12 Dec N-acetyl-L-Cysteine has all of the properties of L-Cysteine, but is more water-soluble.NAC is recognized for its ability to reduce the viscosity of mucus and aid in its elimination
By John Lieurance, D.C.,
The conditionally essential amino acid N-acetyl-L-Cysteine has all of the properties of L-Cysteine, but is more water-soluble, and according to the literature and clinical feedback, is more bioavailable than L-Cysteine. It is one of only three sulfur bearing amino acids (the others being taurine and L-methionine) and as such, acts as a sulfur donor in phase II detoxification, and as a methyl donor in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. NAC is also one of the most cost effective ways to boost systemic levels of glutathi- one. Glutathione is a critical component of the immune system, and it plays a vital role as the cofactor for the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase and glutathione trans- ferase. Glutathione is also important to the liver, as the liver utilizesit for drug detoxification. In addition to being a potent antioxidant, NAC is recognized for its ability to reduce the viscosity of mucus and aid in its elimination; this can be especially important for those with bronchial congestion. Amongst other things, NAC has also been attributed with the chelation of heavy metals, modulation of metabo- lism, regulation of gene expression and signal transduction pathways, anti-inflammatory activity, anti-angiogenic activity, inhibition of cellu- lar dysfunction, ability to block NF-kappaB activation, and providing protection against the adverse effects of chemopreventative and chemotherapeutical agents.