Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
NAC Supplements – How Long Does It Take for NAC to Work?
N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) is a food supplement with a well-established track record. Available over the counter for decades, this workhorse supplement has been consumed for an assortment of health benefits ranging from athletic performance and body detoxification, to mood balance and female fertility. But perhaps the most common use of NAC is to support lung and respiratory health.
What is NAC and how does it work?
NAC is the supplement form of an amino acid called cysteine found in high-protein foods. When you take NAC, it is broken down in the body and combined with other amino acids to form glutathione, one of the most powerful antioxidants found in your body.
Glutathione helps to protect cells from toxins and reduce damage caused by free radicals, as well as help build and repair tissue. Regarded as the body’s “master antioxidant”, glutathione is a known immune system booster and is theorized to function as a neurotransmitter, which is why it has been studied for its ability to influence the central nervous system, brain and mood.
NAC and lung disorders
NAC has been shown to help reduce the amount of mucus that the lungs produce. For this particular purpose, NAC can begin to work very quickly – sometimes within minutes – although the full effect may require regular use over a period of time. In most recent studies, NAC supplementation may offer protection against and combat the effects of COVID-19, as reported by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.
NAC and performance
NAC is a popular supplement for athletic performance. According to a small study published in the Journal of Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, taking NAC around an hour before exercise can boost performance. Specifically, NAC can lengthen the time-to-fatigue during medium-intensity exercise. It’s necessary to take NAC an hour before you exercise so that your body can break it down into glutathione.
NAC AND FEMALE FERTILITY
The benefits of NAC to women, especially for fertility, offer a promising field of study. Women who have experienced problems with ovulation and pregnancy may find some relief in NAC’s positive effect on menstruation regularity, ovarian function, pregnancy and birth rates, according to studies. Additionally, its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effect can further support fertility, because research shows that women with certain ovarian conditions have higher levels of oxidative stress.
NAC AND DETOXIFICATION
Because it can protect the liver against damage from toxins, NAC is very valuable as an antidote for combating unwanted substances that may be lurking around in our bodies. It is one of the few compounds that can help remove toxins that are hard to eliminate. NAC helps protect the liver and kidneys, starting as soon as it is metabolized, and can help prevent long-term damage.
It is vital to have abundant supplies of glutathione and it is safe to consume an NAC supplement daily in capsule or powder form. Body Kitchen has formulated a high-quality formula that contains 600mg of NAC that acts as an immediate precursor to glutathione. To make NAC even more effective, it includes another powerful antioxidant, quercetin, for optimal immune system response and protection against free radical damage. For enhanced benefits, our popular Mega NAC + Quercetin features a clinically studied form of black pepper extract that can boost NAC absorption by 30%.
For more information click: NAC Supplement
"I struggle with autoimmune and was having a bad flare up for ten days. After taking this for about 3 days I started feeling much better. My flare up is gone and I consistantly take these daily and generally feel better than I have in a long time." - Rachael
Mega NAC + Quercetin