This post is basically the prelude to my upcoming comprehensive post about the various health benefits of a supplement called N-acetyl L-cysteine (or NAC for short). NAC is a derivative or altered version of the amino acid cysteine. Cysteine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that is essential for protein structure and also the formation of the body’s “master antioxidant” glutathione.
Glutathione is considered the master of all antioxidants in the body and is extremely efficient at counteracting the damaging effects of free-radicals such as various reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells. This antioxidant is composed of the the amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamate. The latter two tend to be abundant in our bodies, but cysteine… not so much. This is why NAC is so effective at raising glutathione levels in the body.
I started taking this supplement yesterday for reasons I will fully explain in a future and more comprehensive NAC update/review. I took one 600mg tablet at lunch and again at dinner for a total of 1200 mg for the day. I will reveal the brand I use in a future update once I build confidence in the brand.
I’ve read that NAC has to build up in the body to initiate any substantial effect, and some don’t feel anything for more than a week. I, on the other hand, felt the effects of this amino acid just a few hours after the first tablet… and I don’t think it was placebo. I am not sure whether this is common or not, but about 3 hours after taking my first tablet, I felt unusually sleepy and decided to take a 36 minute nap… weird number, I know. I woke up from that nap literally 15 seconds before the alarm went off, and I felt more more refreshed than I usually do after taking naps.
A few hours after taking the second tablet, I went to sleep for the night and had the most amazing sleep I have had in months. I am not kidding! At all! My dreams were so vivid and non-draining (very vivid dreams usually drain me of energy). I felt light throughout my sleep and when I woke up. Even as I type, I still feel lighter than usual. I am quite sure these are the effects of enhanced glutathione production as a result of the NAC I took.
The only other effect NAC had on me so far was a mood improvement. I am not someone who feels down a lot, at least not anymore (I’ll explain in a later post), but I have noticed myself laughing and smiling more often and genuinely than I already do.
I have to admit, I have tried NAC 2 years ago, but only for a few days. The effects, from what I remember, are similar to what I feel now.
I will try to commit to this supplement more long term as a personal health experiment. I will also be updating you periodically on how I feel about the product. So, follow me and comment/like if you are interested.
In my opinion NAC — more so the science behind NAC — has the potential to truly change health and longevity as we know it. That sounds dramatic, especially since this supplement has been on the market for decades; but the more we look into the long-term effects of NAC, perhaps the more astonished we’ll be. I’ll be a guinea pig for that!