N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) is an amino acid that is a precursor to glutathione, the body’s most powerful antioxidant, and helps promote optimal detoxification. NAC is heavily researched for its role in optimizing lung health, and for rapid recovery after workouts. It is also beneficial for protection against normal exposure to heavy metals.
As mentioned, NAC increases glutathione production, which has been shown to be protective in rodents infected with influenza. ¹ ² ³ ⁴
Support For COVID-19
Various research articles and reviews have been discussing the possible benefits that NAC could have on supporting those infected with the COVID-19, especially the elderly.
One research article points out that: (NAC), which is used to treat acetaminophen poisoning and is also used as a mucus thinner to help reduce bronchitis exacerbations, has evidence for shortening the duration of influenza by about two to four days and reducing the severity of the infection.⁵ They go on to discuss how this supplement may prove to be useful for supporting individuals with COVID-19.
An article in the journal Progress In Cardiovascular Disease published in February, 2020 stated that: "In a little-noticed 6-month controlled clinical study enrolling 262 primarily elderly subjects, those receiving 600 mg NAC twice daily, as opposed to those receiving placebo, experienced significantly fewer influenza-like episodes and days of bed confinement. Although the rate of seroconversion to influenza A was comparable in the two groups – indicating that they were exposed at the same frequency – only 25% of the virus-infected subjects in the NAC group developed symptoms, as contrasted to 79% of those of placebo. (Given the carnage that influenza wreaks among the elderly, it is most regrettable that no effort has been made to replicate this study, conducted over 20 years ago.) The particular utility of NAC in the elderly might reflect the fact that plasma cysteine levels and cellular glutathione levels tend to decline with advancing age."⁶
This product can be used preventatively and also in an acute situation. It may be especially helpful for the elderly as well as anyone who has dealt with lung related complications (chronic bronchitis, asthma, etc.)
Designs For Health N-Acetyl-Cysteine
Size: 120 vegetarian capsules
Medicinal Ingredients (per capsule):
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (900 mg)
Hypromellose, magnesium stearate (vegetable source), stearic acid (vegetable source), microcrystalline cellulose
1. McCarty, Mark F., and James J. DiNicolantonio. “Nutraceuticals Have Potential for Boosting the Type 1 Interferon Response to RNA Viruses Including Influenza and Coronavirus.” Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, W.B. Saunders, 12 Feb. 2020, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033062020300372?via=ihub.
2. D. Ungheri, C. Pisani, G. Sanson, et al., Protective effect of n-acetylcysteine in a model of influenza infection in mice
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol, 13 (3) (2000 September), pp. 123-128
Ungheri, Synergistic combination of N-acetylcysteine and ribavirin to protect from lethal influenza viral infection in a mouse model
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol, 17 (1) (2004 January), pp. 99-102
Castro, N-acetylcysteine synergizes with oseltamivir in protecting mice from lethal influenza infection
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol, 20 (2) (2007 April), pp. 349-354
5. Elsevier. “Recent Research Points the Way toward a Practical Nutraceutical Strategy for Coping with RNA Virus Infections Including Influenza and Coronavirus.” Elsevier, www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/research-and-journals/recent-research-points-the-way-toward-a-practical-nutraceutical-strategy-for-coping-with-rna-virus-infections-including-influenza-and-coronavirus.
6 Mccarty, Mark F., and James J. Dinicolantonio. “Nutraceuticals Have Potential for Boosting the Type 1 Interferon Response to RNA Viruses Including Influenza and Coronavirus.” Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 2020, doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2020.02.007.