Explore the many benefits of NAC
An Antioxidant Superhero
Free radical damage, oxidative stress, antioxidant protection – these are words we hear in the media, from skincare companies, on sunscreens, the food industry ….but do we really know what they mean and how these things have an impact on our body.
The body generates free radicals as the byproducts of turning food into energy. They are also formed after exercising or exposure to cigarette smoke, air pollution, and sunlight. Free radicals aren’t all bad however, we just need to get the balance right so they can contribute positively to healthy cellular activity, as when levels are too high, we can shift into a state of oxidative stress. The good news is we are not defenseless against these free radicals. The body, long used to this relentless attack, makes many molecules that quench free radicals as surely as water douses fire. We also extract free-radical fighters from food. These powerful defenders are labeled “antioxidants.”
Antioxidants came to public attention in the 1990s, when scientists began to understand that free radical damage was involved in the early stages of artery-clogging atherosclerosis. It was also linked to cancer, vision loss, and a host of other chronic conditions. Studies showed that people with low intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables were at greater risk for developing these chronic conditions. Clinical trials began testing the impact of supplements as weapons against chronic diseases – one of these was NAC.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a supplemental form of cysteine. The body doesn’t naturally make it, and it’s not found in many foods, but it plays a very important role. Like cysteine, NAC bonds with glutamine and glycine to form glutathione, one of the most powerful and important antioxidants the body produces.
NACs remarkable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity is the basis used to treat several ailments related to oxidative stress and inflammation. It has shown strong anti-ageing properties, it protects cells, tissues and the organs of the body, and it keeps them young.
Unlike glutathione, NAC has the ability to cross the blood, brain barrier, where it can raise glutathione, glutamate and dopamine levels in the brain, and protect dopamine receptors. It has been shown to be a valuable therapeutic intervention for brain conditions such as depression, addiction, bipolar disease, and schizophrenia - conditions where oxidative stress, inflammation and free radicals can play a role.
NAC also plays a vital role in the body’s detoxification process. It can help prevent side effects of drugs, pesticides, environmental toxins and heavy metals. It has been approved by the FDA to treat acetaminophen poisonings.
But NAC is most well known in its ability to help relieve symptoms of respiratory conditions by acting as an expectorant, loosening mucus in the airways. It helps replenish glutathione levels in the lungs and reduces inflammation in the bronchial tubes and lung tissue.
As an increase of respiratory illnesses are affecting more and more of us, people around the world have turned to NAC for its ability to protect and repair as well as detoxify and nourish and have welcomed the added benefits of antioxidant protection and better mental wellbeing.