Your location: Home > Wiki > Health > N-Acetyl Cysteine >

N-Acetyl Cysteine

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 10, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

N-Acetyl Cysteine

There are many benefits of N-Acetyl Cysteine, which is often one of being the most important protein building amino acids, but it can also be found in health food stores to take as a nutritional supplement. Most healthy people do not need to supplement with this amino acid, though it has been shown to have some powerful medicinal properties.


N-acetyl cysteine is a derivative of L-cysteine, which is an amino acid. It is a supplement that can be used for those that have problems with the lungs such as COPD or bronchitis as it helps to break up the phlegm and restore normal breathing.

History and Origin of N-Acetyl Cysteine

N-Acetyl Cysteine is not just a supplement but it is also used in pharmaceuticals such as cough medicines to help break up chest congestion, which in turn will quiet the coughing. It has been used to treat the overdose of acetaminophen, which actually binds to the drug to remove it from the body safely.

Modern Uses of N-Acetyl Cysteine

N-acetyl cysteine has been studied extensively through the years and is found to help in many medicinal ways. Those people that have chronic bronchitis or other lung problems that cause congestion typically will find it very useful to ingest N-Acetyl Cysteine for breaking up the thick mucus from within their chest. In addition, those that suffer from annual hay fever and Allergies have found that N-acetyl cysteine can be very effective in reducing their symptoms.

There has also been quite a few research studies done to see if there are any potential effects for those suffering from lung cancer, though it does not reverse or cure the cancer iteslf. It is also used with specific epilepsy as well as the autoimmune disease known as Sjogren’s Syndrome. Many people that suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome have also found that N-acetyl cysteine helps tremendously with all of their symptoms. There is also some proof to show that it helps to increase a person’s immunity to the H1NI flu. Lastly, it has been used to detoxify the body and rid it of heavy metals and lead.

Side Effects of N-Acetyl Cysteine

It seems that when N-acetyl cysteine is used as a prescription medication it is typically tolerated rather well. However, when used as a supplement on its own, it can have some side effects, which include constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. It can also cause fever, rashes, liver problems, and drowsiness. Obviously, there are people that may have an allergy to N-acetyl cysteine as well, which means they should never take a drug or a supplement that contains the amino acid.

In addition, those that take nitroglycerin should not use N-acetyl cysteine as there is a direct interaction between the two because N-acetyl cysteine increases the effects of the nitroglycerin. N-acetyl cysteine is typically for those that have health ailments or conditions rather than for those that are healthy. It can have excellent benefits for those suffering from lung condition and congestion. As always, discuss taking N-Acetyl Cysteine with your primary care physician beforehand.

Read also: Facial Psoriasis

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

Related Posts