NAC Helps Mental Health Problems

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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The antioxidant N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) helps build cellular levels of glutathione, the primary antioxidant within cells that protects the cell from damage.  Two double-blind placebo controlled studies show that NAC is quite helpful as a supportive treatment for both Bipolar Disorder1 and Schizophrenia2.

These significant findings mean that having adequate antioxidants in your brain is crucial for mental health.  This is a health principle that applies to any individual who is stressed, not just those with Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.  The fact that NAC showed improvement in these very serious mental health issues indicates the power of this general principle.

Many nutrients work synergistically with NAC to maintain glutathione levels in brain cells.  In fact, antioxidants need a network of related nutrients for optimal function.  Other nutrients that work with NAC are R-alpha lipoic acid, tocotrienol E, Silymarin, vitamin C, zinc, copper, and many others.  Of course, a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, void of trash, is fundamental to better antioxidant status. 

Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ NAC Helps Bipolar  Biological Psychiatry  Michael Berka, David L. Copolova, Olivia Deana, Kristy Lub, Sue Jeavonse, Ian Schapkaitzb, Murray Anderson-Huntb and Ashley I. Bush
  2. ^ NAC Helps Schizophrenia  Biological Psychiatry  Michael Berka, David Copolova, Olivia Deana, Kristy Lub, Sue Jeavonsf, Ian Schapkaitzb, Murray Anderson-Huntb, Fiona Juddf, Fiona Katzg, Paul Katzg, Sean Ording-Jesperseng, John Littleh, Philippe Conusj, Michel Cuenodj, Kim Q. Doj and Ashley

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