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Translated by:  MOS English Team – grace

Doctor Sam Bailey posted on YouTube a 10 minutes video, talking about the benefits of N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC). Below is a summary.

Image Source: nzdoctor

1.  THE USE OF N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

NAC is generally considered a nutritional supplement.  Hospitals also use it as medicine. The first time Doctor Sam came into contact with this medicine was when she just graduated as an emergency doctor.  In the hospital, one common poisoning she saw, was excessive use of paracetamol or acetaminophen, which could make the body very exhausted.  The reason is that acetaminophen could be converted to N-acetyleminide quinone (NAPQI), which is toxic to the liver.  The liver could be toxic enough to be finished after a few days or weeks.  NAC serves as an antidote to this condition.  As the toxin NAPQI depletes glutathione, NAC supplements glutathione through intravenous fluids.  After the body gets glutathione, liver damage will be greatly relieved.  The use of NAC in the emergency room is an example of how this medicine can be work with immediate usage.

Another use of NAC is to reduce phlegm.  NAC can dissolve sputum mucus from chronic lung disease, and it can also relieve oxidative stress in cells (after free radicals attacking cells) through the glutathione pathway.  Some studies say that high doses of NAC can help patients with chronic obstructive airway disease to boost glutathione levels in the blood.

Other studies have pointed out that lung tissue damage caused by smoking can be reduced by NAC.  Experiments in mice have demonstrated that NAC has an amazing protective effect on epithelial cells.  The mice in the control group stayed in a smoking environment for 15 hours, and the epithelial cells were destroyed in half.  NAC were given to the mice, resulting in  no loss of epithelial cells.  Of course, it is best not to smoke, but people who smoke and have lung diseases may consider to supplement with NAC.

Other uses of NAC include in treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome, premature infants, pregnancy failure, ulcerative colitis, asthma, muscle function, and possibly some cancers, which require more detailed explanation.

NAC can break into three amino acids (Glycine, cysteine and glutamic acid) and finally makes glutathione.  Using glutathione directly is not good because the digestive system will break it down.  So, we are going to synthesize the glutathione inside our own bodies.  Oral NAC can only absorb 10% into the circulatory system, therefore, in the case of acute and severe poisoning, intravenous fluids or large doses orally are recommended.  Taking NAC at the usual dose, people do not feel side effects on the stomach.  Only with large doses has intestines discomfort occurred, such as abnormal flatulence, spasms, diarrhea, indigestion and heartburn.  NAC is absorbed quickly, peaking in the blood for 1-2 hours, and correspondingly, glutathione in the blood also peaks after taking NAC for 1 hour.  Of course, levels and/or absorption of NAC and glutathione varies depending on each person’s circulatory system condition.

Some of you may have noticed that in 2020 the FDA issued a warning to companies that produce NAC, even though many have been making them for decades.  The FDA says NAC is not a dietary supplement because it was approved as a drug in 1963, so it needs to be restricted.  In the U.S., there are some strange provisions around products that allow them for treatment.  Although the FDA restricted the production of NAC, it is still available in the United States through pharmacies (Over-The-Counter), while it is not available at least on large platforms.

After the epidemic crisis came, Federal Agencies undermined people’s control over their health and supported big pharmaceutical companies, leading to voices of doubt and resentment.  There are 18 studies on NAC on  Doctor Sam genuinely thinks NAC is a therapeutic medication.  Will NAC treat COVID?  Doctor Sam has another video description of specific clinical issues of NAC. 

The recommended daily dose of NAC is 600mg-1200mg, and many brands are 600mg once a day.  NAC can be taken at any time of the day, but to be most effective, it should be taken 30 minutes before meals or 2 hours after meals to avoid competition for absorption and protein.  Daily intake depends on a personal situation.  If a person is rich in L-cysteine in a well-nutritious food, the benefits of eating NAC will not be very large, but on the contrary, if a person is very sick and serious, especially with chronic airway disease, he or she can try 1800mg per day.  Doctor Sam said she doesn’t take it every day.  She believes her diet doesn’t need any supplements, but she does have some to prepare for acute and critical situations.  Some people say that NAC helps them detoxify.  If you drink too much the night before, NAC can supplement liver’s glutathione.

If the L-cysteine in the diet is sufficient, the same effect as NAC can be achieved.  For example, beef, pork, Chicken, stirred eggs, yogurt and Swiss cheese have good amount of L-cysteine.   Vegetarians can eat oatmeal, lentils, carrots and shiitake mushrooms.  The best fruits are those with avocados, kiwis and pineapples.

Dr Sam Bailey, a practicing physician in New Zealand, often makes videos on the Internet about COVID and nutrition.  You can follow her on


Edited and Proofread by: Linda Progress
Posted by: Peter Chen

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