You: Who’s there?

Me: N-Acetyl-Cysteine!

Okay, so I’m better at Naturopathy than comedy! But NAC is emerging as a heavy weight in our human battle against oxidative stress. And before you think that oxidative stress only relates to aging and you’re not worried about aging yet, keep in mind that oxidative stress is fast becoming the heavy weight in chronic illness and systemic inflammation and dysfunction.

If you have a medical background, you’ll be familiar with NAC as the medication used to treat paracetamol overdose. It’s also been used to loosen mucus in Cystic Fibrosis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Culminative research is now showing just how positively NAC is affecting the oxidative stress response and in turn, positively affecting inflammation in multiple body systems.

NAC has a proven application in the treatment of Endometriosis, PCOS, Male Infertility, Respiratory health, Liver support, Mood disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Addictive disorders, Cardiovascular disease, Metabolic Health and Thyroid disease.

That’s an impressive list that seems to good to be true!

But here’s now NAC works.

NAC is a precurser to Glutathione (GSH), and we need adequate amounts of GSH in every cell of our body. In fact, GSH is our most abundant intracellular antioxidant. GSH not only influences cellular processes, but it is absolutely vital in the regeneration of other antioxidents such as vitamin E and vitamin C. By now, you’re probably not surprised to hear that even slightly low levels of GSH are related to impaired immune function and low levels have been related to neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and diabetes.

The good news is that you can get these goodies from animal proteins and cruciferous veggies such as broccoli. The problem here is the same as always… we can’t always eat or absorb as much as we need in a life that causes greater levels of inflammation and oxidative stress than our food can contradict.

NAC isn’t a good one to go self-medicating with. Too high a dose will have you running to the loo! Besides, as practitioners, we prescribe different doses for different disorders.

So if you enjoy a drink (or two), know you have an addictive or compulsive behaviour, find your moods swinging or need help with fertility, pop along to your chosen health professional and ask about NAC.

You’re more than welcome to borrow my amazing and very funny NAC, NAC joke as an ice breaker!


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