Ability To Boost Glutathione Levels May Improve Immune Function
NAC and glutathione also boost immune health.
Research on certain diseases associated with NAC and glutathione deficiency suggests that immune function might be improved and potentially restored by supplementing with NAC .
This factor has been studied most in people with human immunodeficiency virus .
In two studies, supplementing with NAC resulted in a significant increase in immune function with an almost complete restoration of natural killer cells (
Overall, more human studies are needed. Therefore, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking NAC during cancer treatment .
Summary NACs ability to boost glutathione levels may improve immune function in a variety of diseases.
Amino Acids Role In Healthy Thyroid Hormone Levels
Research has found that an insufficient intake of dietary essential amino acids for long periods of time, alters thyroid axis activity.
In one case study, primary hypothyroidism was caused by a deficiency of amino acids while the patient was on a protein-calorie restricted diet. When the patients diet was changed to include full supplementation of amino acids, the patient saw a rapid increase in both T4 and T3 levels, as well as a decrease in TSH. When the amino acid supplementation was changed to one with depleted phenylalanine and tyrosine levels, serum T4 and T3 levels gradually decreased. When those amino acids were subsequently provided, there was again an increase in serum T4 and T3.
Animal studies have shown a variety of effects to thyroid hormone plasma concentration when amino acid deficient diets are provided. When phenylalanine was examined in chicks, one study found that its deficiency caused reductions in thyroid hormone plasma levels.
Several other amino acids are also associated with a reduction in thyroid antibody levels. For example, the amino acid methionine plays a role in the proper absorption of and . We know that adequate levels of selenium have been associated with a reduction in TPO antibody levels; one study found a 40 percent reduction in antibodies in people with Hashimotos, with three to six months of therapeutic doses of selenium. In another study, thyroid antibody levels and zinc levels were also significantly positively correlated.
#2 Nac May Improve Mood
NACs mood boosting effect has been demonstrated in clinical studies.
Double blind, placebo controlled studies have shown promise for the ability of NAC to help alleviate depressive disorders. In fact, while not all the studies have shown efficacy, I was particularly impressed by this meta analysis of 5 studies which found NAC has value in treating depression.
Keep in mind that the meta analysis started with 38 studies and had to throw out 33 of them for failure to meet inclusion criteria. Nevertheless, Psychology Today has also done a nice job highlighting the potential for NAC to help alleviate some mood disorders.
The likely mechanism here is NAC appears to work as a glutamate antagonist.
For those of you who have regularly read the blog, youll remember glutamate is the gas pedal neurotransmitter, which is great, unless pressing on the gas has you accelerating through a brick wall. An excess of glutamate can lead to anxiety, as well as excitotoxicity, which some theorize is the cause of many neurodegenerative disorders.
Another calming amino acid, , is also a glutamate antagonist.
NAC is actually quite popular in the field of psychiatry and medical literature documents NAC experiments to treat everything from OCD, to addiction, to Bipolar disorder.
Glutathione And Its Different Forms
Before we go any further, we need to talk about the different forms of glutathione.
Glutathione comes in two different forms:
- GSH, also known as reduced glutathione, or L-glutathione
- GSSG, also known as oxidized glutathione
As the antioxidant properties of the GSH molecules act on reactive oxygen species, also known as ROS or oxygen radicals, the molecules are oxidized and become GSSG.
Oxygen radicals are unstable molecules containing oxygen that easily react with other molecules in a cell. They are naturally formed during the process of cellular respiration and as intermediates of many enzymatic reactions.
However, overaccumulation of oxygen radicals may damage DNA, RNA, and proteins, and may cause cell death.
The ratio of GSH to GSSG determines the redox status of cells, which refers to the balance between oxidants, or pro-oxidants, and antioxidants.
Healthy cells in a state of rest have a GSH/GSSG ratio of greater than 100.
When cells are exposed to oxidative stress, then the ratio will drop to 1 to 10.
Glutathione peroxidases, or GPx, and glutathione S-transferases, or GSTs, are two groups of enzymes that make up the glutathione system and regulate the antioxidative effects of glutathione.
Now, lets explore:
One Type Of Antioxidant May Not Be As Safe As Once Thought
- University of Virginia Health System
- According to new research an antioxidant commonly used in nutritional and body-building supplements can form a red blood cell-derived molecule that makes blood vessels think they are not getting enough oxygen. This leads to pulmonary arterial hypertension, a serious condition characterized by high blood pressure in the arteries that carry blood to the lungs.
Certain preparations taken to enhance athletic performance or stave off disease contain an anti-oxidant that could cause harm. According to new research at the University of Virginia Health System, N-acetylcysteine , an anti-oxidant commonly used in nutritional and body-building supplements, can form a red blood cell-derived molecule that makes blood vessels think they are not getting enough oxygen.
This leads to pulmonary arterial hypertension , a serious condition characterized by high blood pressure in the arteries that carry blood to the lungs.
“NAC fools the body into thinking that it has an oxygen shortage,” said Dr. Ben Gaston, UVa Children’s Hospital pediatrician and researcher who led the study. “We found that an NAC product formed by red blood cells, know as a nitrosothiol, bypasses the normal regulation of oxygen sensing. It tells the arteries in the lung to ‘remodel’; they become narrow, increasing the blood pressure in the lungs and causing the right side of the heart to swell.”
Liposomal Glutathione Supplements Further Increase Glutathione Benefits
If you are looking for ways to increase your intracellular glutathione levels, you should consider a Glutathione Supplement.
More specifically, you may want to do some research on Liposomal Glutathione Technology.
Liposomal Glutathione Technology uses micro sized fluid filled liposomes to protect and deliver nutrients directly into the cells and tissues of the body. These liposomes are very similar to human cells, which makes it easier for them to be transported within the body. As a result, nutrient absorption is greatly increased, and there is less intestinal discomfort than with using standard oral supplements.
Clearly, Liposomal Glutathione Supplement deserves serious consideration for its potential sleep aid benefits.
What Is Nac Why Do People Take It
N-acetylcysteine , the supplement form of cysteine, is an amino acid that helps the body create and use protective antioxidants.
While cysteine is found in many high-protein foods, NAC is only obtained from taking supplements or prescription drugs.
Because the human body can create some NAC from other amino acids, particularly and , it is considered to be a semi-essential amino acid. That means there isnt a daily requirement of NAC that you must get from your diet, but getting higher amounts can benefit some people.
What is NAC used for? Some of its most common uses include:
- Increasing levels of the antioxidant called glutathione
- Treating acetaminophen
- Breaking up mucus in people with some lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis
- Protecting the liver
- Helping prevent bladder or neurologic damage caused by some drugs
- Potentially helping prevent colon cancer
I Stopped Going To Bed So Late
Over and over again I had read that you need to keep a somewhat normal sleeping routine .
I am the farthest thing from type A and routine and schedules just DO NOT work for me. I am basically the anti-routine.
So this is literally never going to work for me.
But, I did set myself a firm bedtime of midnight .
I was doing myself no favors by going to bed at 2 knowing it would take me 2 hours to fall asleep. I would just get more and more stressed as the clock approached 4 am and I was still awake.
At least if Im in bed by midnight and it DOES take me 2 hours to fall asleep, Im still asleep by 2.
I do try to be very consistent with my mornings, and I am always up by 9ish.
Treating Lung Conditions And Excess Mucus
For people with chronic lung conditions, such as or cystic fibrosis, some doctors recommend NAC. It is available in an inhalable form that may help reduce excess mucus.
That said, clinical trials of NAC as a treatment for lung disease have arrived at mixed results, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
I Started Using Essential Oils
The other day I suddenly remembered that before I was pregnant I had some success improving my sleep with Cedarwood oil.
I had tried all the other sleepy-oils; lavender, frankincense, and ylang-ylang but the trick is finding the oil that your body likes best, apparently.
For me, its Cedarwood.
I pulled my Cedarwood oil out and added it to my bedtime routine as well. .
What Factors Affect Glutathione Levels In The Body
Much like with melatonin, the levels of glutathione produced by the body decline with increasing age.
A representative study of community-dwelling elderly citizens found that higher glutathione levels correlated positively with higher levels of physical health and wellness, higher levels of self-rated health, and fewer illnesses.
There are several ways to increase the levels of glutathione within the cells:
-HCH, -HCH, chlordecone, lindane, and technical endosulfan and its related isomers are used as pesticides. Deca-DBE, hexa-DBE, HBCD, BDE-153 and BDE-171, PFOS, its salts, and POSF, SCCPs, and tetra-DBE and penta-DBE are used as industrial chemicals. HCBD and PCNs are chemical by-products, and used as industrial chemicals. PeCB is a chemical by-product, and used as a pesticide and industrial chemical.
The Benefits Of Amino Acids For Hashimotos
Medically reviewed and written by Izabella Wentz, PharmD, FASCP on June 23, 2021
June 23, 2021
I first became interested in amino acids when I learned about the role of the amino acid tyrosine, which is one of the raw materials required to make thyroid hormones, as well as glutamine, an amino acid that aids with repairing the gut. Fascinated by these discoveries, I began studying amino acids and came to find that each amino acid has unique and very important functions throughout the body, including supporting many of the imbalances that can occur in people with thyroid conditions.
We get amino acids from eating protein so when we dont digest our proteins well, we can become deficient in amino acids, as well as other important thyroid-supportive nutrients like vitamin B12, selenium, and zinc.
Amino acid deficiency can result in a wide range of symptoms, including hypothyroidism, digestive issues, anxiety, decreased immunity, reduced mental alertness, hair loss, food sensitivities, and more.
Learning about how poor protein digestion can result in worsening Hashimotos symptoms, was a big aha moment for me.
In this article, youll learn:
- Why our bodies need amino acids
- Why amino acid deficiencies may be common in Hashimotos
- How amino acids support Hashimotos
- My testing recommendations
- The Root Cause approach to getting more amino acids
Improving Insulin Sensitivity In People With Pcos
This syndrome can lead to insulin resistance and increases in blood sugar. The researchers reported evidence that NAC may help reduce high blood sugar in people with PCOS.
However, NAC is no substitute for medications such as or other methods of blood sugar control. It may only be helpful as a supplement.
Why You Should Consider A Glutathione Supplement
Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants in the body that helps promote better sleep, detoxify the body while sleeping, and provide neuroprotective benefits.
With improved quality of sleep, the body is able to produce even more glutathione, which causes a cyclical effect of improved sleep and detoxification.
You should take the necessary steps to keep your levels of glutathione within a healthy range during the nighttime for overall better sleep quality and improved antioxidant protection.
I Basically Cured My Insomnia
There is no literary figure I envy more or relate to less than Rip Van Winkle. Who drifts off to sleep that easily and actually stays asleep for so long? I understand his story is fictional, but that simple fact doesnât make me hate him any less. Iâve struggled with sleep for half a decade nowâRip could have slept through that whole time plus 15 more years.
Risks Side Effects And Interactions
Is NAC dangerous?
While its safe for most people to take, some drug interactions and negative reactions are possible. Overall, most experts believe that the use of NAC yields potential benefits that outweigh potential risks.
What are the side effects of NAC?
Potential NAC side effects can include:
- indigestion/upset stomach
- skin rash
It might not be safe for people with asthma, bleeding problems or anyone taking nitroglycerin, including blood thinners and certain blood pressure medications. If these apply to you, check with your doctor before using NAC supplements to discuss any possible interactions.
Is NAC hard on the kidneys? Can NAC cause liver damage?
In very high doses any supplement is capable of contributing to liver or kidney problems however, as explained above, generally NAC is considered protective of the liver and kidneys, not a harm to them.
Warning Disclaimer Use For Publication
WARNING: Please DO NOT STOP MEDICATIONS without first consulting a physician since doing so could be hazardous to your health.
DISCLAIMER: All material available on eHealthMe.com is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. All information is observation-only. Our phase IV clinical studies alone cannot establish cause-effect relationship. Different individuals may respond to medication in different ways. Every effort has been made to ensure that all information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. The use of the eHealthMe site and its content is at your own risk.
If you use this eHealthMe study on publication, please acknowledge it with a citation: study title, URL, accessed date.
Get Protein And Amino Acids From Your Diet
Protein is important for Hashimotos because it promotes healthy immune function, improves detoxification, helps in healthy gut function, and can help reduce symptoms such as muscle weakness and blood sugar dysregulation.
Its interesting to note that the body has no protein storage site like it has adipose tissue for storing fat. As such, we do need to take in quality and clean protein each day, through our diet or through supplementation.
Its important, however, to find sources of protein that we are not sensitive to. I learned that I had been consuming the wrong type of protein in my daily healthy protein smoothie, using reactive proteins such as dairy that were making my autoimmune condition and symptoms worse. Dairy proteins are highly reactive for up to 80 percent of people with Hashimotos. I was actually poisoning myself by using dairy products for my daily protein smoothie, before I realized I had a food sensitivity to dairy!
As such, its important to find quality sources of protein and amino acids. Some sources that I recommend for people with Hashimotos include fatty fish and organic meats . As many individuals with Hashimotos are unable to tolerate whey and eggs, I developed hypoallergenic protein powders such as Rootcology Organic Pea Protein and Rootcology AI Paleo Protein.
You can read more about the right types of protein .
In addition to finding the right types of protein, its important to adjust our protein intake to our needs as well.
Address Causes Of Low Stomach Acid
Insufficient stomach acid was a huge issue for me, and is common in Hashimotos. Without proper amounts of stomach acid, we cant break down the protein we consume and extract the amino acids from it. In a 2015 survey I did of 2232 people with Hashimotos, some 59 percent of respondents said they felt better after addressing their low stomach acid, by taking betaine HCL with pepsin. Years ago, when I first tried Betaine HCL with pepsin, I felt better after one day!
Note that an H. pylori infection, which is a common root cause trigger in Hashimotos, promotes gastric atrophy and can lead to diminished stomach acid levels as well. So, you may need to dig a little deeper into the cause of your low stomach acid if you find the Betaine HCL doesnt help. Learn more about betaine with pepsin here.
Safety And Adverse Effects
N-acetylcysteine has an excellent safety profile. An oral dose of N-acetylcysteine as high as 10x 2800 mg was evaluated for safety in a clinical study with no major adverse effect reported. All major systematic reviews found N-acetylcysteine to be a well-tolerated oral therapy without any considerable adverse effects.
Gastrointestinal symptoms including mild abdominal discomfort, heartburn, flatulence, cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea were the most common adverse effects reported in clinical trials of N-acetylcysteine. Other nonspecific side-effects reported were headaches, skin rashes, elevated blood pressure, dry mouth, fatigue, muscle pains, insomnia, nasal congestion, runny nose, restlessness, and dizziness. However, these are isolated incidents only with no consistent reporting of any severe incident due to N-acetylcysteine treatment. In fact, N-acetylcysteine is observed to exert protective effects to adverse effects related to psychiatric medications when used as an adjunctive therapy.
N-acetylcysteine can potentially interact with paracetamol, glutathione, and anticancer agents. It also strongly potentiates the effect of nitrates vasodilators and related medications, leading to the risk of hypotension. As such, the use of N-acetylcysteine in patients taking these medications should be cautioned.
May Stabilize Blood Sugar By Decreasing Inflammation In Fat Cells
High blood sugar and obesity contribute to inflammation in fat tissue.
This can lead to damage or destruction of insulin receptors and put you at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes .
Animal studies show that NAC may stabilize blood sugar by decreasing inflammation in fat cells and thereby improving insulin resistance .
When insulin receptors are intact and healthy, they properly remove sugar from your blood, keeping levels within normal limits.
However, keep in mind that human research on NAC is needed to confirm these effects on blood sugar control.
Summary By decreasing inflammation in fat tissue, NAC may reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar regulation, but human-based research is lacking.
We Recommend You Follow This Guide:
Examples: 5HTP, Methionine and SAMe, N- Acetyl Cysteine , Tyrosine and Glycine
When to take: On an empty stomach eg 30min before breakfast on rising or 2 hours after dinner at bedtime. SAMe and NAC can disturb sleep so take them in the morning
Examples: Vitamins A/B/C/D/E
When to take: With food, see below. Except vitamin B12- usually via injection or under the tongue
When to take: Take on an empty stomach in the morning. Can cause stomach upset, if this occurs, take with the meal. Better absorption if taken with Vitamin C. Must take at least 2hr away from zinc and calcium
When to take: At bedtime. Can cause stomach upset, if this occurs, take with night meal. Must take at least 2 hours away from iron and calcium
When to take: At bedtime
How Amino Acids Support Hashimotos
While amino acids are supportive of functions throughout the body and multiple conditions, in this article, I will focus on how having adequate amino acid levels, benefits Hashimotos by supporting:
- Healthy thyroid hormone levels
- Gut healing and protection
- Improved detoxification within the body
Ill also talk briefly about a few amino acids that I recommend for common symptoms seen in Hashimotos.
Addiction And Substance Use Disorders
Addiction and substance abuse are enormous issues worldwide, with few proven treatments available and limited success with behavioural therapies. While research into substance abuse has traditionally focused on dopamine and associated reward-based behaviour, glutamate dysregulation has been suggested as another avenue related to the development and maintenance of addiction. Preclinical results have shown N-acetylcysteine to be able to restore the imbalance of cysteine-glutamate exchange in the brain and decrease drug-seeking behaviours in animal models. Indeed, treatment of addiction and substance abuse disorders with N-acetylcysteine has been an active area of research. Many clinical trials were conducted over the last decade with their results summarised in 5 systematic reviews published within the last 4 years.
How To Use N
NAC is an over-the-counter compound that can be purchased at your local health food store in capsule/tablet form. Its also available by prescription in injection form.
While cysteine is found in foods including chicken, turkey, other meats, garlic, yogurt and eggs, NAC is only acquired by taking supplements or drugs.
There isnt a daily requirement for NAC or an agreed upon optimal dose for NAC supplements. Experts recommend taking an adequate dose for several months and carefully keeping track of its effects on key symptoms this way you know if its helping and how much you need.
Below are general NAC dosage recommendations depending on the symptoms/conditions you are treating:
- Between 6001,800 milligrams of NAC daily seems to be effective against many conditions; 600-milligram capsules taken two to three times a day is the recommended dosage to start with.
- Theres evidence that 2,000 milligrams is safe for most adults.
- Higher doses may be needed to treat certain chronic and degenerative diseases, including COPD, impaired glucose control and cancer. For example, doses of about 2,800 milligrams per day for up to three months seem to be effective for adults with , according to some studies.
How long does it take for NAC to work?
This depends on the condition its being used to treat, the individual and the dosage taken.
When should you take NAC, morning or night?
Psychiatry In Troublecan It Be Fixed
NAC is an amino acid, something present in many foods, but supplements give you a higher dose than youd get in your daily . It is usually taken in doses from 1000 to 2000 milligrams per dayusually in 600-milligram capsules taken 2 to 3 times a day, and other than mild gastrointestinal side effects NAC is usually well tolerated.
The intriguing thing about NAC to me is that its of great interest to neuroscience researchers. There have been many studies of this compound, including neuroimaging studies, and it has been investigated in innumerable disordersdepression, bipolar disorder, , PTSD, schizophrenia, , eating disorders, Alzheimers disease, and addiction . NAC also has established medical uses as an anti-inflammatory medicine in cases of acetaminophen overdose in preventing liver failure. Clinical trials have been promising in many disorders where it has been studied . Clearly, theres a need for more research studies, both more clinical trials in different disorders, and more basic research to see how NAC works in the brain.
To me, the debates between the lumpers and the splitters are most useful when they help move scienceand treatmentforward. In this case, with the emergence of NAC as a potentially beneficial treatment for a common symptom of many disorders, the goal posts are being moved usefully down the field.
Caspi A, Moffitt TE. All for one and one for all: Mental disorders in one dimension. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2018 Apr 6;175:831-44
Address Mthfr Gene Issues
When I see clients with symptoms such as multiple chemical sensitivities, anxiety, depression, irritability and brain fog, I will sometimes suspect impaired methylation and may recommend testing for the MTHFR gene variant.Should you test positive for this gene variation, and find that you do indeed have issues relating to methylation, I recommend taking Rootcology MTHFR Pathways, as it contains nutrients that can help lower homocysteine levels and support healthy homocysteine metabolism.
In my 2015 survey, 45 percent of people with Hashimotos said they felt better after adding methylation-supporting supplements to their regimen. Having a healthy homocysteine metabolism helps ensure we have adequate amounts of other amino acids such as cysteine and taurine, as well as neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, on board. You can read more at the linked article.
Again, I generally assume most people with Hashimotos may need some support in the areas of protein digestion, leaky gut, and detoxification. As such, addressing these areas is a good place to start.