Supplement Spotlight: NAC
We know that most of the traditional American diet is deficient in many key vitamins and minerals. That said, we are often told to supplement in those areas. With an overwhelming amount of information, it can be difficult to know where to start. When we think of supplementing, we think of our physical health. That said, many are unaware of how beneficial certain supplements can be for our mental health as well.
Here at Naturna, we often find ourselves prescribing NAC, and with good reason. NAC is the supplement form of Cysteine. Cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid found in foods that are high in protein, such as animal-based proteins like chicken, turkey, yogurt, cheese, etc. Other amino acids can be found in plant-based sources such as beans or legumes.
Amino acids are essential in forming proteins and building muscle. This causes chemical reactions in the body necessary for transporting nutrients and preventing illness. When you do not have sufficient levels of these aminos it can lead to increased brain fog, depression & anxiety and poor digestion. That said, NAC can supplement what some may be lacking in their diet. For example, if you are not consuming enough protein on a regular basis, you might experience some aspect of deficiency.
NAC is beneficial for a multitude of reasons. For starters, it supplements glutathione – which is a powerful antioxidant. This helps in protecting our cells against any free radicals we are exposed to in our environments or in the things that we consume such as alcohol, processed meats and even some cooking oils. Without antioxidants, our bodies would not be able to fight against a variety of illnesses. Additionally, this all-in-one supplement has been shown to be beneficial for women who struggle with hormonal disorders such as PCOS.
Bonus! NAC is also a wonderful aid in your fertility journey! It reduces anxiety, balances hormones, restores amino acids, reduces inflammation and helps improve egg quality. Due to its high antioxidant properties, it protects both egg and sperm quality, making it beneficial for both men and women.
According to the National Library of Medicine, NAC has shown significant improvement in pregnancy and ovulation rates by combating insulin sensitivity. Not to mention, its ability to reduce stress and anxiety is especially helpful in cases of fertility. There is no question that the path to baby is a stressful one. So, having all the tips and tricks to manage your stress level is important in optimizing your conception efforts.
Dr. Jolene Brighten. (2020, April 24). 14 health benefits of NAC (N-acetylcysteine). Dr. Jolene Brighten. Retrieved February 15, 2023, from https://drbrighten.com/nac-benefits/
MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Essential amino acids: Definition, benefits, and foods. Medical News Today. Retrieved February 15, 2023, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324229
Thakker, D., Raval, A., Patel, I., & Walia, R. (2015). N-acetylcysteine for polycystic ovary syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Obstetrics and gynecology international. Retrieved February 15, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4306416/