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N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is the supplement form of cysteine, a type of amino acid important for a variety of health functions.
Cysteine is considered a semi-essential amino acid. Our body can still produce it from other amino acids methionine and serine. But if our intake of methionine and serine is low, we can only get cysteine from diet or supplements.
NAC, as a supplement, can help improve lung function, improve skin tone and condition, prevent kidney and liver damage. These health benefits mainly come from its strong antioxidant property.
Note: NAC is an important precursor to glutathione, the most important antioxidant in our body.
Improves lung function and helps with COVID recovery
NAC is gaining a lot of popularity in recent years due to it's proposed use in COVID patients to improve outcome. Studies have found that NAC is effective in preventing long term complications associated with COVID infection.
Besides, NAC is also frequently used as an expectorant for people with cough or breathing conditions such as COPD, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Improves skin tone and condition
NAC helps improve skin condition by increasing the amount of glutathione in our body. Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants in our body and when taken long term, helps to improve our skin condition.
As we age, our production of glutathione slows down.
And as we can't take glutathione directly, our best bet is to consume NAC, the important precursor ingredient to glutathione.
Protects the liver and kidney
NAC helps increase the amount of glutathione in our body. Glutathione, a powerful antioxidant helps to neutralize free radicals (a type of toxin) in our body.
Normally, the toxins are removed from our body through the liver or kidney. Glutathione helps to lighten the burden of these two organs by neutralizing the toxins before they reach our kidney or liver.
NAC is so powerful that it is used as the antidote to acute paracetamol (Panadol) poisoning. Some surgeons like to prescribe large dose of NAC before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys are protected.