Unlocking the Power of NAC: Exploring the Health Benefits of N-Acetyl Cysteine

Unlocking the Power of NAC: Exploring the Health Benefits of N-Acetyl Cysteine

Proteins are considered the building blocks of life. Every cell in your body contains proteins and makes use of proteins to perform vital everyday functions. Proteins not only make up your skin, bones, muscles and vital organs, they also play an important role in the growth, repair and maintenance of these bodily structures. [1]

Proteins are formed by stringing together short chains of amino acids (known as peptides), the building blocks of proteins. While some amino acids are naturally produced by your body, others can only be sourced from your diet or from supplements. The proteins you get from food are broken down into amino acids that are then recycled by your body to form the specific proteins that it needs. [2]

According to studies, there are more than 100,000 unique proteins in the human body. Of the hundreds of amino acids that occur naturally, only 20 are used by your body to make these proteins. Eleven of these amino acids are considered nonessential because your body can produce them on its own. The remaining 9, however, need to be supplied by your diet, which is why they are known as essential amino acids. [3]

Some amino acids like arginine, histidine and cysteine are considered conditionally essential because they are only produced by your body in small amounts. In the case of cysteine, the least abundant amino acid in cells, synthesis is also conditional upon adequate supply of vitamins B6, B9 and B12 and the essential amino acid methionine. [4][5]

Because cysteine is needed for proper growth and development as well as for protein synthesis, it is important that you help your body maintain healthy levels of this amino acid. [6][7] You can get cysteine from animal and cereal proteins, such as poultry, beef, eggs and whole grains. [8] Vegans and vegetarians can also get cysteine from legumes and nutritional supplements like N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC). 

The critical functions of Cysteine in the human body 

According to a study by researchers at the University College London, the formation of cysteine was a “key step in the origin of life.” [9] Cysteine’s natural ability to join short peptide fragments together paved the way for protein synthesis in living organisms, including that of enzymes that facilitate vital biochemical reactions inside the human body.

As one of only two sulfur-containing amino acids used in protein synthesis, cysteine is also an important source of sulfur in human metabolism. [10] Its thiol side chain, which contains sulfur, allows it to participate in various enzymatic reactions, such as the production of iron-sulfur clusters that serve as helper molecules (cofactors) to metalloproteins. Nearly half of all biologically important proteins are metalloproteins. [11]

But one of the most significant roles of cysteine which greatly impacts human health is as a precursor to the antioxidant, glutathione. Often hailed as the “master antioxidant,” glutathione is known for its free radical-scavenging activities that help protect healthy cells and their components from oxidative damage. [12] Glutathione can also support the body’s natural ability to detox. [13]

In addition, glutathione serves as a cofactor to many important enzymes, such as prostaglandin H synthase, a key component in the production of proteins that support normal blood vessel function. Your body also requires glutathione to synthesize S-nitrosoglutathione, a source of bioavailable nitric oxide (NO). NO is said to support healthy blood vessels and help maintain healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range. [14]

Unfortunately, studies show that our glutathione levels naturally decrease with age. This is true for all parts of the body, particularly the brain, which greatly benefits from the antioxidant protection provided by glutathione against oxidative stress. [15] According to studies, the presence of high levels of glutathione in the brain is crucial for maintaining healthy cognitive functions, which is why older adults (and even younger ones) need a reliable way of supporting healthy glutathione levels. [16]

This is where supplementing with cysteine comes in handy. According to a study published in the journal AGE, the availability of cysteine is rate-limiting for glutathione synthesis. Therefore, the researchers recommend that adults increase their intake of dietary cysteine to support their bodies’ natural production of glutathione. [17] One efficient way they suggest of doing so is by supplementing with NAC. 

The health benefits of NAC* 

N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) is an easy-to-absorb, acetylated form of L-cysteine, a naturally occurring, optically active form of the amino acid cysteine. [18] Because L-cysteine has poor bioavailability and is prone to oxidation in the digestive tract, an acetyl group is usually added to it to address these issues. Studies show that when taken orally, NAC is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. [19]

NAC is often described as a precursor to L-cysteine because it only has to undergo deacetylation – which occurs in the small intestine or the liver – to yield the amino acid. [20] L-cysteine is then free to be used by the body for various purposes, most importantly for the synthesis of proteins and glutathione. L-cysteine is also needed to produce non-protein compounds, such as sulfate, coenzyme A and the amino acid taurine. [21][22]

NAC is one of the most well-studied supplements because of its many health-supporting properties and benefits. Here’s what science has to say about supplementing with NAC:*

  • Supports your body’s natural production of glutathione – As mentioned earlier, research supports the benefits of increasing your dietary cysteine intake to maintain healthy glutathione levels. As a precursor to L-cysteine, NAC can help supply much-needed cysteine to your body to support natural glutathione synthesis. Glutathione can protect your body and vital organs from oxidative stress, it can also support your body’s natural elimination of toxins and other harmful substances.
  • Supports optimal brain function – According to a study published in the journal Molecules, NAC can support health brain function. [23] This means that with regular supplementation, you can easily supply your brain with an abundance of cysteine to maintain healthy glutathione levels. Aside from protecting brain mitochondria, the primary energy producers that allow your brain cells to meet their high energy requirements, NAC has also been found to support normal brain glutathione synthesis and optimal cognitive functions, especially working memory. [24]
  • Supports optimal immune function – According to a study published in the journal Antioxidants, oxidative stress plays a huge role in the loss or impairment of immune cell function typically observed in old age. [25] This is why maintaining healthy levels of powerful antioxidants, such as glutathione and vitamin C, is so important, especially for the elderly. NAC, which has antioxidant properties of its own, can also help protect immune cells from oxidative stress, making it a useful supplement for supporting optimal immune responses. [26]
  • Supports optimal cardiovascular function – As mentioned earlier, glutathione serves as a cofactor to prostaglandin H synthase, an enzyme involved in the production of proteins that support healthy blood vessel function. Glutathione is also required for the synthesis of S-nitrosoglutathione, a source of the natural vasodilator NO which is known for supporting healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range. Since NAC can help you maintain healthy glutathione levels, supplementing with this beneficial compound is an excellent way to support optimal cardiovascular function. This is corroborated by a study published in the journal ARYA Atherosclerosis. [27]
  • Supports optimal respiratory function – As in other parts of your body, NAC can support healthy glutathione levels in the lungs, thus providing much-needed antioxidant protection against oxidative damage. Oxidative stress in the lungs is said to be caused by external factors, such as exposure to air pollution. [28] Because antioxidant depletion in the lungs has been linked to serious respiratory health issues, incorporating NAC into your daily routine is a great way to maintain a healthy respiratory system. A study published in the journal Drug Safety also notes that NAC is completely safe for everyday consumption, which is why it is also widely used in conventional remedies for supporting optimal respiratory health. [29]
  • Supports optimal kidney and liver functions – Oxidative stress is a major problem for detoxification organs like the liver and kidneys because of their high metabolic activity and detox functions, which inevitably lead to the production of high amounts of free radicals. [30] Because of their constant exposure to damaging molecules, your main detox organs need all the help they can get to maintain robust antioxidant defenses. You can support your liver and kidneys’ antioxidant needs by supplementing with NAC, a potent antioxidant that can also help you maintain healthy levels of the master antioxidant, glutathione.
  • Supports healthy reproductive function – According to a study published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, oxidative stress negatively impacts reproductive health and performance. NAC can support healthy antioxidant levels, which helps protect against the oxidative damage. [31] [32]
  • Supports healthy ear function – In 2018, researchers at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital discovered the crucial role of cysteine in supporting normal hearing. [33] They found that when cysteine residues in a protein called TMC1 are mutated, hearing in humans is negatively impacted. TMC1, which is found in the hair cells of your inner ears, forms spores that aid in the conversion of sound into electric signals for your brain to process. Subsequent studies, such as a recent one published in the journal Archives of Medical Science, show that supplementing with NAC, which provides both cysteine and antioxidant protection, can help support healthy ear function. [34]
  • Supports healthy, glowing skin – Antioxidants are important for your skin because they protect skin cells from damaging free radicals. Oxidative damage caused by these destructive molecules has long been linked to premature aging and serious skin conditions. [35] According to a study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science, supplementing with NAC is an excellent way to support healthy, glowing skin because it naturally encourages glutathione synthesis, which leads to antioxidant defenses for your skin. [36] NAC also provides L-cysteine, which is important for collagen production. [37] Collagen is the protein that contributes to your skin’s elasticity and texture. 

Where to get clean, lab-verified NAC supplements 

The sulfur-containing amino acid, cysteine, is one of the most important micromolecules your body needs for optimal health. This conditionally essential amino acid is not only necessary for protein synthesis, but also for glutathione production. As the master antioxidant, glutathione plays a crucial role in your body’s antioxidant defenses and contributes to your overall health and wellness.

But as you age, your body’s natural production of glutathione declines. Fortunately, studies show that you can supplement with cysteine, one of the three amino acids that drive glutathione synthesis for additional support. But dietary L-cysteine has poor bioavailability, so it needs to be taken in the form of N-acetyl-L-cysteine, which is easily absorbed by the body.

To help you maintain healthy levels of this all-important amino acid, the Health Ranger Store is offering Groovy Bee® NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) 500mg 90 Caps. This premium NAC supplement is a reliable source of L-cysteine that can support your overall health. With its twofold effect as an antioxidant and a crucial component of glutathione synthesis, NAC can provide strong antioxidant support and protect your body from oxidative damage.

Groovy Bee® NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) 500mg 90 Caps are crafted with care and are free of GMOs, artificial colors, flavorings and fillers. Each capsule delivers 500 milligrams (mg) of pure N-acetyl-L-cysteine that your body can easily use to maintain optimal overall health and wellness. Rest assured that our lab-verified NAC supplement is vegan, non-irradiated, non-China and extensively lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology.

NOTE: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is continuously working to ban nutritional and dietary supplements that work, depriving Americans of effective and inexpensive means of maintaining optimal health. NAC supplements are no exception to this, so stock up on Groovy Bee® NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) 500mg 90 Caps before the impending ban, while supplies last. 

Support healthy cysteine and glutathione levels with lab-verified NAC for stronger antioxidant defenses! 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases. 


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[2] https://www.otsuka.co.jp

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

[4] https://www.frontiersin.org

[5] https://www.healthline.com

[6] https://www.mdpi.com

[7] https://www.eurekaselect.com

[8] https://www.ahajournals.org

[9] https://www.ucl.ac.uk

[10] https://www.sciencedirect.com

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

[12] https://www.sciencedirect.com

[13] https://www.mdpi.com

[14] https://www.sciencedirect.com

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

[16] https://www.nature.com

[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

[18] https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

[19] https://www.sciencedirect.com

[20] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

[21] https://www.sciencedirect.com

[22] https://journals.physiology.org

[23] https://www.mdpi.com

[24] https://bbrfoundation.org

[25] https://www.mdpi.com

[26] https://link.springer.com

[27] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

[28] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

[29] https://link.springer.com

[30] https://www.mdpi.com

[31] https://rbej.biomedcentral.com

[32] https://www.frontiersin.org

[33] https://www.acs.org

[34] https://www.archivesofmedicalscience.com

[35] https://koreascience.kr

[36] https://www.jdsjournal.com

[37] https://www.urmc.rochester.edu