NAC: Versatile Antioxidant, Immune, Sinus and Detox Support

November 9, 2018 | Linda J. Dobberstein, Chiropractor, Board Certified in Clinical Nutrition

Send to a friend

* Required fields

  or  Cancel

 NAC: Versatile Antioxidant, Immune, Sinus and Detox Support
Congestion and excess mucous is an unpleasant issue you’ve probably had to deal with at some point. NAC is an antioxidant involved with keeping mucous thin and pliable within the body. NAC also supports numerous tissues and key functions throughout the body. It is an antioxidant that you want to have for immune health, brain support, and daily detoxification.

Powerful Antioxidant and Precursor to Glutathione


N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a powerful antioxidant for the immune system and throughout the body. NAC is an activated form of the amino acid L-Cysteine and is a critical precursor for the antioxidant enzyme system – glutathione. NAC is required to help make and recycle glutathione in the body. Glutathione is the most important antioxidant system for the body, especially for the brain and immune system.

NAC is also a direct antioxidant that quenches nitrogen oxide or NO2 and reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are caustic free radicals produced by the body from oxidative stress.

NAC has the natural function of keeping mucous pliable, slippery, and thin in the body for ease of movement and drainage. Mucous is made of gel-forming proteins or disulphide cross-link bonds. Mucous thickens in response to oxidative stress that changes the bonds.

NAC innately breaks up disulphide bonds that create thick sticky mucous or phlegm. Mucous runs thin and drains well in various tissues (throat, lungs, and sinuses) when the immune system and mucous membranes have adequate NAC. It even helps keep the mucosal lining of the digestive tract intact and working properly.

More NAC Health Benefits


NAC has been safely used in children, adults, and during pregnancy. NAC 3 helps sensitize the body to insulin and blood sugar due to its antioxidant activity. It may be used as an antioxidant to help with the stress of the menstrual cycle.

NAC is the go-to nutrient for glutathione support and does a marvelous job at helping the liver with big and small jobs of detoxification from environmental and drug chemicals. It helps trap and detoxify toxic compounds that we breathe in because of its ability to attract nitrogen oxide (NO2). Environmental sources of NO2 include motor vehicle exhaust, burning of fossil fuel, cigarette and secondhand smoke, and cooking gas. Individuals who work in or live near gas stations, auto repair shops, near high traffic areas or cigarette smoke exposure may need extra support to manage this daily low level chemical exposure.

NAC’s antioxidant properties support tissues throughout the body. NAC has been found in the colon, intestinal lining, lungs, bronchial tubes, sinuses, throat, ears, liver, nervous system and brain, mitochondria, muscles, heart, blood vessels and endothelial lining, kidneys, and skin. It even helps support bones and cartilage cells from wear and tear and works with hyaluronic acid for joint support.

NAC is used for biochemical process of methylation which involves DNA repair and homocysteine metabolism. As an antioxidant, it helps the body manage nitric oxide eNOS and iNOS function which are involved with blood pressure, heart, nerve signals and more. NAC is used by nerves and the brain to help with modulation of neurotransmitters, supports healthy mood, mental health, and reduces nerve irritability.

N-acetyl-cysteine doses range from 200-2,000 mg or more per day. It is easily absorbed and well-tolerated as a supplement. Animal proteins and sulfur-rich vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus provide the amino acid cysteine and other glutathione precursors.

Anyone who feels like they have a “hairball” stuck in their throat or needs help with sinus mucous may benefit from supplementing NAC. Consider it essential antioxidant support for daily detoxification and daily wear-and-tear to the whole body. Because of its powerful relationship with nourishment and restoration of glutathione levels, NAC provides readily usable antioxidant support. NAC works well with other antioxidants like silymarin or milk thistle extract, vitamins A and C, beta carotene, selenium, curcumin and hyaluronic acid. Make sure NAC is part of your daily nutritional regime!

Search thousands of health news articles!