N-acetyl cysteine is made from the amino acid L-cysteine. Amino acids, on the other hand, are the building blocks of proteins. N-acetyl cysteine is famous for its various medicinal benefits and uses. Mainly, N-acetyl cysteine is employed to counter acetaminophen (Tylenol) and carbon monoxide poisoning. It is also utilized for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease), chest pain (unstable angina), Alzheimer’s disease, allergic reactions to the anti-seizure drug phenytoin (Dilantin), bile duct blockage in infants, keratoconjunctivitis (an eye infection) (N-acetyl cysteine, 2017). It proves beneficial in heart problems and reduces the risk of heart stroke and attack and, reduces a type of cholesterol called lipoprotein. It also counteracts homocysteine level, which is considered a possible risk factor for heart diseases and problems (N-acetyl cysteine, 2017).
Apart from that, some people consider N-acetyl cysteine helpful for acting against chronic bronchitis, hay fever, fibrosing alveolitis (a lung condition), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and different types of cancer. (Goepp, 2010). Besides, it is also used to counter various forms of epilepsy, complications of kidney dialysis, Sjogren’s syndrome ( an auto-immune disorder), radiation treatment, ear infections, increasing immunity to the flu, and chronic fatigue syndrome (N-acetyl cysteine, 2017). It has afforded millions of people relief from the coughing, wheezing, and thick phlegm associated with cold and flu (Goepp, 2010). In addition, it is also beneficial for the detoxification of heavy metals, such as cadmium, mercury, and lead.
N-acetyl cysteine is also commonly employed for the liver damages caused by excessive intake of alcohol, for protecting the liver against various environmental pollutants, such as chloroform, carbon monoxide, certain herbicides, and urethanes. It also reduces the activity of ifosfamide and doxorubicin and cancer drugs. It also helps as a hangover remedy and prevents kidney damage due to certain x-ray dyes, and especially HIV (human immune deficiency virus) (N-acetyl cysteine, 2017). N-acetyl cysteine is sometimes breathed into the lungs or taken through a tube into the throat to cure certain lung problems and disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, emphysema, bronchitis, and pneumonia. N-acetyl cysteine cures acetaminophen (Tylenol) harming by binding the toxic forms of acetaminophen that are produced in the liver. It is also an antioxidant, so it can play a significant role in the reduction and treatment of cancer (N-acetyl cysteine, 2017).
N-acetyl cysteine. (2017). WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1018-n-acetyl%20cysteine.aspx?activeingredientid=1018. Accessed on 12 March 2017.
Goepp, J. (2010). The Overlooked Compound That Saves Lives. Retrieved from http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2010/5/n-acetyl-cysteine/Page-01. Accessed on 12 March 2017.