A 'NAC' for Supporting Wellness
Businesses are open, employees are heading back to the office and kids are back in school (hooray!). With cooler temperatures around the corner, the time to support our health is now, more than ever. We can all benefit from getting some fresh air, clean water, and exercise, but this winter people are looking to go the extra mile and take a preventative approach to staying well. Maybe you are someone who's interested in maintaining your health and also protecting your cells from free radicals and prevent inflammation. Can you do it all at once? We have a 'NAC' for that!
What is NAC?
NAC Creates a Powerful Antioxidant
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is the supplement form of an amino acid (a part of a protein) found in onions, meats and vegetables like broccoli. It bonds with other amino acids to form glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant that is present in almost every cell in the body, plays roles in detoxification, counteracts free radicals and balances inflammation in the body. Glutathione is a critical antioxidant for supporting overall health and NAC helps us make it.
One of glutathione's most important functions is detoxification. Think of glutathione as a scrub brush that goes around cleaning up your cells and eliminating toxins.
Why Antioxidants Are Important
Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage the cells in your body. They are everywhere: computer screens, cell phones... we even produce free radicals when we exercise! Fortunately antioxidants neutralize free radicals. However, an imbalance in the body with too many free radicals (and not enough antioxidants) can cause illness, premature aging and a host of diseases.
Are There Other Benefits of Taking NAC?
NAC has also been shown to prevent inflammation in the body and improve respiratory health. Because NAC helps break down mucus, it is used to treat many respiratory illnesses. NAC may also protect the lung tissue through its antioxidant activity, and has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for chronic bronchitis.
When To Consider Taking NAC
If the body makes glutathione naturally should you still take NAC? The answer could be yes. Lifestyle choices may mean you are depleting your stores of glutathione faster than your body can make it. Additionally as we age, natural production of glutathione decreases, and supplementation of NAC can help offset that decrease. Low glutathione levels are seen in people with a wide variety of contributing factors including: neurodegenerative disorders, poor diet, chronic exposure to chemicals, high levels of alcohol intake, and even athletic overtraining. These are all excellent times to consider NAC supplementation.
The bottom line, NAC plays many roles in human health and because it boosts glutathione levels it can be used in connection with many health conditions.