NAC stands for N-Acetylcysteine and is a supplemental form of cysteine, an amino acid that is required by our bodies.
Whilst you may be hearing about NAC for the first time, NAC has been around since the 1960s and was originally used in the emergency room for an acetaminophen overdose. Over time, the properties of NAC have been studied closely and it is now a commonly used supplement in lung health (1).
How does it work?
NAC has four main properties that can help enhance our lung health, these properties include it being a mucolytic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral agent as well being involved in the production of antioxidants.
The way NAC was originally to treat an overdose was in this property, NAC can dislodge thick mucus from the airways.
In the case of an overdose, it helps rid the body of toxins and in lung health, NAC can improve the airways and allow for better breathing (1).
Respiratory illnesses can cause an increase in inflammation during and after illness. This increased inflammation can result in irreversible damage to our lungs as well as delayed healing. NAC has been shown to reduce inflammatory markers and can prevent further damage to our cells (1).
Viruses such as Covid and Flu need a particular pathway to replicate, this pathway is called the NF-kB pathway.
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