What is NAC?
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a sulfur-containing amino acid that plays an essential role in the body. It is a precursor to glutathione, the master antioxidant of cells. NAC is derived from the amino acid L-cysteine and is known to help increase glutathione levels in the body. It has a host of other benefits such as acting as an antioxidant and helping to protect cells from damage.
An antioxidant is a molecule that helps protect cells from the damaging effects of oxidation. Oxidation can produce free radicals, which can damage cells and DNA. Antioxidants scavenge or disable free radicals before they can cause any harm.
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a tripeptide molecule composed of the amino acids glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine. It is produced by the body and is also found in certain foods. Glutathione is important for many bodily processes, including metabolism, detoxification, and immune function. One of glutathione's roles is to scavenge harmful toxins and byproducts of cellular metabolism. These toxins can damage cells and lead to inflammation. Glutathione helps to protect cells from this damage.
What are the benefits of NAC?
Some of the potential benefits of NAC supplements include:
- Acting as an antioxidant and helping to protect cells from damage
- Helping to detoxify the body
- Supporting liver health
- Boosting immune system function
- Reducing inflammation
- Supporting cognitive health
- Improving longevity
Which foods have NAC / Glutathione in them?
Foods that are high in NAC, include eggs, poultry, and beef. Some of the most glutathione-rich foods are cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Other glutathione-rich foods include garlic, onions, turmeric, and spinach.
You can also get NAC from supplements, but it’s best to get it from food whenever possible. If you are considering taking NAC supplements, it is important to speak to your healthcare provider first. NAC supplements are generally safe, but it is always best to check with your healthcare provider before taking any new supplements.