N-Acetyl-Cysteine or NAC comes from the amino acid L-Cysteine and has long been used as a supplement. NAC encourages the production of glutathione in your body and is a powerful anti-oxidant.  Historically, NAC has been used for Tylenol poisoning from overdose. Over time, its usages has been broadened to include the treatment of HIV, Alzheimers and Depression. It is now also being used for people with bronchitis, cancer and as a detoxifying agent for heavy metals like mercury. It is not increasingly being shown to be effecting in chronic pulmonary lung diseases (COPD), serious kidney diseases, epilepsy and heart attacks.

In particular NAC has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of psychiatric issues ranging from mild obsession for example biting your nails to depression. In studies conducted, the cohort showed a marked reduction in their levels of anxiety or a weaning away of an obsessive behavior. NAC acts as a wonderful anti-oxidant by attacking the free radicals in your body helping create an oxidative balance. In addition it also improves the  neurotransmitter pathways in your body.

There are no known side effects of NAC other than if you are allergic to N-Acetyl-Cysteine.  However, as with all medications and supplements, it is highly advised to speak to your Doctor before your start taking NAC. Available over the counter, this is a powerful supplement for you to consider adding to your diet. If you do decide to include NAC, look for the product reviews as it appears that not all brands are the same.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.

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