N acetyl cysteine (NAC) is an amino acid that is useful to you to make glutathione in your body. The glutathione is a potent liver antioxidant. If you’d like to read my article on Glutathione, CLICK HERE. NAC is more commonly known to support lung concerns, things like phlegm, mucous and airway issues.
The benefits of NAC include:
It makes more of the antioxidant Glutathione, which is important to cleaning up your cells.* It makes better use of your filtration abilities, helping you to clean up poisons and toxins that you inhale or ingest.* It makes men and women break down their hormones in a non-cancerous direction (changing the metabolic pathways in a good way).* It breaks up mucus and thins secretions in case you have issues in your lungs.* This is helpful for people who live with congestion.* NAC is also known for its ability to support healthy DNA.*
Cysteine is a natural compound and N acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a dietary supplement that is slightly different from cysteine. That’s how you can can find it in health food stores, as “NAC.” But you won’t find it for long, so if you want NAC, you should buy it now. It’s already virtually gone from Amazon!
There’s a disagreement between the Food and Drug Administration and the dietary supplement industry over how legal it is for dietary supplements to put this amino acid into their supplements. The NAC is also available by prescription. It is forcing Amazon and other selling platforms to take sides on the issue.
NAC has many health benefits. As a prescription drug sold as Mucomyst® (acetylcysteine) it is used as the antidote for acetaminophen poisoning when people overdose on that analgesic. You can learn more here about the DRUG. It’s used in the Emergency Room in hospitals nationwide. The prescription version will continue to remain available, I am only referring to the supplements getting banned on Amazon. The ban may extend to the entire ingredient, meaning we *may* have to say goodbye to NAC forever, in all supplements. If that makes you nervous, CLICK HERE to find out how to secure some right now.
As a popular health food store item, NAC has sold quite well for many other reasons. It’s useful as an antioxidant and non-prescription expectorant because it can loosen mucus in the air passageways. So you see it used to thin phlegm in people with other conditions including bronchitis, chest congestion and COPD. It makes breathing easier and more comfortable.
NAC is a very powerful antioxidant that is incredibly helpful to human health. Because it is a potent liver antioxidant (we make glutathione in our liver), NAC is used for immune system health. That’s why it sold like hotcakes last year for obvious reasons during the pandemic! Here’s how to make an Immune Tea. Here’s another article in case you’d like to make immune-boosting ICE CUBES.
Furthermore, NAC is used as a precursor nutrient for people who want to make more glutathione in their body which is useful as a liver protectant. Your own body makes glutathione in the liver, and again, cysteine (or NAC) is one precursor nutrient that is essential to making glutathione. There are other benefits too.
NAC is in trouble now, and thousands of brands of NAC supplements (including my own Immune Script) has been unlisted from Amazon. That means over time, that NAC will be completely removed from the Amazon marketplace and millions of folks will be out of luck when they go to try and buy it. Will that happen across the board for all health food stores and other websites who sell NAC-containing supplements? Yes, most likely! It’s a matter of time. The trouble started last July (2020), when the FDA sent warning LETTERS to 7 different companies who they felt were making a claim about NAC being able to help treat a hangover of alcohol intoxication which can damage the liver. The FDA doesn’t like when supplement makers claim to “treat” any “disease.” They don’t mind if you say that NAC “supports liver health” but they do mind if you say that NAC “treats a hangover” or something along that line… because it’s implying that the product is a drug. Only drugs treat diseases in our country. Supplements, vitamins and enzymes cannot be marketed as useful for any disease, they can only be useful for “supporting” an organ.
The fact that the FDA wants NAC removed from the OTC market puts Amazon in a precarious position. They are a giant and don’t want to have a fight on their hands with the FDA and potentially suffer enforcement actions or fines. So they’ve had to pick a side, and they’ve sided with the FDA. As such, Amazon is in the process of removing all supplements that contain NAC in their blend. They own Whole Foods grocery stores, so the supplements sold there will also be removed (perhaps they already have been!)
It is a sad, sad day in America as far as I’m concerned. Remember, NAC supports healthy breathing, and comfort in the chest! It helps convert dangerous cancer-causing estrogen metabolites to safer estrogens that can be eliminated by your body. Without NAC, women are going to suffer. A new scientific ARTICLE published in Science Immunology talks about a “trojan horse strategy” for breast cancer that employs NAC!
Furthermore, without NAC, people with liver or respiratory issues are going to suffer more. Those with COVID can no longer rely on the lung-loving NAC which thins mucus. I simply cannot see any reason for it to be taken away from us, except that a few supplement companies spoke out of turn and claimed its use for a disease (which they should know better!) But the FDA sees NAC as a “drug” because the chemical moiety is sold as such (Mucomyst®) and they’ve decided that you and I should no longer be able to have free access to it.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition has defended the use of NAC in supplements. You can read more about that in this ARTICLE.
In summary, the supplement called NAC is now under fire and if you rely on it, this is your courtesy reminder to purchase it while it’s still available at your local health food store, or at your favorite online vitamin shop. If you’re interested in more of the medical benefits that NAC (N acetyl cysteine) provides, just do a quick search on pubmed and you’ll see thousands of scientific studies. This is a life-saving compound and will stay fresh for several years if you have it on hand.
If you’d like to read about white sage, I wrote an ARTICLE about that and it talks about the benefits of sage, including how it can help a little bit with the lungs.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.