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Product Name : N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine
Other Names: N-Acetyl-L-(+)-cysteine
CAS number : 616-91-1
Molecular Formula: C5H9NO3S
Molecular Weight: 163.19500.
Appearance/Color : White powder
Applications : medicine

N-acetyl cysteine is an antioxidant that might play a role in preventing cancer. As a drug, it’s used by healthcare providers to treat acetaminophen (Tylenol) poisoning. It works by binding the poisonous forms of acetaminophen that are formed in the liver.

It can be taken any time of day that is most convenient. NAC is available in 500-, 600-, 750- and and 1,000-milligram tablets. You will likely need to divide up your dose and take it twice or three times daily to see results, so consider taking it once it in the morning and again at night.

Biological Functions

  1. Antioxidant Activity: NAC boosts cellular levels of glutathione, enhancing the body’s antioxidant defenses. This property helps protect cells from oxidative stress, a key factor in aging and the development of various diseases.
  2. Detoxification Support: By promoting glutathione production, NAC aids in detoxification processes within the liver and other tissues. It helps remove toxins, heavy metals, and other harmful compounds from the body.
  3. Mucolytic Properties: NAC is also known for its mucolytic (mucus-dissolving) effects, making it beneficial in respiratory conditions such as chronic bronchitis and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). It helps reduce the viscosity of mucus, making it easier to clear from the airways.
  4. Support for Mental Health: Research suggests that NAC may have potential benefits for mental health. It has been investigated for its role in reducing symptoms of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The antioxidant and neuroprotective properties of NAC are thought to contribute to these effects.

Sources of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine

NAC is available as a dietary supplement, typically in capsule or powder form. While it can be synthesized in laboratories, it is also naturally found in foods that contain L-Cysteine, such as poultry, yogurt, cottage cheese, and certain grains.

Health Benefits and Considerations

  1. Respiratory Health: NAC’s ability to thin mucus makes it a popular supplement for respiratory conditions, aiding in easier breathing and reducing exacerbations in chronic lung diseases.
  2. Antioxidant Support: By enhancing glutathione levels, NAC helps protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress, potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases associated with aging and inflammation.
  3. Liver Support: Its detoxification properties make NAC valuable for liver health, supporting the organ’s natural ability to cleanse and metabolize toxins.

Safety and Considerations

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is generally considered safe when taken at recommended doses. However, individuals with certain conditions, such as asthma or bleeding disorders, should use it with caution and under medical supervision. Like any supplement, it’s essential to consult healthcare professionals before starting NAC, especially if combining it with medications or other supplements.