N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a remarkably versatile antioxidant supplement with numerous health benefits that might be of great importance to millions of people.
If there exists a secret home-remedy – and it was hidden from your eyes like a sort of panacea – this one would have been on that list. It’s because it has the capability to assist in so many ‘chronic’ issues. For example, chronic lung, respiratory, mood, or brain-related conditions. And many more.
In fact, science is equally impressed by its functionality as well as still in doubt about how it can do all these actions.
N-acetylcysteine has originally introduced as a mucolytic agent for chronic pulmonary diseases some 50 years ago. Therefore, it is primarily inhaled to manage conditions in which mucus is abnormally thick and tenacious.
Because it has strong nootropic effects, biohackers of our time love it very much. Beyond just being a powerful anti-oxidant, NAC also boosts mood, lowers anxiety, and improves memory (both short-term and long-term).
Today, NAC is on the World Health Organization’s list of valuable medicines.
NAC is a cheap vitamin-like medicine that is used as a prescription and over-the-counter drug.
It is actually a prodrug and precursor of the non-essential sulfur-containing amino acid in humans – Cysteine.
N-acetylcysteine is being discussed in over 10,000 scientific publications and over 300 human clinical trials in the past 10 years.
A long time ago, pharmaceutical companies incorporated it into various patented drugs, and NAC was widely sold out for its ability to exorcise the hangover and decrease the symptoms of galloping influenza. It is also typically used in dietary, bodybuilding, and skin health supplements.
As well as an adjunctive treatment in the major clinical trials and experiments for unresolved health conditions and diseases.
NAC therapy in paracetamol (acetaminophen) intoxication is standard clinical practice. Doctors regularly give intravenous NAC to people with an acetaminophen overdose to prevent or reduce kidney and liver damage (1).
It has been used as a beneficial drug treatment for some disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome patients with CC resistance, preterm birth, RPL, chronic bronchitis, ulcerative colitis, liver cancer, muscle performance, hemodialysis, asthma, Alzheimer and Parkinson. (2)
More than 20 clinical trials have employed NAC in various psychiatric disorders. These include nicotine and cocaine addiction and cessation, methamphetamine and cannabis dependence, pathological gambling, trichotillomania, nail-biting and skin picking, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism. In most of these studies, NAC had positive effects on clinical outcomes (3).
Beyond that particular applications, NAC has remained a relatively obscure and poorly understood compound until quite recently.
An innovative theory of an immune-inflammatory condition that arises from oxidative stress is a baseline for the new applications of NAC.
Its effectiveness as a free-radical scavenger, since it is a precursor of natural (“endogenous”) glutathione, gave us promising novel studies that try to help with mental health disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and depression.
Table of Contents
Take the NAC supplement with a grain of salt. There is excessive uncontrolled information about it that we have noticed.
As cool as the NAC as a nootropic might be, continuous research studies still require to inform us more in the future.
So is NAC good for the brain?
For this article, I did both anecdotal and (particularly) scientific research. I have also studied NAC for my problems with sleep apnea and stress management.
I’ve discovered I had an adjustment to the much better sleep and less anxiety and I take only one 500 mg pill daily. Since I didn’t have any usual side effects I continued to cycle it.
NAC works quickly but subtly thinning mucus, Mood regulation, skin health, and more energy are the benefits I noticed.
It depends on what condition is your health, but your ability to eliminate oxidative stress will keep enhancing if you keep taking NAC.
The Study said, it measurably increases antioxidant status in about a week (4).
What is NAC?
NAC is a derivative of cysteine, an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body by using another amino acid methionine.
Cysteine is a non-essential sulfur-containing amino acid in humans crucial for protein synthesis, cleansing, and also diverse metabolic functions.
Found in beta-keratin, the primary healthy protein in nails, skin, and hair,
cysteine is essential in collagen production, along with skin elasticity and
Likewise, called for in the manufacture of amino acid taurine, cysteine is a component of the antioxidant glutathione, and also contributes to the metabolic rate of crucial biochemicals such as coenzyme A, heparin, as well as biotin.
NAC is essentially a powerful anti-oxidant and cysteine/glutathione prodrug that is converted to cysteine in the intestine (by the enzyme aminoacylase 1) and absorbed into the bloodstream. Then it is rapidly metabolized and incorporated into proteins.
But, in general, little is known about the metabolism of this agent.
An acetyl group attached to the amino group of cysteine makes NAC more stable (which aids its shelf life) and allows the body to absorb and use it better.
Cysteine is primarily found in animal proteins such as chicken, pork, sausage, turkey, fish, and duck. Dairy sources of cysteine include yogurt, ricotta cheese, eggs, and cottage cheese.
Cysteine is also found in some plant sources for vegetarians and vegans. Foods such as broccoli, red pepper, onion, granola, and oat flakes are all good sources of Cysteine.
Other sources include garlic, bananas, linseed, soybeans, and wheat germ.
Low levels of Cysteine can delay growth in children and lower immunity. Weakness and muscle loss may also occur as a result of a low Cysteine diet (5).
How NAC work?
Science has agreed that N-acetylcysteine helps us because of the multiple mechanisms of action (6).
Among its known mechanisms, NAC-induced brain glutathione (GSH) replenishment is the most studied.
According to studies, taking NAC increases your glutathione levels by more than 30 percent while the oxidative damage markers were reduced by more than 30% (7).
1. The antioxidant glutathione
Glutathione (GSH) is involved in the intracellular and extracellular detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals in the brain. It acts on every cell in the body which is essential to anti-aging benefits and optimal health with less stress.
GSH is particularly crucial for appropriate brain function, lung function, and liver detoxing procedures. Regarding glutathione’s chemical structure, it is not possible to effectively take glutathione as a supplement and absorb it.
Reliably raising natural glutathione in the body in just a few doses is what makes NAC a potent free radical scavenger. NAC participates in general antioxidant activities and raises the body’s natural defense system.
Glutathione that our body makes might be diminished in a variety of health conditions. So the levels of NAC is used to enhance the production of glutathione when it is normally depleted.
Among many, established roles for GSH are the following:
detoxification of electrophilic xenobiotics
modulation of redox (oxidation-reduction reaction)-regulated signal transduction
storage and transport of cysteine
regulation of cell proliferation, synthesis of deoxyribonucleotide synthesis
regulation of immune responses
regulation of leukotriene and prostaglandin metabolism
As one of the few natural mucolytic agents, NAC supplements separate mucus, specifically in the lungs and respiratory tract. Therefore, in addition to its glutathione-increasing mechanism, NAC is popular as a supplement for its ability to break up or loosen sputum making it easier to cough up.
NAC exerts its mucolytic action through its free sulfhydryl group, which reduces the disulfide bonds in mucus proteins and lowers mucus viscosity.
This action increases with increasing pH and is most significant at pH 7 to 9.
3. Glutaminergic transmission
This mechanism adds to the NAC nootropic effects.
NAC is a “glutaminergic” substance, suggesting it can regulate levels of glutamate, the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain.
Glutamate is associated with a broad range of knowledge, habits, and memory.
NAC, for instance, has been shown to regulate the levels of excessive glutamate, which causes toxic damage in brain disorders like schizophrenia and drug dependency.
This mechanism of action of NAC is particularly important because of its effect on glutaminergic neurons in the nucleus accumbens, which is involved in the modulation of the reward and reinforcement center implicated in the addictive behaviors.
Metabotropic glutamate receptors
N-acetylcysteine also serves as a precursor to cystine which in turn serves as a substrate for the cystine-glutamate antiporter on astrocytes hence increasing glutamate release into the extracellular space. This glutamate in turn acts on mGluR2/3 receptors, and at higher doses of acetylcysteine, mGluR5.
It has been suggested that mGluRs may act as regulators of neurons’ vulnerability to excitotoxicity (a deadly neurochemical process involving glutamate receptor overactivation) through their modulation of NMDARs, the receptor most involved in that process.
Therefore, NAC has an indirect and direct therapeutic effect on glutamate.
From the Longecity forum thread:
The decrease in glutamate means less impulsive behavior, so there is less smoking, less gambling in people with gambling disorders, and less hair pulling.
I use it, but I keep the dose small to avoid the potential pulmonory issues. Given the disorders it has been tested against (bipolar depression, OCD, etc), it’s more about what you don’t notice than what you do notice.
4. Dopaminergic transmission
Because NAC is such a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger that increases intracellular GSH at the cellular level, it can manipulate processes that rely on oxidation. Neuroscientists think that through modulation of oxidative and nitrative damage, NAC has also an impact on a dopaminergic process (8).
The newer preliminary study from 2016 laid the foundations for evaluation of NAC on dopamine release in the brain, as seen in the Parkinson disease model. Patients were evaluated before and after 3 months of receiving the NAC to measure dopamine transporter (DAT) binding and the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) to measure clinical symptoms (9).
This study demonstrated for the first time the direct effect NAC has on the dopamine system in PD patients. A large-scale clinical trial is needed to test the therapeutic efficacy of NAC in this population.
It seems NAC has the ability to recover dopamine neurons and their function in the brain.
Two animal studies shed some light too.
In the first, N-acetylcysteine alters dopamine release. Following amphetamine treatment to rat striatal slices, NAC has been shown to facilitate vesicular dopamine release at low doses in striatal neurons and inhibit release at millimolar concentrations.
In monkeys, NAC has been shown to protect against reductions in DA transporter levels following repeated methamphetamine administration, suggesting one mechanism whereby increased DA release was facilitated in the previous study. Glutathione has also been shown to increase glutamate agonist–evoked DA release in mouse striatal neurons.
This one general thought comes one year ago from a Reddit thread and sums it up:
Would this likely be useful as a general neuroprotective agent for the dopamine system in healthy, non-meth-using people, by protecting from normal or environmental causes of oxidative stress? Would reduction of normal dopamine oxidative stress likely have some effect on conditions dependent or partially dependent on dopamine, like depression (Which, if I recall correctly, has some significant neurotoxicity of its own)?
5. inflammatory pathways
NAC also favorably affects the expression of genes involved in the inflammatory response, modulating them at the molecular, cellular, organ, and whole-body levels.
By increasing your glutathione levels, NAC makes you much more resistant to inflammation and oxidative stress and slows down aging at a cellular level.
With regards to anti-inflammatory activity, several research studies have observed that NAC is able to limit cytokines release in the early state of immune proliferation (10). Additionally, in animal models, inflammatory markers induced by lipopolysaccharides are influenced by the modulation of NAC. NAC also possesses some anti-inflammatory effects possibly via inhibiting NF-κB through redox activation of the nuclear factor kappa kinases thereby modulating cytokine synthesis.
The inflammatory-modulating effects of NAC may be important for its mood-stabilizing efficacy. It is recently observed in the effects of systemic inflammation in bipolar disorder patients.
In several cellular systems, NAC promotes effects aimed to maintain the survival functions of cells, which also induces the production of intracellular GSH known as the principal antioxidant produced by the body that protects cells from oxidative stress and maintains the redox state inside them.
6. mitochondrial enhancer
In recent years NAC is also studied as a mitochondrial enhancer.
In psychiatry, chronic stress has been shown to induce mitochondrial dysfunction, ultimately leading to apoptosis or cell death.
Treatment with NAC prolonged the survival of cells obtained from a patient with a mitochondrial disease like bipolar disorder. Thus, neuroprotective properties of NAC may be related to its neurogenesis-inducing ability, which is likely related to mitochondria-protective mechanisms.
As far as it seems, NAC may be the first pharmacological intervention that increases mitochondrial resilience and prevents allostatic load in psychiatry (Kapczinski et al.) (11).
Is NAC nootropic?
Is NAC a nootropic? That is heavily questioned on socials media, on Reddit, and also elsewhere. For some it is not a performance enhancer, for others, it works like memory and also energy levels booster.
In anecdotal as well as scientific research studies it mostly serves for therapy of neurological deficits or adjunctive tool in professional experiments.
It’s my viewpoint that it feels like a nootropic equally with some better known like noopept, or piracetam.
- NAC is helpful for synergy with various other nootropics.
- The strong side of supplementing with NAC is that it has a really secure profile.
- The systems underlying the therapeutic as well as clinical applications of NAC are intricate as well as still unclear.
However, we recognize it has brain benefits due to the fact:
- Prevent glutamic toxicity
- Increases dopamine
- Lowers inflammatory paths
- Free radical scavenger
- NAC affects the amounts of dopamine in the brain by regulating glutathione
From lots of anecdotal testimonials of memory-enhancing properties, I like this one from the WebMD site.
My memory was extremely poor all my life so as to present me with serious problems managing my life. Therefore, I don’t remember why my old naturopath prescribed NAC for me. But I will never stop taking it because within 3 weeks of a daily dose, I began to have recall: I recalled clearly when I had last taken my medications. It had been the day before. I write this many years later and I still remember what my first memory was. Before then, I’d had huge problems with trying to remember if I’d taken my medications. Even the weekly pill boxes didn’t work. I’d simply forget to go to them. (This was before ubiquitous cell phones with programmable alarms.) NAC really changed my life. I don’t know why it helps my memory or if it would help anyone else’s.
NAC nootropic benefits
These nootropic effects are seen in N-acetylcysteine supplementation:
- Neuroprotection. NAC as a precursor of glutathione works anti-inflammatory, and, due to its interaction with ROS, is an efficient scavenger of free radicals (12). Your brain is especially vulnerable to the free radicals attack intracellularly, which cause oxidative damage to the tissue. NAC thus affecting cognition, long-term potentiation, memory, and mood.
- Neurotransmitters support. NAC modulates glutamate levels and dopamine release in the brain. Thus affecting neuron health, cognition, memory, and mood. NAC also control dopamine levels and function in your brain and protects dopamine receptors (13).
- Anti-anxiety and mood booster. NAC reduces irritability, anxiety, and depression in psychiatrist disorders. NAC increases your body’s antioxidant capacity and balances excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in your brain. Resulting in less anxiety and depression (14).
The ability of the compound to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is thought to be critical to the treatment of brain dysfunction.
Although the NAC’s ability to cross BBB is being disputed, it completely relies on its form, dose, and routes of administration.
Some studies report that intravenous (jugular) and intra-arterial (intracarotid) administration of 14C-NAC resulted in good BBB permeability.
Recent studies have demonstrated the blood-brain barrier permeability and therapeutic potentials of N-acetylcysteine amide (NACA) in neurological disorders (Sunitha et al. 15).
The dramatic increase in the brain levels of NAC and cysteine happened with the administration of NAC ethyl ester, probably due to its rapid hydrolysis.
Further studies are required for determining its ability to cross the cell membrane and the blood-brain barrier as well as elucidating its reactions with components of cell signaling pathways (16).
Stacking NAC nootropic
Nootropic Ingredients like alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), n-acetyl cysteine (NAC), and acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) can mitigate metabolic waste and maximize the energy potential of the cell. The combination allows more efficient energy production via mitochondrial and metabolic pathways and quicker muscle recovery due to enhanced glutathione regeneration.
You may add quality magnesium (like L-threonate) and ashwagandha into the stack for less brain fog, and burnout properties. People report that it is good for treating fatigue and depression after the use of prescribed stimulant medicines like Vyvanse.
N-acetylcysteine and L-theanine combo will be great as an anti-anxiety stack. People also make use of it as a sleep aid. Taking NAC with quality KSM-66 or Sensoril (standardized) ashwagandha will also do the trick.
As many addictive disorders have limited or currently ineffective treatment options, NAC may be an effective adjunctive therapy for individuals with these conditions (17).
NAC has the capacity to restore homeostasis to brain glutamate systems disrupted in addiction and thereby reduce craving and the risk of relapse.
The research found that the best approach is to use NAC while you are trying to quit smoking. If you are slowly reducing your cigarette usage, it will help protect your lungs from further damage, and it may help reduce your cravings based on research on other addictive behaviors.
In a pilot study, supplementation of 2,400 mg of N-acetylcysteine daily to nicotine-addicted smokers noted that after two weeks there was a trend to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked daily. The magnitude of reduction appeared to be around 25%.
NAC decreases withdrawal symptoms and prevents relapse in cocaine addicts (18). Some early research shows that taking N-acetyl cysteine by mouth reduces the desire to use cocaine in cocaine-dependent people. But conflicting results exist (19).
By regulating glutamate levels in your brain, NAC may alleviate symptoms of multiple psychiatric disorders and reduce addictive behavior.
There is accumulating evidence on the use of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in the treatment of patients with neuropsychiatric disorders.
As a multi-target drug and a glutathione precursor, NAC can help in the management of stress-related disorders. There is an expanding field of research investigating novel therapies targeting oxidative pathways.
The aim of this newest study was to investigate the effects of NAC in zebrafish submitted to unpredictable chronic stress (UCS). NAC reversed the anxiety-like behavior and oxidative damage observed in stressed animals (22).
The dangerous outcomes of chronic stress and anxiety in the central nervous system are an outcome of glutamatergic hyperactivation, glutathione (GSH) depletion, oxidative stress, in addition to boosted inflammatory response, amongst others.
NAC concentrations overall do not interfere with the activity of the most commonly used antibiotics, except for carbapenems.
- merrem IV.
A modulatory effect on the activity of other beta-lactams and aminoglycosides was also observed at the highest NAC concentration, resulting in either synergistic or antagonistic interaction. Interestingly, NAC showed intrinsic antimicrobial activity against H. influenzae, which deserves further investigation (23).
NAC reduced ADHD symptoms in small-sized research on ADHD within a systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) population (24).
NAC reduced ADHD symptoms as determined by the ADHD Self-Report Scale Sign List (ASRS).
This evidence requires to be solidified with the fact that the study population struggled with SLE and therefore can not be generalized as a treatment for common ADHD.
High blood sugar and weight problems contribute to inflammation in fat tissue. This can lead to damage or destruction of insulin receptors and put you at a higher danger of type 2 diabetes. N-acetylcysteine suggests a helpful impact on insulin level of sensitivity and offers the possibility for brand-new treatment approaches for insulin resistance (25).
Animal research studies show that NAC may support blood sugar levels by decreasing inflammation in fat cells and consequently enhancing insulin resistance. NAC supplements inhibited the boost of fat mass and the advancement of weight problems when mice were fed with a high-fat diet (26, 27).
When insulin receptors are undamaged and healthy, they effectively remove sugar from your blood, keeping levels within normal limitations.
Bear in mind that human research on NAC is needed to validate these effects on blood glucose control.
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder with increasing global prevalence due to the aging of the population. No medicines can’t really halt or reverse the condition, with the only treatment being pain relievers.
In an animal study, NAC was provided to the mice with osteoarthritis, and it reduced the level of joint damage to that seen in healthy, control mice.
The study suggests that NAC can operate as an osteogenesis-enhancing molecule to accelerate bone regeneration by activating the distinction of osteogenic lineages (28).
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), known as the “silent epidemic”, contributes to worldwide death and disability more than any other traumatic insult. It can be caused by sports injuries, work accidents, car, and motorcycle accidents falls, and especially on the battlefield.
The TBI affecting cognition, motor function (movement), and personality. In a brain subjected to TBI, there is glutamate toxicity, free-radical injury to brain cells, electrolyte imbalances, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, apoptosis (cell death), and stroke.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted with 81 active duty service members at a forward-deployed field hospital in Iraq. All service members in this study were exposed to significant blasts on the battlefield and met the criteria for TBI (29).
Service members were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC) for 7 days.
The conclusion was that NAC is a safe pharmaceutical countermeasure of blast-induced TBI. Further work on long-term outcomes and the potential use of NAC in civilian mTBI is warranted.
Cognition and brain health
The available data suggested statistically significant cognitive improvements following NAC treatment, though the paucity of NAC-specific research makes it difficult to determine if this effect is meaningful. While NAC may have a positive cognitive effect in a variety of contexts; larger, targeted studies are warranted, specifically evaluating its role in other clinical disorders with cognitive sequelae resulting from oxidative stress and neuroinflammation (30).
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a glutathione precursor with potent antioxidant, pro-neurogenesis and anti-inflammatory properties and a favourable safety profile.
This is widely attributed to NAC’s antioxidant effects.
A 2013 study found that NAC injections significantly reduced the negative effects of chemotherapy – specifically cisplatin – on the kidneys and ears (31).
In a 2014 study, NAC helped reduce inflammation and ulcers caused by chemotherapy in leukemia patients (32).
Although the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative roles of NAC are suggested for the reduction of symptoms of autism, its exact mechanism is not clear.
A study from 2011 in Hafez Hospital at Shiraz, Iran, saw an improvement in several symptoms to an eight-year-old boy patient who was diagnosed with autism disorder. There was a significant reduction in his nail-biting behavior, and in his autism symptoms 30 days after the onset of NAC administration.
Also, his social interaction has significantly increased, as well as the reduction of aggressive behavior.
This case report suggests that NAC may play a potential role in treating autism (33).
Hey, if NAC is a good mucolytic for you, it can be for your dog, too. Here’s one review from a female on treatment with NAC.
I give 600 mg in a.m. and 600 mg in p.m. to my old dog who has breathing problems and a cough. Works very well. I take the same dosage myself with good results for asthma.
Ears and eyes protecting
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial of 26 people with Sjogren’s syndrome, the use of NAC at a dose of 200 mg 3 times per day improved eye-related symptoms (34). The supplement also showed some promise for mouth-related symptoms, but the effects were less clear-cut. While these are promising results, a much larger trial would be necessary to fully document the potential benefits of this treatment approach.
Blepharitis is a common eye disease that affects the edge of the eyelids and the eyelash hair follicles. Small studies have shown acetylcysteine to be of benefit to people with blepharitis.
Again, researchers indicate that this may be attributed to NAC’s powerful antioxidant abilities (35).
A 2014 study explored NAC in relation to noise-induced hearing loss in textile workers exposed to continuous noise in daily working. After 14 days, researchers concluded that NAC and ginseng helped reduce hearing loss associated with occupational noise. However, the NAC group was shown to have the most positive effects (36).
Fertility in male and female
Approximately 15% of all couples trying to conceive are affected by infertility. In almost half of these cases, male infertility is the main contributing factor (37).
Many male infertility issues increase when antioxidant levels are insufficient to combat free radical formation in your reproductive system. Oxidative stress can cause cell death and reduced fertility (38).
In vitro studies showed positive effects with varying doses of NAC. It seems to improve male fertility by preserving sperm motility and reducing DNA damage.
In vivo studies gave conflicting results though. Except the one combining therapy with 600 mg of NAC and 200 mcg of selenium for 26 weeks that improved semen quality (39).
In one study, 35 men with varicocele were given 600 mg of NAC per day for three months post-surgery. The combination of surgery and NAC supplement improved semen integrity and partner pregnancy rate by 22% compared to the control group (40). Researchers suggested that this combined supplement should be considered as a treatment option for male infertility.
In addition, NAC may improve fertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) by inducing or augmenting the ovulation cycle (41).
NAC has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, restore normal menstrual cycles, normalize ovulatory cycles in women and improve fertility. It was also shown to work similarly to the conventional drug Metformin, which is impressive, as both treatments resulted in weight loss, a decrease in the excess body hair that often comes with PCOS, and improvements in cholesterol numbers (42).
Chronic inflammation underlies a lot of intestinal tract conditions. NAC can assist us to root out pathogens, which are commonly discovered in the intestinal tract are often activates for Hashimoto’s indications.
NAC can similarly promote gastrointestinal system health by helping to detoxify gastrointestinal bacteria and breaking down biofilms. Biofilms are cumulative microorganisms that grow on the biological area and frequently house gut pathogens, which can, in turn, bring about infections.
The research study from 2014 found that in combination with different antibiotics, NAC can considerably permeate the inmost biofilm layers of bacteria that are winding up being considerably a lot more resistant to classic anti-bacterial therapies (43).
Helicobacter pylori are bacteria liable for stomach ulcers, and likewise, a possibly fatal bacterium carefully connected to malignant stomach cancer, the second most constant reason for cancer death worldwide.
NAC battles Helicobacter in a minimum of 2 ways. It significantly hinders the development of bacteria assisting to reduce the total load of microorganisms existing.72 NAC likewise strongly manages gene expression in stomach cells, reducing hydrogen peroxide production brought on by Helicobacter, and decreasing activation of NF-kB and subsequent release of inflammatory cytokines (44).
In human tests, NAC improves removal rates of Helicobacter produced by standard therapy with antacids and antibiotics, when used at dosages of 1,200 mg daily.
People that have gastritis or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) might be infected with Helicobacter pylori and also may gain from supplementation with 1,200 mg each day of NAC, particularly throughout co-treatment with drugs to eliminate the microorganism (45).
Glutathione is a master antioxidant is the most-important redox regulator that controls inflammatory processes, and thus damages the periodontium.
NAC blocks pro-inflammatory cytokines and is of great importance in periodontal disease (46).
NAC may reduce heart disease risk by reducing oxidative damage to tissues in your heart from ROS production (47).
- Taking N-acetyl cysteine by mouth seems to reduce homocysteine levels, a possible risk factor for heart disease. B vitamins only somewhat help reduce high homocysteine. On the other hand, NAC can lower both homocysteine and high blood pressure, which helps prevent heart disease and other chronic health problems (48).
In two studies of 82 men, oral NAC lower homocysteine and blood pressure while increasing antioxidant status over 4 weeks. It had an equally beneficial effect in men with high and normal blood lipids, and in both smokers and non-smokers (49).
In another study of 60 people with heart disease, NAC lowered homocysteine levels and improved blood vessel health over 2 months (50).
- It has also been shown to increase nitric oxide production, which helps veins dilate and improves blood flow. This expedites blood transit back to your heart and can lower your risk of heart attacks (51).
One test-tube study showed that when combined with green tea NAC appears to reduce damage from oxidized “bad” LDL cholesterol, another contributor to heart disease (52).
Stroke is a leading cause of adult morbidity and mortality with very limited treatment options. Evidence from preclinical models of ischemic stroke has demonstrated that the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) effectively protects the brain from ischemic injury (53).
N-acetylcysteine and glutathione boosts the immune health.
This factor has been studied most in people with cysteine deficiency and T-cell dysfunction due to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Immune function might be improved — and potentially restored — by supplementing with NAC (55). In two studies, supplementing with NAC resulted in a significant increase in immune function — with an almost complete restoration of natural killer cells (56).
High levels of NAC in your body may also suppress HIV-1 reproduction (57).
Flu and flu-like symptoms
Taking NAC during the wintertime months might assist prevent and also treat flu-like signs. In one double-blind research study in 262 adults, 600 mg NAC two times a day was well endured and also resulted in a significant decline in the regularity of influenza-like episodes, intensity, and length of time confined to bed (58).
Some immunity to seasonal human influenza A viruses and also H5N1 (” bird”) influenza are seen in NAC usages. A test-tube study indicated that in immune-compromised situations, such as influenza, NAC might hinder the infection’s ability to replicate. This might reduce the signs and symptoms and lifespan of the disease (59).
Similarly, other test-tube studies have linked NAC to cancer cell death and blocked cancer cell replication (60, 61). Overall, more human studies are needed. Therefore, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking NAC during cancer treatment (62).
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common inflammatory disease of the joints. The aim of this study has been to evaluate the effects of oral NAC on inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress in patients with RA.
Oral NAC can significantly reduce several oxidative stress factors and inflammatory cytokines (63).
Further, studies with a larger sample size, longer study duration, and higher doses of NAC are needed to confirm the effects of oral NAC in RA patients (64).
NAC plays an important role in your body’s detoxification process.
One interesting study emerges in 2017 about star fruit-induced acute kidney injury (AKI). Star fruit, or Averrhoa carambola, is a tropical fruiting tree in the oxalis family that’s native to tropical Asia (65).
Data show that therapeutic NAC attenuates renal dysfunction in a model of acute oxalate nephropathy following SF ingestion by reducing oxidative stress, oxaluria, and inflammation. This might represent a novel indication of NAC for the treatment of SF-induced AKI.
NAC can help prevent the side effects of drugs and environmental toxins (66).
NAC boosts glutathione, the highest amount of which is in the liver.
This helps explain why NAC has such a strong effect on protecting the liver from inflammation, drug poisoning, and serious liver diseases.
If the liver is damaged, inflammation and oxidative stress always rise. NAC can protect the liver by reducing inflammation and increasing antioxidant reserves.
NAC reduced liver damage in 85% of all cases, according to a large review. It could protect the liver from factors such as excessive alcohol and environmental pollutants (67).
Interestingly, NAC injections helped increase liver function better than glutathione in one study of 75 patients with Hepatitis B (68).
Paracetamol liver damage
N-Acetyl Cysteine has been used as an antidote to acetaminophen poisoning for over 30 years.
Commonly-used painkillers (such as Tylenol) contain acetaminophen, which can damage the liver and even cause liver failure at high doses. Acetaminophen is the most common cause of serious, sudden, liver damage (69).
Sudden, life-threatening liver damage can also be caused by various drugs, toxins, or hepatitis.
NAC helped protect the liver in 80 such cases. Patients with liver damage from drugs experienced the best results (72).
NAC has been studied a lot in intensive care units, as a possible way to reduce organ damage before and after surgery (73).
NAC anti-oxidant benefits include liver-protective properties when exposed to alcohol. Just like in the acetaminophen toxicity treatment.
A study on rats found that a NAC supplement taken 30 minutes before alcohol direct exposure seemed to produce a protective result while administration 4 hrs after alcohol direct exposure elevated organ tissue damage. Furthermore, these protective behaviors increased when alcohol consumption was stopped.
Once again, it is very important to keep in mind that NAC ought to only be taken prior to intake of moderate quantities of alcohols.
NAC ought to never be taken after the usage of alcohol as it might have an opposite and harmful impact on the liver.
This is essential to note as numerous hangover supplements, planned to be taken after the usage of alcoholic beverages, contain N-acetyl-L-cysteine.
The systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), also known simply as lupus, is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in many parts of the body. Symptoms vary between people and may be mild to severe.
Common symptoms include painful and swollen joints, fever, chest pain, hair loss, mouth ulcers, swollen lymph nodes, feeling tired, and a red rash which is most commonly on the face. Often there are periods of illness, called flares, and periods of remission.
One study suggests the safe use of NAC for SLE.
This pilot study suggests that NAC safely improves lupus disease activity by blocking mTOR in T lymphocytes (74).
In power training, NAC provides its antioxidant benefits directly within muscle cells. Two of the benefits is to scavenge muscle-damaging free radicals and the body’s most critical antioxidants – glutathione.
According to research from Victoria University of Technology in Australia, it does that by increasing levels of cysteine within muscles, and because cysteine is required to restore glutathione to its active form, that should explain why NAC was shown to increase levels of activated glutathione before, during and after exercise.
Summary – N-acetylcysteine supplementation increases exercise performance and reduce oxidative stress only in individuals with low levels of glutathione (75).
Reduce Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress
We know that the fast boost in metabolic activity during exercise creates some undesirable negative effects.
These consist of an increase in oxidative stress that can overwhelm the body’s antioxidant defense reaction as well as lead to tissue damage and abnormal activity of specific immune system cells.
As a result of NAC’s capability to minimize oxidative stress and anxiety. It is possible that a reduction in the amount of oxidative stress a cell is subjected to could increase health as well as efficiency (76).
In an additional research study, acute supplementation of N-acetylcysteine does not influence muscle blood flow as well as oxygen distribution throughout handgrip exercise in males (77).
Muscle blood flow
Bodybuilders and also ‘fitness center rats’ love L-Cysteine. They would say that to gain more power, candid fatigue, construct muscle, gain toughness, strip off fat as well as keep much better health and wellness, take into consideration taking 600 to 2,400 milligrams of NAC each day.
You can take NAC before workouts with your pre-workout shake. On remainder days away from the fitness center, take it with your first meal of the day.
Patients suffering from chronic mountain sickness (CMS) have excessive erythrocytosis. Low-level cobalt toxicity as a likely contributor has been demonstrated in some subjects. NAC presents a helpful treatment for CMS.
A hematocrit test measures how much of your blood is made up of red blood cells.
One randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial in Cerro de Pasco, Peru (4380 m), where 84 participants with a hematocrit (HCT) ≥65% and CMS score>6, were assigned to four treatment groups of a placebo, acetazolamide (ACZ, which stimulates respiration), N-acetylcysteine (NAC is a chelator of heavy metals) and combination of ACZ and NAC for 6 weeks.
NAC improved CMS score compared to placebo, due to its chelation of heavy metals. NAC didn’t significantly lower hematocrit. Changes in other parameters failed to reach statistical significance. The combination of ACZ and NAC was no better than ACZ alone (78).
NAC’s ability to replenish glutathione and regulate brain glutamate levels can boost brain health. It may benefit especially those with brain and memory ailments (79).
Summary – The brain neurotransmitter glutamate is involved in a broad range of learning, behavior and memory actions, while the antioxidant glutathione helps reduce oxidative damage to brain cells associated with aging (80).
The neurological disorder Alzheimer’s disease slows down a person’s learning and memory capacity. Animal studies suggest that NAC may slow the loss of cognitive ability in people with Alzheimer’s (81).
Another brain condition, Parkinson’s disease, is characterized by the deterioration of cells that generate the neurotransmitter dopamine. In a preliminary study from 2016, it was demonstrated for the first time a potential direct effect of NAC on the dopamine system in PD patients (82).
Both oxidative damage to cells and a reduction in antioxidant capability contribute to this disease.
NAC supplements appear to improve both dopamine function and disease symptoms such as tremors (83).
While NAC may improve brain health, more human research is needed to make strong conclusions.
NAC is described in a few trials in which its actions specifically on nail-biting and associated anxiety may offer a potential treatment. This anecdotal confession from WebMD helps to show the impact this self-treatment provides for nail-biting.
NAC has helped me to stop biting my fingernails. The compulsion to bite was drastically reduced almost as soon as I started taking it, and that was enough for me to stop biting completely. I started with 2000 mg once a day (as per the instructions on the packet) and have reduced that to 1200mg split into a morning and evening dose. I bought it in powder form (it is actually small crystals and not really a powder) and it took me a while to figure out how best to take it. The method that works for me is that I mix it in warm water and then add a dash of OJ. The warm water is so that it dissolves fully and the OJ is to avoid the unpleasant taste and the acidic aftertaste. At first I experienced heartburn if I took it on an empty stomach but that isn’t an issue any more – perhaps because of the reduced dose or the OJ. I am 42 years old and have been a nail-biter for as long as I can remember, so it is amazing to me that I have stopped thanks to a supplement.
Considering the glutamate role, novel therapeutic strategies are suggested for OCD treatment.
For people with bipolar disease and depression, NAC may help decrease symptoms and improve their overall ability to function. What’s more, research suggests that it may play a role in treating moderate to severe OCD (84, 85).
The novel clinical trials found that the regulation of glutamate, as well as replenishment of glutathione, may contribute to the improvement of mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and addictive behavior (87, 88).
An animal study implied that NAC may minimize the negative effects of schizophrenia, such as social withdrawal, apathy, and reduced attention spans (89).
One of the most recent pilot studies tested the use of NAC as a potential treatment for Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) in youth. Preliminary evidence said that NAC may have promise as a potential treatment option for this significant problem (90).
By thinning mucus in your bronchial tubes and boosting glutathione levels, NAC may help decrease the severity and frequency of wheezing, coughing and respiratory attacks (96).
In addition to relieving COPD and bronchitis, NAC may improve other lung and respiratory tract conditions like cystic fibrosis, asthma, and pulmonary fibrosis, as well as symptoms of nasal and sinus congestion due to allergies or infections (97).
Lung disease defense
NAC’s antioxidant and expectorant capacity can improve lung function by decreasing inflammation and reducing oxidative stress, as well as breaking up mucus.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) happens after an injury to the lungs and is life-threatening. Some studies suggest that intravenous NAC may boost levels of glutathione and help prevent and/or treat lung damage caused by ARDS. However, the results of other studies have been conflicting.
ARDS is a medical emergency. You should not try to treat it at home.
Smoke inhalation injury
One study with 90 consecutive pediatric patients between 1985 and 1995, who had bronchoscopically diagnosed inhalation injury, has reported that a combination of aerosolized heparin and a mucolytic agent, N-acetylcysteine, can ameliorate cast formation and reduce pulmonary failure secondary to smoke inhalation (98).
NAC increases blood levels of erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone produced by the kidney that promotes the formation of red blood cells by the bone marrow.
NAC, in combination with large oral doses of folic acid and vitamin B12, may increase hemoglobin levels and bring mild cases of anemia into the normal range. Increasing hemoglobin levels also requires adequate production of testosterone and adequate amounts of iron (99).
A decrease in red blood cell (RBC) lipofuscin content has been seen, which is thought to be secondary to reducing lead toxicity and increasing antioxidative defenses (100).
One study declared that N-acetylcysteine improves the quality of red blood cells stored for transfusion (101).
Unfortunately, many of the obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients fail or are not candidates for nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or surgical correction.
The hypoxia and reoxygenation cycles in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) cause a change in the oxidative balance, leading to the formation of reactive oxygen species capable of reacting with other organic molecules impairing their functions.
Nitric oxide (NO) plays a critical role in controlling the vasomotor tone. The NO level depends on the L-arginine level, which can be decreased by arginase enzymatic activity. In one new study from 2018, the chronic intermittent hypoxia is reverted by the combined treatment with NAC and arginase inhibition supplementation (102).
There is a significant fall in glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, reduced glutathione levels, and nitric oxide in the cells exposed to hypoxia. Significant elevation in the intracellular calcium level in the cells on exposure to hypoxia was observed. The study indicates that NAC has significant neuroprotective activity during hypoxia in primary hippocampal culture. (103).
In a placebo-controlled, randomized trial in 20 adults with obstructive sleep apnea, 600 mg of NAC was given three times daily for 30 days. The NAC group experienced multiple significant improvements in measurements of apnea severity and sleep quality.
- NAC produced marked reductions in snoring and sleepiness
- The NAC showed significant reductions in oxidative stress
Supplementation with NAC (50 microM) resulted in a significant cytoprotection, fall in ROS generation, and higher antioxidant levels similar to that of control cells. NAC also inhibited DNA strand breaks induced by hypoxia. The study indicates that NAC has significant neuroprotective activity during hypoxia in primary hippocampal culture.
NAC is a vitamin-like supplement and should be included in everyday supplements for anti-aging because of the production of certain key antioxidants such as Glutathione.
One study in Japan made of 10 healthy volunteers (6 males and 4 females, age range: 28 to 76 years) and 11 AD patients (6 males and 5 females, age range: 31 to 73 years) concluded that the topical application of NAC for 4 weeks increased skin hydration in 9/10 healthy volunteers (104).
In a mouse model of AD, NAC was reported to restore the expression of some cell adhesion molecules that contribute to skin barrier formation by reducing oxidative stress… Thus, future studies involving a larger number of patients and excluding skin barrier-deteriorating factors are required to accurately assess the effects of NAC on AD.
Some anecdotal quotations of NAC benefits for skincare:
- It makes the skin look healthy
- It maintains the cellular health of the skin
- It brightens the skin and gives it a naturally healthy glow
- It makes the skin firmer
- It clears acne
- It reduces the appearance of age spots and even wrinkles.
NAC, alpha-lipoic acid, and glutathione are all “sulfur donor supplements,” meaning their building blocks are sulfur-containing amino acids. In individuals whose bodies use up these amino acids too rapidly, as is the case when certain CBS variants are present, sulfur sensitivity can occur. Some people will have reactivity to NAC and the sulfur family of supplements.
Otherwise, sulfur-containing nutrients have many health benefits from maintaining healthy joints to boosting the immune system.
One study examined the efficacy of NAC as a glutamatergic agent in the treatment of trichotillomania. The results were favorable, as they have seen significant reductions in trichotillomania symptoms (105).
N-acetylcysteine, an amino acid, seems to restore the extracellular glutamate concentration in the nucleus accumbens and, therefore, offers promise in the reduction of compulsive behavior.
Pharmacologic modulation of the glutamate system may prove to be useful in the control of a range of compulsive behaviors.
One study shows a role for NAC in improving indomethacin-induced gastric ulceration in rats via antioxidative, antiapoptotic, and anti-inflammatory interactive mechanisms (106).
NAC also shows a potent gastro-protective effect in ethanol-induced gastric ulcers. This could be beneficial in gastric ulcer therapies. The researchers stated that molecular mechanisms behind such protection are complex (107).
Vitamin C synergy
An acute human inflammatory model strongly suggests that vitamin C and NAC supplementation immediately post-injury transiently increases tissue damage and oxidative stress (108).
NAC’s ability to influence insulin level sensitivity might support weight-loss efforts because correct metabolism of insulin straight impacts the body’s ability to utilize fat for energy.
As sugar enters the bloodstream, insulin is released to restore blood sugar levels to normal. If the body doesn’t utilize insulin appropriately, it remains in the bloodstream.
High levels of insulin defeat weight-loss efforts since the hormone informs the body to maintain fat in storage.
Scientists at the Baylor University of Medicine located that low levels of glutathione weaken the capacity to break down fat. They decreased glutathione levels in young healthy mice as well as uncovered that the mice burned much less fat. When they offered glutathione to old mice that were lacking in the antioxidant, the pets were able to melt even more fat as well as reduce weight.
One research from 2016 made on rats found direct evidence of the protective potential of NAC against high-fat diet caused obesity and obesity-associated metabolic disorders (109).
Yeast is microscopic fungi consisting of oval cells that reproduce by forming buds. There are many types of yeast. Some yeast types are important in baking and brewing (baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast). Thus, most yeasts are harmless to humans. However, Candida albicans, or Candida, is a yeast that can infect humans and cause illness.
In one study on rats about baker’s-yeast induced fever and inflammation, the researchers found that NAC has an anti-inflammatory and antipyretic role in yeast-induced peritonitis (110).
Can N-Acetyl-L-cysteine affect zinc metabolism when used as a paracetamol antidote? Since we are at the end of this glossary list, we could ask about NAC side effects.
One study also found that long-term use of high-dose NAC can deplete your body’s stores of zinc (111).
So if you are using NAC every day you should also supplement with zinc and low dose copper.
Standard Disclaimer: The evidence for this supplement is based on a long clinical practice. But, still, this review is largely theoretical and anecdotal. Proceed at your own risk, preferably after reading the whole Longecity thread. Please check with your doctor before starting a new supplement regime, especially if you have any health conditions
NAC Side effects
Oral NAC supplements are generally safe and well-tolerated, but sometimes when the concentrations are too high it might cause side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or constipation.
It’s hard to take it as it has an unpleasant odor due to its sulfur origin.
To quote one funny commentary on NAC from the Longecity:
makes me feel worse…don’t put this snake-oil into your body
It certainly is not for everyone, mainly because of abuse. Or if you do not need it, but still take NAC without consultations with your doctor.
It is reported that doses of 500-1800 mg daily are safe (112).
General side effects
- NAC can cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms.
- Aerosol NAC can cause swelling in the mouth, runny nose, drowsiness, and chest tightness.
- Increased heart rate
- Skin rash
- Irritated eyes
Avoid NAC supplements if you take nitroglycerin or antidepressant medications, advises Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Serious and rare side effects
- Spasm of the lung airways
- NAC may interfere with blood clotting. Since NAC can impact the platelets and reduce coagulation, people with bleeding disorders or taking blood-thinning medications should not take NAC.
- NAC can decrease blood pressure. NAC may interact with medications, causing seriously low blood pressure and headaches., dizziness or fatigue.
- NAC may cause an allergic reaction in certain individuals. A severe allergic reaction, called an anaphylactoid reaction, may occur after initial treatment with NAC supplements. That could cause breathing problems, difficulty swallowing, facial swelling, hives, weakness, dizziness, or pale skin. Seek emergency medical care if you exhibit any of these symptoms after taking a NAC supplement.
Avoid taking NAC with nitroglycerin. Nitroglycerin is a medication prescribed for chest pain and a potent vasodilator. NAC is also a vasodilator. If taken together, this could result in severely low blood pressure, lightheadedness, loss of consciousness.
It can also induce an asthma attack and cause anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening reaction.
Trace minerals depletion?
It has been suggested that NAC may increase the excretion of trace minerals; some evidence, however, suggests that this effect is too minimal to make a real difference.
Researchers suggest individuals taking NAC for an extended period of time should also consider taking a standard multivitamin/multimineral supplement. Especially watch to add zinc and copper minerals after the prolonged use of NAC.
HR Supplements NAC solutions
NAC is available for sale in many neighborhood pharmacies as well as supermarkets and online stores. It is best to purchase NAC online because you have full control over safety and quality. That way you can investigate all the best prices as well as active ingredients. I particularly like this vendor because it provides several solutions such as capsules, powder, and bulk NAC.
Hard Rhino Supplements is a reputable and many people’s favorite online supplier of a wide range of high-quality lab-tested ingredients. Based out of Phoenix, Arizona, and with a background of 25+ years in the supplement industry, they manage multiple supplements in a variety of categories such as bodybuilding, joint pain, cognitive health, nootropics, and much more.
They are located in an FDA-regulated facility and are known for the high-quality lab-tested ingredients. Their innovative access to the certificate of authenticity (COA) on all product pages is something that is most welcomed among online vendors. I cheer for that practice.
Yes, oral NAC supplements are secure as well as generally well tolerated. The optimal dose of NAC is 600 mg 2 to 3 times a day. If you have never tried it, start with 300 mg and work your way up slowly.
NAC may also infrequently cause looseness of the bowels, queasiness, as well as throwing up.
A shortage of cysteine amino acid is probably to happen in individuals that are unable to biosynthesize it, such as the elderly as well as babies. People with malabsorption problems along with metabolic conditions might additionally be not able to synthesize adequate quantities of l-cysteine.
An l-cysteine shortage may cause a jeopardized body immune system, which can cause slow-moving healing from injury in addition to conditions.
Added signs that you may require l-cysteine include fragile nails, acne, and additionally scar tissue.
In fact, because of its sulfur content, NAC supplements can smell like rotten eggs—so take capsules without sniffing or worry too much!
Ranking the best NAC supplements of 2019 is not an easy task. I will be updating the list soon.
As for now I really don’t have a complaint to NAC from Nootropicsdepot.com.
Taking it on an empty stomach is perfect if you can take it that way without disturbances.
Just like other amino acid supplements, NAC should be taken either 30 minutes before, or two hours after eating to avoid competing with protein for absorption.
Glutathione has been known to lighten the skin and since NAC is a precursor to glutathione, NAC can also be responsible for some skin lightening.
Not directly, however, NAC may play a role in the treatment of diabetes mellitus due to its ability to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce fasting blood insulin levels.
If you are taking antibiotics, NAC should not be taken, as it may weaken their beneficial effects.
NAC is helpful for most bio-hackers to improve mood, memory, cognition, and concentration. And NAC helps alleviate brain fog, anxiety, and irritability.
Some of these outcomes you can look forward to if you take NAC.
- Less brain fog – more clear thinking
- Short-memory and long-memory improvement
- Concentration and attention enhancing
- Less anxiety
- Less depression
- Less irritable
- Mood improves
- Symptoms caused by ADHD meds disappear
- Obsessive-Compulsive behavior decreases
- Sleep quality improves
- Energy levels increase
- Weight maintenance is easier
- Less flu and colds
- Skin looks better
- Feel younger
- Hangovers are less severe
I assume taking NAC is possibly the most effective and most useful method to get endogenous glutathione that flows.
This is practically a panacea with such a large range of benefits.
NAC is really safe to take, and you will certainly have time to locate it whether you need it or not.
I have it on my brain-hacks list for some time as one of the most indispensable supplements. I usually take 500 mg per day and cycle NAC.
NAC has a wide range of activities as well as possible applications throughout numerous conditions as well as systems. It is capable of directly getting in endogenous biochemical processes as a result of its own metabolism.
Yet how beneficial it will hinge on your diet plan and whatever like that. Poor sleep, inadequate diet regimen, and also undesirable lifestyle will cause even more need for glutathione.
Few words of warning
As a warning, just like every antioxidant nutrient, NAC in restorative doses (as low as 1.2 g day-to-day) can potentially have pro-oxidant activity, and also therefore it is not suggested in the lack of a considerable validated oxidative stress.
For healthy and balanced individuals that have an optimized glutathione level the most logical suggestion is to cycle the NAC or otherwise not exaggerate it.
Balance is essential as too much of anything is never a good idea.