N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC or N-acetylcysteine) is the N-acetyl derivative of the naturally occurring amino acid L-cysteine. And works primarily by helping restore the body’s natural antioxidant glutathione (γ-glutamylcysteinylglycine; GSH).
As the most abundant antioxidant in your body, GSH is responsible for maintaining oxidative balance in each of your cells. Taking glutathione as a nootropic supplement does not adequately restore GSH levels in your brain because it can’t cross the blood-brain barrier. This vastly underrated nootropic, NAC easily penetrates the blood-brain barrier and raises glutathione levels in your brain.
NAC has been used to treat acetaminophen poisoning for decades.[ii]Every year there are 56,000 ER visits from Tylenol overdose, resulting in at least 100 deaths. [iii] NAC provides the glutathione your liver needs to fight off the metabolite NAPQI in Tylenol that does severe liver damage. As a nootropic, NAC helps prevent glutamate toxicity, boosts dopamine, and reduces inflammation, oxidative and free radical damage.
N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC) is the N-acetyl form of the naturally occurring amino acid L-Cysteine.
L-Cysteine is naturally produced in your body using the amino acid methionine. Methionine plays an important role in metabolism and detoxification. It’s also necessary for tissue growth and the absorption of zinc and selenium, minerals that are vital to your health. You can get this amino acid from eating ( tempeh, buckwheat, sunflower seeds, oats).
But acute stress, illness, or a poor diet can deplete L-Cysteine levels in your body and brain. The quickest and most efficient way to boost levels of L-Cysteine is to supplement with N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC) or increase foods that contain the amino acid Methionine.
NAC regulates the amount of glutamate in your brain. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for sending signals between neurons in the brain. This plays an important role in learning and forming memories. But too much glutamate can be toxic to brain cells. NAC regulates the amount of glutamate and keeps it at safe, healthy levels. NAC influences the amount of dopamine available in your brain. It works to keep dopamine receptors healthy and able to transmit and receive dopamine. These neurotransmitters are crucial for cognitive energy and drive, motor control, feelings of pleasure, and focus.
NAC is a precursor to the powerful anti-oxidant glutathione (GSH). GSH is a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and free radical scavenger. Your brain is especially vulnerable to inflammation, free radical and oxidative damage. If left unchecked, inflammation, oxidation and free radicals can negatively affect cognition, long-term potentiation, memory and mood.
As a nootropic, NAC can boost glutathione and dopamine levels in your brain. NAC is also used by medical professionals to treat serious cognitive disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression and anxiety.
N-Acetyl L-Cysteine helps:
Listen to this Informative Podcast on The Clinical use of N-acetyl-cysteine