The powerful antioxidant and detoxifying agent, glutathione, is naturally produced in the liver; however, when glutathione becomes depleted, the liver requires certain raw materials in order to build and replenish glutathione. N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC) is one of the most important building blocks for the production of glutathione in the liver.*
What is N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC)?
N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC) is an altered version of the naturally occurring, sulfur-containing amino acid, cysteine. Chemically, NAC is similar to cysteine, but it contains an additional chemical structure called an acetyl group. This acetyl group increases the solubility and stability of cysteine, thus increasing the bioavailability of NAC so that it is readily available to be converted into glutathione by the liver. NAC supplementation has been used to treat individuals with severe glutathione deficiencies, including cases of HIV infection, cystic fibrosis, and diabetes.*
How is NAC processed into glutathione?
When NAC is consumed, it is taken up by the body through the stomach and gut and is transported to the liver. Once it reaches the liver, NAC it is converted into cysteine and then further processed into glutathione. The glutathione is then released by the liver and into circulation. Lack of cysteine is often the rate-limiting step that prevents efficient production of glutathione; therefore, it is essential that sufficient cysteine is present for the assembly of glutathione molecules. Although several other antioxidants can be taken orally, including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and lipoic acids, NAC is the only oral supplement that provides the necessary building blocks for the construction of the natural antioxidant, glutathione.*
Is NAC vegan-friendly?
RxQ Antioxidant Complex included NAC that is produced synthetically, meaning that it is not derived from a plant or animal source, but rather is produced through the chemical combination of the elements that make up the compound. This process ensures that we can provide NAC that is of the purest form and highest quality.*
1. Rushworth, G. F., & Megson, I. L. (2014). Existing and potential therapeutic uses for N-acetylcysteine: the need for conversion to intracellular glutathione for antioxidant benefits. Pharmacol Ther, 141(2), 150-159. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2013.09.006
2. Zafarullah, M., Li, W. Q., Sylvester, J., & Ahmad, M. (2003). Molecular mechanisms of N-acetylcysteine actions. Cell Mol Life Sci, 60(1), 6-20.
3. Samuni, Y., Goldstein, S., Dean, O. M., & Berk, M. (2013). The chemistry and biological activities of N-acetylcysteine. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1830(8), 4117-4129. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2013.04.016
4. Atkuri, K. R., Mantovani, J. J., Herzenberg, L. A., & Herzenberg, L. A. (2007). N-Acetylcysteine--a safe antidote for cysteine/glutathione deficiency. Curr Opin Pharmacol, 7(4), 355-359. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2007.04.005
5. Samuni, Y., Goldstein, S., Dean, O. M., & Berk, M. (2013). The chemistry and biological activities of N-acetylcysteine. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1830(8), 4117-4129. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2013.04.016
*Disclaimer: The statements and information contained on this website have not been evaluated by the Unites States Food and Drug Administration. The products featured on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.