N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) is a free-form amino acid and is a vital part of the body’s antioxidant defense system. It is derived from the amino acid cysteine, which is used by the body in the formation of glutathione, one of the key antioxidants and detoxifying compounds. These antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it an effective natural therapy for people with oxidative stress. Intense physical activity, as well as exposure to environmental pollutants, lifestyle factors, and some degenerative diseases, can increase the production of free radicals that cause harmful effects beyond the body’s ability to counteract.
Exposure to free radicals or environmental toxins depletes the concentration of glutathione in our cells. Glutathione binds directly to many fat-soluble toxins, such as heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides, transforming them into a water-soluble form for more efficient excretion via the kidneys. NAC helps replenish glutathione stores. Taking a NAC supplement can increase glutathione levels more effectively than supplementing with glutathione on its own (Kasperczyk et al., 2014). This is because glutathione breaks down in the gastrointestinal tract whereas NAC does not; it passes into the bloodstream intact.
Equally as important, NAC supplementation has been clinically shown to increase the body’s capacity to help reduce the severity and frequency of influenza-like symptoms in adults over 65 years. In terms of lung support, NAC goes even further. It has been used clinically since the 1960s for lung and respiratory tract disorders, especially chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
If you would like to increase your antioxidant intake for additional immune system support, or if you have high levels of oxidative stress, or are concerned about your neurological and cognitive health or that of a loved one, Natural Factors® N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is a great option. It is also the ideal supplement for people with chronic or recurring bronchitis, those concerned about the effects of air pollution, or those who need to detoxify from harmful exposure to heavy metals.
NAC is an ideal nutritional supplement for adults who would like to improve their immune system health. It is an effective option for anyone with high levels of oxidative stress or depleted glutathione stores. Natural Factors N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine is available in both 500 mg and 600 mg doses. The 600 mg dosage is supported by clinical research, and is the maximum dosage permitted by Health Canada. The recommended adult dose is one capsule taken twice daily with meals or as directed by a health care practitioner.