N-acetyl cysteine can help to protect your liver and kidneys
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a small protein with over 40 years of scientific research to back up its clinical effectiveness. NAC’s powerful health benefits derive from its ability to restore intracellular levels of glutathione. Glutathione is a very important compound because it’s your body’s own powerful antioxidant and detoxifier.
Glutathione helps your liver to protect you against toxicity, and it is most needed by people with an inflamed liver or fatty liver. Chronic liver inflammation depletes your body of glutathione, and in fact so do many different diseases. Immune system problems and autoimmune diseases cause chronically low levels of glutathione. This is not good for your liver and it can worsen the inflammation and symptoms of autoimmune disease.
NAC is the precursor of glutathione and is the most effective way of raising levels in your body. NAC is also very beneficial for the kidneys and can help to protect them from damage.
NAC neutralizes toxins and pollutants including heavy metals that accumulate in the liver, kidneys, brain and fatty parts of the body. Restoring glutathione levels with NAC supplements makes liver cells more able to protect themselves from ongoing damage caused by fatty accumulation (fatty liver), viral infections, drug induced damage, alcohol excess or autoimmune inflammation.
How can we get more glutathione in our body?
Oral glutathione supplements are available in some health food stores and pharmacies and do not require a prescription. The main problem is that glutathione is not well absorbed from the gut, as it is broken down by digestive enzymes before it has a chance to be absorbed. For this reason it is far more effective to take its precursor (building block). NAC is the most important precursor to glutathione synthesis. NAC is easily absorbed from the gut and is rapidly turned into glutathione.
Approximately 150 milligrams daily of glutathione is obtained from the average diet, mainly from fruits and vegetables. However the majority of glutathione is manufactured within the cells of the body, especially within liver cells. It is interesting to know that around 80% of the glutathione produced in the liver is transported to the bloodstream to be used by the kidneys for detoxification. Thus increasing glutathione levels is good for the liver and the kidneys.
For people with severely depleted levels of glutathione in their body, taking glutathione intravenously would be best, but this is impractical and expensive. The practical solution is to take NAC, the main precursor to glutathione, as well as selenium and vitamin C, which are also required for its production.
Many researchers have come to the conclusion that a deficiency of liver glutathione is one of the leading factors that allow liver disease to progress. The liver cells of people with chronic liver disease are continually overworked as they fight toxins and free radicals and it is mainly glutathione which can protect them from severe damage or cell death. If you have elevated liver enzymes it means your liver cells are inflamed and dying. There are no known contraindications to NAC. In some people NAC can cause some indigestion.
NAC can help to prevent kidney damage
NAC can protect the kidneys against harm caused by radio-contrast dyes used in diagnostic scans.
Radio-contrast induced nephropathy refers to kidney damage caused by the dyes used in various diagnostic procedures. Kidneys are very sensitive organs and once damaged, may not be able to repair themselves.
It is so very important to look after your kidneys because they filter and clean your bloodstream. People with impaired kidney function are at high risk of heart disease.
NAC can help to protect the kidneys against contrast dyes by acting as an antioxidant in the kidneys, dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow. Taking an NAC supplement before and after having a diagnostic scan is an inexpensive way of helping to minimize harm to your kidneys.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.