I’d like to talk about a natural liver health supplement that you may have never heard about – but it’s quite possibly one of the most important things you can take for your health – and specifically, your liver’s health.
It’s called N-AcetylCysteine – or NAC.
So why is NAC something that you should know about? Before we list its many medical benefits, it’s good to know that other than being safe, inexpensive, and commercially available for a long time now, NAC is also generally well-tolerated and has no known serious side effects.
The secret behind this supplement is, that it’s an amino acid that replenishes what is arguably the most powerful antioxidant in your body – Glutathione. This antioxidant helps neutralize free radicals that can damage tissues and cells. It is essential for immune health – and some researchers even believe that it contributes to longevity.
Whilst our bodies can produce NAC from other amino acids such as methionine and serine, when dietary intake of these are inadequate then an NAC supplement will make a great difference. It plays an important part in our bodies’ detoxification process.
So here is a list of ways how this liver health supplement can benefit you, not only on your liver health but also on many other diseases to which you may be potentially exposed.
This Liver Health Supplement Should be Your Best Friend
- NAC helps counter the toxic effects of alcohol consumption
- NAC offers important liver support
- It helps prevent exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Improves muscle performance
- Protects against Alzheimer’s disease
- Reduces symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis
- Prevents asthma
- Treats pulmonary fibrosis
- Improves male sperm quality, as well as some female fertility issues
- Decreases symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease
- Helps those with HIV infection
- Reduces tissue inflammation and improves muscle performance
- Aids in preventing depression, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Reduces your risk of insulin resistance
- Reduces your risk of leaky gut
- Improves sleep quality and reduces snoring
- Reduces your risk of heart disease and increases the survival rate of heart attack victims
- Enhances bone regeneration and speeds up bone mineralization
- Protects against toxicity from radiation therapy in cancer patients and helps prevent DNA damage
- Treats polycystic ovary syndrome
- Helps in brain injury recovery
- Lessens the occurrence, symptoms, and duration in patients with chronic bronchitis
- May serve as an effective remedy against acne.
Why Your Liver Will Love NAC
Increasing the level of NAC in your body minimizes the damage which can be caused by alcohol consumption. The intake of at least 200 milligrams of this liver health supplement at a minimum of 30 minutes before drinking an alcoholic beverage may help reduce the alcohol’s toxic effects. It also minimizes acetaldehyde toxicity which is the cause of many hangover symptoms.
Taking this amazing liver health supplement, together with B vitamins which are depleted in the process of drinking alcoholic beverages and which ironically, are also the ones that aid in eliminating alcohol from the body, would significantly help anyone who suffers from headaches and other effects of alcohol consumption.
Vitamin B1 (also known as thiamine) and Vitamin B6 (known as pyridoxine) are only some of the B vitamins which contribute toward alleviating hang-over symptoms.
NAC also helps boost the production of Glutathione, an important antioxidant produced naturally by our bodies that helps to minimize oxidative stress and liver inflammation. It also plays a role in the detoxification of heavy metals and other harmful substances.
In medicine, NAC is used as a powerful antidote to acetaminophen toxicity. Acetaminophen depletes glutathione in the body, leading to potential liver damage. If your body maintains a good level of the antioxidant glutathione, liver damage may be prevented. It is also the reason why in medical emergency cases such as an overdose on Tylenol, large doses of NAC are given to the patient in order to increase the glutathione level in the body.
Some drugs used to lessen severe pain like those given to patients who have recently undergone surgery may contain acetaminophen. Though not highly recommended for intake, if there is a necessity for taking such drugs, taking it along with NAC is highly encouraged.
Also, in unwanted cases such as children accidentally overdosing on acetaminophen-containing drugs, having a stand-by bottle of NAC at home may help in preventing its harmful effects. Nevertheless, seeking medical help immediately is still indispensable in incidents like this.
In treating hepatitis C, this liver health supplement is also recommended as a better alternative to resveratrol after the latter was found in a recent study to enhance the replication of the hepatitis C virus.
Why Couples will Love NAC
The benefits of NAC for fertility in both men and women have been proven by many recent studies. In men, NAC has shown to improve sperm quality. In a study where women took 1,200 mg per day of oral NAC for five days, starting on the third day of their menstrual cycle, it appeared that their ovulation rate improved by 52 percent. There was also a significant improvement in the endometrial thickness.
The quality of a woman’s eggs, a factor in improving the chances of getting pregnant, was also shown by other research to have been improved by NAC. The supplement also helped in lessening the risk of miscarriage – and for those who have already experienced repeated miscarriages, their pregnancy rate may also be increased. Also, endometriosis, a common cause for female infertility, is improved by NAC supplementation.
Why Your Brain will Love NAC
NAC is promising many other potential uses in neurodegenerative conditions. Since glutathione deficiency in the substantia nigra has been common to a number of neurodegenerative conditions including Parkinson’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, and Alzheimer’s disease, scientists are currently investigating NAC as a treatment as it helps in increasing glutathione levels.
One recent study also suggests that NAC can also be a treatment for mental health disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance use disorders.
Important Reminders about NAC Dosage
Oral intake of NAC is not highly bio-available, meaning that it may result in low absorption levels and it usually has a half-life of only two hours. Consequently, the recommended dosage can be as high as 1,800 mg per day and spread out over two or three times a day.
Dosage is generally well-tolerated, although some experience nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. In cases like this, dosage levels should be reduced. Like most supplements, it is best to take it with food to reduce the likelihood of such effects.
Also, to avoid experiencing any debilitating detox symptoms, start the dosage low, with an estimated 400 to 600 mg once a day, adjusting the intake one step at a time. If currently undergoing cancer treatment or taking an antidepressant, make it a point to discuss the use of NAC with your doctor, as it may interact with chemotherapy and some antidepressants.