For nearly 60 years, N-acetyl cysteine, or NAC for short, has been used in clinical settings, first as a mucolytic and respiratory aid, then as a detoxifier in hospitals to purge the body of many harmful chemicals.
In the early 1990s, NAC was made available to the public in supplement form, and has maintained its reputation for being a potent respiratory aid and “toxin trapper”. And, with the discovery of new strains of COVID-19 and other viruses, it has become one of the most popular supplements to take in the fall and winter.
But NAC is also considered to be a safe and effective natural alternative with a remarkably wide range of health applications.*
What is NAC?
NAC is the supplement form of an amino acid called cysteine that’s found in high-protein foods, such as beef, eggs, dairy and legumes. Cysteine is the precursor to glutathione.
Considered the mother of all antioxidants, glutathione is highly important, because it’s one of the only antioxidants your body produces naturally for protection against free radicals and inflammation. When these health destroyers accumulate, they threaten cellular function to nearly all major health systems.
While food sources are important to avoid a nutrient deficiency, consuming NAC in supplement form helps your body maintain the therapeutic levels needed to support more intensive benefits, especially during “high risk” seasons.
And, if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, you may benefit from an NAC supplement, since the most concentrated food sources are animal-based.
Here are six of the top uses and benefits of NAC supplementation.
6 Science-Backed Benefits of NAC
NAC promotes removal of harmful toxins by supporting optimal function of your body’s detox organs—your liver and kidneys. It also helps trap heavy metals and environmental impurities that can interfere with cellular function throughout your body and age cells prematuraly.*
NAC is widely regarded as one of the best supplements for respiratory health. It supports healthy lung and bronchial function by increasing levels of glutathione in the lungs and minimizing inflammation. It also helps to breakup buildup in airways, thus improving ease of breathing.*
Healthy lungs give your athletic performance a boost, which is why NAC supplements are popular among active individuals and athletes who want to take their respiratory rate to higher levels of intensity. Additionally, NAC helps minimize lactic acid buildup, which helps delay the onset of muscle fatigue.*
Fights Inflammation and Oxidation
As the all-star of antioxidant formulas, NAC supplements assist your body in manufacturing glutathione. This vital antioxidant is essential for keeping inflammation and oxidative stress to a minimum, both of which have been traced to most major health conditions affecting your heart, lung and brain function.
Cognition and Mood
In addition to replenishing glutathione levels, which protects against cognitive decline, NAC helps regulate the neurotransmitter, glutamate, which influences the central nervous system, brain and mood. It supports memory and learning capacity, and has been studied for its effects as a natural mood balancer.*
Women who have experienced problems with ovulation and pregnancy may find some relief in NAC’s positive influence on menstruation regularity, ovarian function, pregnancy and birth rates. Its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory qualities have been shown to support fertility by reducing oxidative stress in the ovaries, which is linked to fertility issues.*
For a high-quality NAC supplement you can trust, try Body Kitchen Mega NAC + Quercetin. Double down on daily antioxidant protection with a clinically effective, 600 mg dose of NAC to rev up glutathione production, plus another 600 mg of quercetin, a plant pigment that fights inflammation body-wide.