Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
The Facts About NAC Supplements
N-acetyl cysteine – commonly known as NAC – has been a popular nutritional supplement used for respiratory health for almost 60 years. This powerful natural “toxin trapper” continues to be used in hospitals to purge the body of certain harmful chemicals, such as certain illuminating dyes used for medical procedures.
NAC is the supplement form of cysteine, the amino acid that’s a precursor to L-Glutathione. Called the body’s “master antioxidant”, L-Glutathione is one of the few antioxidants the body produces naturally to protect itself against free radicals and inflammation that threaten cellular function in the lungs and other health systems.
For healthy lungs and a strong respiratory system, NAC has largely been considered to be one of the top supplements, because it helps loosen buildup in air passageways, which makes it especially important during cold and flu season.
Changing Course After Nearly 6 Decades
But recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rethought its position about NAC despite no new science or evidence to the contrary, and has deemed it too powerful to be labeled a dietary supplement. This pivot came as a result of some marketers’ claims that NAC can function as a “hangover cure”.
The debate over the FDA’s sudden change of heart after decades of approval and use rages on as health experts who vehemently oppose it have launched their own efforts to invalidate the abrupt new position.
And while a few major retailers have decided to no longer sell NAC supplements, such as Amazon, which has been under the FDA’s scrutiny for promoting questionable remedies against COVID-19, the good news is that you can still find NAC supplements through independent retailers you trust including Body Kitchen (shop Mega NAC + Quercetin here).
Science-Backed Benefits of NAC
NAC continues to be widely regarded as one of the best supplements for respiratory health. And thousands of clinical studies support its benefits:
- Helps improve lung function. Studies revealed that COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) subjects who took NAC, either oral supplements or inhaled therapies, experienced improvement in respiratory function.
- Promotes natural detoxification and supports optimal liver and kidney function, the body’s detox organs. It also helps trap environmental impurities that can harm healthy cells.
- Gives healthy lungs a boost to help improve athletic endurance, which is why it’s popular among active individuals and athletes who want to take their respiratory rate to higher levels of intensity.
- Fights inflammation in the body by fighting oxidative stress, which can be a root cause of many health-related issues that affect the heart and cognition.
- Replenishes glutathione, which studies show helps support brain health including memory and learning capacity.
Do your own research on the health benefits of NAC. For a natural, high-quality NAC antioxidant formula you can feel good about, trust Body Kitchen’s team of nutritionists and cellular biologists. You can read more about our powerful free radical neutralizer here.