Truly a heavy-hitter, N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) has proven itself for decades and helped save countless lives during this pandemic (at the same time that the FDA was trying to ban its distribution). Besides that, it has potent anti-cancer properties, tremendous antioxidant and anti-inflammatory roles, and enormous benefits for the brain.
Here are some reasons to love NAC:
1. Strengthens your immune system, especially in the lungs. NAC gets converted to glutathione, which is one of the two most important antioxidant systems in your body (more on that later). Glutathione is necessary in high quantities for the white blood cells in your lungs to mount an effective immune response — whether to COVID-19, influenza, RSV, bacterial pneumonia, or whatever.
Bonus: NAC also thins mucus. When patients mention problems with thick phlegm, my go-to home remedies are NAC and Mucinex.
2. COVID prevention and treatment. NAC has direct antiviral activity against SARS-COV-2 and decreases cytokine storm. Read more here or watch this video.
3. Binds spike protein. Well, well, well — I have to say that if this were the only thing NAC did, it would still be at the top of my favorites list. Hopefully, we all know by now how nasty the COVID spike protein is, and we understand that the mRNA vaccines cause your body to produce it in large quantities. NAC directly binds to, and thus inactivates, spike protein.
Bonus: Other substances that bind to spike protein are Vitamin C, quercetin, ivermectin, and certain strains of CBD oil.
4. Potent anti-cancer properties. NAC works against cancer via multiple mechanisms. Who knew?
5. Boosts energy output and mitochondrial function. The mitochondria are the parts of your cells dedicated to energy production: the healthier they are, the better every organ system in your body will function (especially energy-intensive organs like your brain and kidneys).
Bonus: Because it boosts energy output throughout the body, it has a significant role in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Read more here.
6. Antioxidant. You have two main intracellular antioxidant molecules: Superoxide Dismutase and Glutathione. NAC undergoes a chemical reaction to regenerate glutathione; besides that, it has direct antioxidant properties on its own.
Bonus: Because it regenerates glutathione in the liver, it has a vital role in supporting detoxification (in fact, NAC is the remedy given in hospitals for liver toxicity due to Tylenol overdose).
7. Anti-inflammatory. But wait, there’s more!…. It also has potent anti-inflammatory actions (by suppressing genes like NF-kB and COX that control the inflammatory process).
Bonus: Thus, it helps with inflammatory conditions like autoimmune problems or osteoarthritis.
8. Great for the brain. NAC freely crosses the blood-brain barrier, thus bringing its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects to the most vital tissues of all. It also boosts dopamine activity.
Bonus: As a result, it has been proven to be beneficial in conditions such as brain fog, brain injury, ALS, and autism. And psychiatrists have used it for years to treat problems like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). (In-depth summary paper here.)
Whew! I trust you can see why I consider this a “power supplement.”
Best if taken on an empty stomach, typical dosing for NAC is as follows: