD have provided encouraging results. Memantine and Riluzole have been recently studied for viability as augmentation therapy among patients with treatment‐resistant OCD. Recently, N‐acetylcysteine (NAC) has been proposed as a potential treatment for OCD as it might regulate the exchange of glutamate and prevent its pre‐oxidant effects.

Researches on the efficacy of glutamate‐modula. Previous studies have shown proof of the possible use of NAC in the treatment of moderate‐to‐severe OCD.

However, to the best of our knowledge, some double‐blind trials have assessed its potency in the treatment of moderate‐to‐severe OCD.

The goal of the present double‐blind, placebo‐controlled test was to survey the adequacy as well as tolerability of NAC augmentation in the cure of moderate‐to‐severe OCD.

2. Cold And Flu Therapy

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) as a mucolytic drug, has been in use clinically for more than 30 years. A research was carried out with the purpose of evaluating the impact of long-term treatment with NAC on influenza and influenza-related issues.

A sum of 262 subjects of both genders (78%, 65 yrs, and 62% experiencing non-respiratory constant degenerative diseases) was enlisted in a randomized test including 20 Italian centers.

They were randomized to get either fake treatment or NAC tablets (600 mg) daily for a half year. Patients experiencing ceaseless respiratory sicknesses were not qualified to avert complex complications of NAC on respiratory symptoms. NAC treatment was well received as it brought about a massive decline in the spread of flu-related issues. In the NAC group, Both usual and systemic symptoms were sharply reduced.

3. Liver Failure

Most cases of acute liver failure are often linked to acetaminophen poisoning, and an antidote must be administered as soon as possible to avert liver injury.

Whenever such an incident occurs, the antidote used in most hospitals is N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC). This prompt antioxidant works by indirectly recharging glutathione – which detoxifies the harmful metabolite of acetaminophen.

As indicated by Anne M. Larson, M.D., of the College of Washington, and associates, N-acetyl-cysteine took within 12 hours of ingestion of acetaminophen, can avert liver damage; notwithstanding, numerous individuals might be ignorant that they could benefit from N-acetyl-cysteine.

With the same thought, analysts from UT Southwestern Medical Center and their associates at 21 different institutions researched if NAC could treat acute liver failure other than acetaminophen poisoning.

By combining both results about N-acetyl-cysteine potential benefits, it was found that people living with chronic liver disease could profit from it. If this available antioxidant is good for averting liver failure, shouldn’t it be used for liver damage?

Mindful of NAC’s capacity to shield the liver from harm, numerous medical professionals advise their patients with ceaseless liver issues to supplement with NAC.

Before trusting that liver illness will progress to liver failure, those with hepatic concerns are urged to explore how N-acetyl-cysteine could enable their liver to detoxify poisons – in this way, preventing a future liver transplant.

4. Cardiovascular Applications

Constant inflammation, including elevated homocysteine levels, raises chances for heart disease. Earlier researches found B-vitamins can bring down some inflammation factors. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an antioxidant that previous studies found to lower homocysteine, and possibly blood pressure.

Cardiovascular Application.

However, according to recent studies, n-acetyl-cysteine severely lowers plasma homocysteine just as blood pressure. Researchers reanalyzed two double-blind placebo-controlled trials in middle-aged men. They assessed the effect of oral n-acetyl-cysteine given for four weeks at 1.8 g/d on plasma homocysteine plasma thiol (cysteine) and intracellular glutathione concentrations as well as on blood pressure.

Accordingly, a month of n-acetyl-cysteine supplementation compared to placebo prompted a critical decrease in plasma homocysteine levels. Furthermore, there was a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure in all the subjects given n-acetylcysteine. A significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure was additionally noticed in the hyperlipidemic group.

By reducing irritation in fat tissue, NAC may lessen insulin resistance and enhance glucose control.

5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

lately, NAC has additionally been approved to have anti-inflammatory activities in tissues.

NAC harbors imperative calming properties. It works by regulating the outflow of genes that trigger the body’s inflammatory process.

These properties bring about the prevention of pro-inflammatory cytokines and elimination of NF-kappa B, a protein that controls the creation of cytokines.

Also, NAC helps in the regulation of COX-2 gene, thus preventing inflammation and pain.

These chemicals assume significant roles in many inflammatory conditions and ailments. Supplementation with NAC can decrease or invert numerous chronic inflammatory diseases caused by these chemicals.

6. NAC And Lowered Blood Sugar

In spite of efforts not to consume a large number of calories, most Americans are in danger for probably some level of insulin resistance.

There are a few stages between going from oxidation to damaged insulin receptors and insulin resistance. Looking for a supplement like NAC can focus the same number of those means as possible.

After some time, ceaseless high blood sugar starts a downward spiral by creating propelled excellent glycation end-results (AGEs). These disable typical reactions to insulin, propagating raised sugar levels. NAC has inversed those impacts in research facility models which is incredible news!

Expanding glucose levels in research in laboratory animals triggers a pro-inflammatory reaction in fat tissue – which is additionally effectively decreased by NAC.

In a trial that reproduces a typical human dietary pattern, rodents were given an eating routine high the sugar fructose. This test, of course, created an increased pulse, plasma insulin levels, and triglyceride levels. However, these hazardous physiological changes were subdued by NAC.

7. Life Extension

As indicated by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the USA, cysteine is a vital piece of the body’s process of protein synthesis and collagen production, just as supporting detoxification, maintenance of skin elasticity and texture, and the likelihood of different metabolic capacities. Because of the jobs, it plays in bodywork; cysteine is often used as a supplement.

N-Acetylcysteine, generally known as NAC, makes the list of the best of the anti-aging supplements. Not given its immediate properties rather, it is an effectively absorbable supplement that the body can convert to glutathione. Glutathione is the ace enemy of all oxidants (ant-oxidant). It works at the cell level to lessen the generation and spread of free radicals, and it additionally is associated with decreasing inflammation and increasing detoxification. This supplement is fast becoming a standout among the best of the natural anti-aging supplements.


800-2,400mg of NAC was very common across clinical studies. If it’s a chronic health condition, you can consider taking a higher dose. The daily doses are often divided into 2-3 times each day.

Some researches on the advantages of NAC for reducing addiction and mental health issues used doses closer to 3000 mg/day.

For general wellness or gut-related health issues, 600 mg a day is the standard dose.

A maximum safe dose of NAC has yet to be determined.

Side Effects of NAC include;

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Unusual tiredness or Weakness
  • Reddening of the skin, especially around the ear
  • Severe vomiting
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, or in the nose
  • Hives or itching
  • Rash with or without fever
  • Difficulty with breathing or swallowing.

Some of these symptoms of acetylcysteine may happen that generally doesn’t require medical attention. These symptoms may leave during treatment as your body adjusts to the medication. Likewise, your doctor may enlighten you concerning approaches to avoid or lessen some of these reactions. Check with your doctor if symptoms proceed or are disturbing or you have any inquiries concerning them.

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Tagged on: acetyl    antioxidant    cold    cysteine    Flu    Inflammation    liver    Liver Failure    NAC    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder    OCD    World Health Organization
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