Cysteine (NAC) Information
What is Cysteine? L-Cysteine is an amino acid that can be obtained from the diet, usually from lean meats. N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (aka NAC or Acetylcysteine) is a more stable derivative of L-Cysteine. NAC is more bioavailable than regular L-Cysteine since it is more water-soluble. NAC supplements are pure and concentrated, and therefore more cost-effective than trying to obtain cysteine from the diet alone.
What is Cysteine (NAC) used for?
N-Acetyl L-Cysteine is often used for its ability to break up mucus, treat acetominophen overdose, and to address the symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. NAC is also increasingly being utilized for its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress. Reducing oxidative stress is a very important factor in the prevention of many cancers and in slowing the aging process.
How does Cysteine (NAC) work?
NAC provides antioxidant benefits directly within muscle cells by neutralizing muscle-damaging free radicals. NAC also works to boost the levels of glutathione in the body. Cysteine is required to restore glutathione to its active form, and glutathione is a key antioxidant shown to play a crucial role in immune system health. Supplementing with NAC could lead to a better-functioning immune system and better overall recovery from exercise.
Cysteine (NAC) Dosage
How much NAC should you take? Consider taking anywhere from 500-2,000 milligrams of NAC per day. If you already eat a large amount of lean meats and vegetables then you may only need a dosage closer to the lower end of the scale. Individuals who have been feeling sluggish and run-down may want to consider a dosage toward the higher end at 2,000 milligrams daily. The higher dosage may also be recommended in situations where a person has weakened liver function or a low general intake of antioxidants from dietary sources such as vegetables. If you work out, then you may want to consider taking the NAC just prior to exercise in order to experience its fatigue-reducing benefits.