We all know that a healthy immune system is a must to enjoy robust health, and in the era of COVID, a strong immune takes on even greater importance. Most of us have heard about the immune system benefits of zinc, and vitamins C and D. However, there is another powerful supplement which can provide additional ammunition for immunity. An article, which I summarize below, was written by Mark A. Stengler, NMD, in the current issue of Bottom Line (vol 42) and highlights this supplement.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an amino acid that should be added to your arsenal, especially if you are immune-compromised or have a chronic health condition. NAC is easily converted to glutathione in the body. Glutathione is considered “the mother of all antioxidants” and is one of the body’s most powerful weapons against immune-damaging compounds. When viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, or pesticides enter the body, the liver begins secreting glutathione to help neutralize them. Besides being helpful to the who are immune-compromised, taking glutathione is proven beneficial to those who are exposed to toxins in the workplace, such as someone working in a hair salon, or as a welder or painter, etc.
Glutathione is created by a combination of three amino acids (cysteine, glutamic acid and glyceine, and production of this important immune system protector declines with age, and is compromised in individuals with chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, as well was in those who smoke.
Glutathione is made by the body and is also found in small amounts in certain foods, including cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, avocado, cucumber green beans, apples and spinach. The average daily intake from foods is about 150 mg/day, about half of what experts recommend. I have been taking NAC for several years: I take 250 mg 2x/day.
As with all supplements, discuss taking NAC with your doctor, especially if you immune-compromised or are taking medication.
John R Blilie, M.S.