N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a safe and effective amino acid derivative compound that can provide relief from cold and flu. Although little known, it has been available for the last 30 years.
NAC is currently used to treat acetaminophen (Tylenol™) poisoning and to prevent patients who have received a tracheostomy from getting crusting around the tube inserted in their windpipe. It has even been effective in eradicating the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which has been linked to gastric cancer.
Instead of making this compound widely known, Big Pharma has instead chosen to patent it in several drugs, masking one of its lesser known, but highly effective, applications: Its ability to treat and prevent lung disease.
NAC to Treat and Prevent Lung Disease
Latest research shows that NAC may be under-utilized. Multiple clinical trials have shown that NAC is an effective treatment option for the following conditions:
- Treating and preventing the symptoms associated with asthma and chronic bronchitis – including eliminating mucus and opening the airways.
- Treating and preventing the symptoms associated with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
- Improving lung function for those suffering from cystic fibrosis.
- Lowering homocysteine levels in the blood, a condition linked to increased risk of death if you have a stroke.
- Easing the symptoms of common colds and flus.
One of the ways NAC helps to treat and prevent lung disease and repair your body is by acting as a building block to one of the most powerful antioxidants found in your cells, glutathione – also known as the master antioxidant .
Naturally Raise Your Levels of the Master Antioxidant
NAC increases your level of glutathione (GSH), which in turn helps your body repair damaged lung tissue and cells. NAC acts as a suppressor that prevents the activation of cellular inflammation and supercharges glutathione’s ability to rejuvenate lung tissue.
As a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-viral, NAC has been used for years as complementary therapy for respiratory illness. A study published in the European Respiratory Journal found that people diagnosed with COPD spend one-third less time in the hospital when they use NAC to fortify their respiratory systems.
More than 1,200 participants admitted to the hospital for COPD-related complications were monitored after their release. The longer they took NAC, the stronger their respiratory systems became.
After nine months, the group given NAC was readmitted 85% less often than those who did not take it. The standard dose used throughout the study was 400mg per day.
In addition, the University of Maryland Medical Center is currently conducting clinical trials to test the effectiveness of NAC in the treatment of cancer, drug addiction and schizophrenia.
Most clinical studies have found 200 mg/day to be effective, but NAC has been known to cause stomach upset, low blood pressure, drowsiness and headaches in a small percentage of those who took it so supplement with caution.
NAC may also increase your daily requirements for zinc and copper, and physicians recommend taking a multi-vitamin when supplementing with NAC. Warning: Taking more than 7g of NAC is toxic!
If you are on nitroglycerin you should not take NAC, as it can enhance the effects of the heart medication and drop blood pressure dangerously low. There is not enough data to pronounce NAC safe for pregnant or nursing women. Always speak to your doctor before adding NAC to your supplement regimen.
If you suffer from chronic respiratory problems, adding cysteine-rich foods or taking a supplement of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) will boost your immune system, lower inflammation in your lungs and get you breathing easier again.
- Poultry – chicken, turkey or duck
- Dairy products – eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese and ricotta cheese
- Beans – lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas and peas
- Red Peppers, broccoli, onions and garlic
- Wheat germ, granola and oats
- Peanut butter
N-acetyl cysteine can also help regulate your blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, as wells as stop the development of pathogens that can create cancer.
It’s a natural treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and can reduce the severity of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) by replenishing your levels of one of the most crucial antioxidants in your body, glutathione.