N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is an inexpensive and highly absorbable form of the amino acid cysteine which has numerous health benefits. Previously, I’ve written about several applications for NAC:
- As a preventive measure against the common cold and flu infections
(see Preventive Measures for Swine Flu)
- Helping prevent liver damage from Tylenol
(see Health Risks from Tylenol, Acetaminophen, and Paracetamol)
- Detoxifying the body of the mercury from dental fillings, predatory fish, and high fructose corn syrup (see High Fructose Corn Syrup is Dangerous for Many Reasons)
- Aid for mental health conditions such as OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and trichotillomania which is a surprisingly common compulsive behavior involving hair-pulling (see N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) Reduces Hair Pulling Compulsion and May Also Be Useful for OCD)
Furthermore, there is solid evidence that NAC helps boost the body’s levels of glutathione, one of the main antioxidants produced by the body. In particular, glutathione is critical to liver health. Many people suffer from elevated homocysteine levels, an amino acid that is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Several studies indicate that NAC can significantly lower homocysteine levels. Finally, if you sometimes drink alcohol and get a hangover, you’ll be interested to know that NAC plus vitamin B1 (thiamine) may help the body reduce the severity of hangovers. There are many other lesser known uses for NAC. I’ll discuss more of these at the end of the article.
Available Forms of NAC
NAC is often sold in capsule form containing 600 mg per capsule, but the bulk powder form of the supplement can be much less expensive. NAC is also the primary ingredient in some pharmaceutical products including a product called Mucomyst that is used to treat mucus build-up by inhalation of a sterile liquid solution of NAC.
This article reviews the 1Fast400 N-Acetyl-Cysteine, NAC sold in bulk powder form. It is priced less than 1/2 the price of the 600 mg capsules from inexpensive reputable makers such as Puritan’s Pride and NOW Foods. Thus the bulk powder form of NAC is a good choice for people who use large quantities of it. Such people might include those with families with several people who use it for general health, immune system boosting, detoxification from mercury and heavy metals, and especially people who use it for mental health care applications similar to clinical testing being done with dosages of 2000 mg per day or more.