N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC)

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SKU: 4158


Applications for Health Improvement

  • Supports glutathione synthesis
  • Supports detoxification of environmental toxins and pollutants
  • Supports antioxidant activity in all body cells
  • Supports healthy respiratory function


60 Vegetarian Capsules

600 mg/capsule


NAC is a sulfur-containing derivative of the amino acid L-cysteine, which supports antioxidant and detoxification mechanisms in the body and is a free radical scavenger. NAC supports antioxidant activity by neutralizing hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorous acid, and the highly reactive hydroxyl radical. It also serves as a source of sulfhydryl groups. NAC enhances production of the tripeptide glutathione, a key component of both antioxidant and detoxification enzymes [1].

NAC is recognized for its support of normal mucous production and may positively support respiratory function and eye health, especially when consumed over a prolonged period [1-3]. Research suggests that NAC may protect cell and tissue health by supporting normal metal status in the body [1,4,5].

Glutathione: While the absorption of oral glutathione may be limited [6], supplementation with NAC may significantly increase circulating levels of glutathione in the body [7,8]. Glutathione also participates in fatty acid synthesis and amino acid transport across the cell membrane [1].

A variety of factors may determine glutathione requirements, including level of exposure to toxins, increased phase I detoxification activity, and overall need for antioxidant support. Glutathione supports detoxification of environmental toxins and heavy metals. Maintaining glutathione levels may be important to maintaining the health of the respiratory, hepatic, and immune systems, as well as supporting antioxidant protection of lipids and proteins and supporting the normal response to inflammation [7,8,9]. Levels of endogenous antioxidants, including glutathione, may decrease with age [10].



  1. Krinsky DL, LaValle JB, Hawkins EB, et al. Natural Therapeutics Pocket Guide. 2nd ed. Hudson (OH): Lexi-Comp; 2003.
  2. Grandjean EM, Berthet P, Ruffmann R, Leuenberger P. Efficacy of oral long-term N-acetylcysteine in chronic bronchopulmonary disease: a meta-analysis of published double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Clin Ther. 2000 Feb 22(2):209-21. [PMID: 10743980]
  3. Yalçin E, Altin F, Cinhüseyinoglue F, et al. N-acetylcysteine in chronic blepharitis. Cornea. 2002 Mar;21(2):164-8. [PMID: 11862087]
  4. Ottenwalder H, Simon P. Differential effect of N-acetylcysteine on excretion of the metals Hg, Cd, Pb and Au. Arch Toxicol. 1987 Jul;60(5):401-2. [PMID: 3662815]
  5. Keogh JP, Steffen B, Siegers CP. Cytotoxicity of heavy metals in the human small intestinal epithelial cell line I-407: the role of glutathione. J Toxicol Environ Health. 1994 Nov;43(3):351-9. [PMID: 7966443]
  6. Witschi A, et al. The systemic availability of oral glutathione. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1992;43:667-9. [PMID: 1362956]
  7. De Rosa SC, et al. N-acetylcysteine replenishes glutathione in HIV infection. Eur J Clin Invest 2000 Oct;30(10):841-2. [PMID: 11029607]
  8. Atkuri KR, Mantovani JJ, Herzenberg LA, et al. N-Acetylcysteine—a safe antidote for cysteine/glutathione deficiency. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2007 Aug;7(4):355-9. Review. [PMID: 17602868]
  9. White AC, Thannickal VJ, Fanburg BL. Glutathione deficiency in human disease. J Nutr Biochem. 1994;5:218-26. http://www.sciencedirect.com/ science/article/pii/0955286394900396 Updated January 27, 2003. Accessed February 27, 2012.
  10. Hu HL, Forsey RJ, Blades TJ, et al. Antioxidants may contribute in the fight against ageing: an in vitro model. Mech Ageing Dev. 2000 Dec 20;121(1- 3):217-30. [PMID: 11164475]