NAC is a derivative of the amino acid cysteine. It is a potent antioxidant normally found in the body. Being used as a mucolytic agent (mucus thinner), NAC helps the body produce glutathione.
Normally, NAC by itself is not found in the foods. However, cysteine can be found in foods high in protein.
Potential Health Benefits of NAC:
- Acetaminophen overdose or toxicity.
- As a mucus thinner in bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis (CF), pneumonia, and pulmonary fibrosis.
- To increase glutathione level.
- Liver detoxification.
- Angina pectoris.
- Immediately after a heart attack.
- Immune support in HIV/AIDS.
- Reducing risk of developing colon cancer in people with colon polyps.
- It may improve athletic endurance and performance.
- Prevention of kidney damage due to contrast medium.
- Prevention of the bladder inflammation after using the chemotherapeutic agent cyclophosphamide.
- Useful in psychiatric disorders, such as depression, mania, autism, and schizophrenia.
- Drug addiction (it may reduce craving and desire for cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana).
Dosage, Side Effects, and Interactions:
Daily dosage of NAC is 500 – 1500 mg. A small percentage of NAC users may report headache, dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain, and dry mouth. It may also increase urinary loss of zinc and copper.