N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is also known as acetylcysteine, NAC. It is a derivative of Cysteine; an acetyl group that is attached to the nitrogen atom.
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is sold both as an OTC and a prescription drug. It is also sold as a nutritional supplement and used in body-building supplements.
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine has several medical uses owing to its mucus-dissolving property. It disrupts the disulfide bonds in the mucus, liquefying it and making it easier to cough up.It is used in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Chronic Bronchiatic Pulmonary Disease.
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is also known to have liver protecting qualities. It increases the quantities of glutathione in the body. Glutathione and NAC together bind to toxic metabolites and protect the hepatocytes in the liver.
Trials involving N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine has shown beneficiary results in patients suffering from Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is used is conditions like autism where cysteine and related sulfur amino acids may be depleted in the body.
Who can benefit from taking
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is used in anti-aging drugs because of its ability to create glutathione. Glutathione is a peptide that removes free radicals from the body.
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine acts as a protective agent against toxic hazards like cigarette smoke, some herbicides, and auto exhaust.
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is used in the treatment of
Emphysema with bronchitis
Chronic Asthmatic bronchitis
Primary Amyloidosis of the lung
Pulmonary complications related to Cystic Fibrosis
Post Traumatic Chest Conditions
It is also used as a diagnostic aid in post-operative tracheotomy care.
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is used in cough medication because of its ability to break disulfide bonds in mucus and liquefy it.
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is also used to treat paracetamol intoxication.
Side effects of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine include upset stomach, mild stomach pain, heartburn, cough, fever and feelings of increased appetite. Severe side effects include vomiting, nausea, headache, difficulty breathing, and tightness in the chest, stomach pain, dizziness and dry mouth.
Dosage recommendations vary and could be in the range of 250-1500mg for the majority of therapeutic benefits, depending on the illness.