N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) – Recap

Back in 2001, it was speculated that ” the dietary supplements glutathione, N-acetylcysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, oligomeric proanthocyanidins, Ginkgo biloba, and Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) may be beneficial [for CFS].” [2001] This suggestion is repeated 6 years later – “It is suggested that CFS patients should be treated with antioxidants, which inhibit the production of NFkappabeta, such as curcumin, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, quercitin, silimarin, lipoic acid and omega-3 fatty acids.” [2007].

Positive results were obtained from combined use of ” glutamine, N-acetyl cysteine and zinc… A good clinical response is significantly predicted by attenuated IgA and IgM responses to LPS, the younger age of the patients, and a shorter duration of illness (< 5 years).” in [2008]. Similar mixtures of “L-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, taurine + lipoic acid, with or without curcumine + quercitine or N-acetyl-cysteine, zinc + glutamine” study ended up with the need to do proper controlled studies.. [2014]

Well, some 16 years after it was suggested, we do not find actual studies! So, let us see what we find using our model…

  • Antibacterial effects of N-acetylcysteine against endodontic pathogens[2016].
    • “we conclude that NAC has excellent antibacterial and antibiofilm efficacy against endodontic pathogens”
  • “An increase (P < 0.05) in gut Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, accompanied with a decrease (P < 0.05) in Escherichia coli counts, was also observed in the NAC group.” [2014]
  • ” NAC appears to be a promising, non-antibiotic alternative to prevent biofilm-associated infections.” [2017]
  • “N-acetylcysteine (NAC) enhances the release of histamine” [1991]

Bottom Line

When you take NAC, one half of it will be out of your body in 6 hours [5.6 hrs half life]. If you take it once per day, the amount left before you take it again is just 1/16 (8%) of when you took it. I would suggest taking NAC  every 8 hours to get the maximum benefit.

It definitely have benefits when taken with anti-infection herbs and some probiotics. If you have histamine issues, you may wish to take care.