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N-Acetyl Cysteine Review

N-Acetyl Cysteine Review NAC is a amino acid and a precursor to glutathione which is a master anti oxidant, it prevents free radical damage from toxic exposures. It is commonly used for people who have also overdosed on acetaminophen (Tylenol). It is also known as Acetyl Cysteine, NAC, Cysteine.
N-Acetyl Cysteine
Also Known Acetyl Cysteine, NAC, Cysteine
Description NAC is a amino acid and a precursor to glutathione which is a master anti oxidant, it prevents free radical damage from toxic exposures. It is commonly used for people who have also overdosed on acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Typical Dose 200-500mg a day

Benefits and Effectiveness

What is N-Acetyl Cysteine?

N-Acetyl-Cysteine or NAC has been used for many years as a specific treatment for acetaminophen overdose. It is known as a form of amino acid L-cysteine and is used as a therapy for patients who are suffering from cancer. It has been utilized as a treatment for infections, heavy metal poisoning, and for wound healing. It is also used as an antidote for HIV infection. N-Acetyl-Cysteine also plays a role in the field of psychiatric medicine because of its effects on dopamine and glutamate inside the brain.

Many research studies suggest that N-Acetyl-Cysteine can be used to treat various serious neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, addiction, and may more. N-Acetyl-Cysteine was found out to have strong neuro-protective benefits, and is an amazing anti-oxidant. It can be considered a part of the nootropic nutrients supplements group, which consists of natural compounds needed by the body for immunity, healthy cognitive function, and metabolism.

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What are the effects of N-Acetyl-Cysteine?

It is known that all amino acids are the building blocks of proteins inside our body. They play an important role in the production of hormones and the development of healthy tissue. It acts as a messenger of all communications in the brain. Furthermore, the function of each protein is to trigger the balance and production of certain neurochemicals. N-Acetyl-Cysteine regulates the amount of glutamate produced in the brain. This compound was known to be the key element related to a healthy cellular energy and metabolism.

N-Acetyl-Cysteine has numerous anti-inflammatory effects; one example is inhibiting COX-2 and the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kB), both of these are responsible for causing inflammation in the tissues.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in enhancing drive, pleasure, mental energy, motor control, and mental focus. N-Acetyl-Cysteine likewise increases the number of dopamine available inside the brain.

Glutathione functions in decreasing the harmful free radicals inside our body by contributing electrons to them while maintaining stability. This action aid cells to fight against viruses, bacteria, decay, and is responsible for a number of N-Acetyl-Cysteine’s benefits for infection and poisoning. N-Acetyl-Cysteine’s anti-oxidant effects occur as it transforms into Glutathione.

What benefits does N-Acetyl-Cysteine provide?

  • Acetaminophen poisoning: Physicians usually prescribe intravenous (by IV) N-Acetyl-Cysteine to individuals who have taken extremely high amounts of acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help reduce or prevent kidney and liver damage. Acetaminophen poisoning is an emergency situation and can occur following accidental overdose. Acetaminophen poisoning can also occur following intake of small doses if a person consumes alcohol or takes drugs that could damage the liver on a regular basis. On the event that you observe someone has taken very high amounts of acetaminophen, bring them to the emergency room as soon as possible.
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  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis: One research study of individuals who have moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) reported that N-Acetyl-Cysteine decreases the number of flare ups at about 40 percent when combined with other remedies. A clinical study review showed that N-Acetyl-Cysteine could help relieve that symptoms associated with chronic bronchitis which leads to fewer flare ups.
  • Angina: One clinical study conducted on individuals who have ongoing chest pain revealed that administration of N-Acetyl-Cysteine in combination with nitroglycerine, a drug that dilates (opens up) blood vessels and enhances the flow of blood, has been more effective as compared to taking either one alone in decreasing heart failure, chest pain, as well as risk of death. On the other hand, the combination was found out to cause severe headache. Therefore, it is vital that you should first see your physician or any qualified medical professional before deciding to use N-Acetyl-Cysteine to treat chest pain.
  • AIDS/HIV: Experts further investigated the effects of cysteine in helping boost the levels of glutathione in individuals who are suffering from autoimmune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or HIV. According to one research study, individuals with HIV who took supplements including Vitamin C (800 mg per day), amino acid glutamate (40 g per day), Vitamin E (500 IU), selenium (280 mcg per day), beta-carotene (27,000 IU), and N-Acetyl-Cysteine (2,400 mg per day) gained more weight as compared to those who took the placebo pill after twelve weeks. In one small scale clinical research, those patients who are HIV positive took N-Acetyl-Cysteine and experienced a boost in their glutathione levels. Those patients who belong to the placebo group did not experience the same effects. However, other studies showed no effects. Further studies are needed in order to prove N-Acetyl-Cysteine’s effectiveness in treating people with HIV.

What is the recommended dosage for N-Acetyl-Cysteine?

Like any other medications, N-Acetyl-Cysteine has a wide range of dosage recommendations to fit its numerous purposes. For adults who are in good health and decides to use this medication as means of enhancing their cognitive function, the general recommended dose is 600 mg of N-Acetyl-Cysteine taken twice per day. Experts claim that this dose is effective enough to increase motivation, enhance mental health and increase concentration.

There are numerous natural supplements out there that can be used to address these types of cognitive benefits. While amino acids like N-Acetyl-Cysteine could be considered an energy boosting supplement, the same mental focus effects can be gained without having increased stimulation via racetam and cholinergic supplementation. These types of drugs can increase cognitive function and boost acetylcholine without having an energetic and strong component.

Like N-Acetyl-Cysteine, many dopaminergic stimulants can be taken in combination with choline-boosters to add a motivational effect to enhance intelligence. On the off chance that you would like to use N-Acetyl-Cysteine to treat poisoning and infection, it is highly suggested that you consult your physician first and should be performed by the physician only. The recommended dose for the treatment of certain conditions like asthma is usually lower, at about 200 mg a day.

What are the side effects of this supplement?

N-Acetyl-Cysteine was known to cause some gastrointestinal side effects for some individuals. Some of these include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and constipation. Like other natural supplements, the best way to prevent side effects is to begin at the lowest effective dose and gradually increase the dosage once you have become familiar with its effects. Consult your physician before deciding to use this supplement.

N-Acetyl-Cysteine has the ability to dilate the blood vessels and enhance blood flow; therefore, it should not be taken in combination with any blood pressure medications or blood thinning drugs. Additionally, it should not be taken in combination with strong stimulants that affects the levels of dopamine like Adderall. This may lead to overstimulation and results to increased heart rate and shortness of breath. On the other hand, user reviews regarding the side effects of N-Acetyl-Cysteine are reported to be mild and short-lived.

Reviewer: Kathleen R. RN, PT
Wiki Last Updated: 2016-02-14

N-Acetyl Cysteine Dosage

200-500mg a day

Side Effects

It can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. Rarely, it can cause rashes, headache, low blood pressure and liver problems. Some studies have said it can cause high blood pressure and can form a red blood cell-derived molecule called nitrosothiol that fools your body into thinking there’s an oxygen shortage, which can lead to pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

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Results & Experiences

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