Does NAC Supplement Help Arthritis?

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Does NAC Supplements Help Arthritis?

Does NAC supplements help arthritis? N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is famous for its antioxidant properties, and thus, it is used by the body to build antioxidants. Antioxidants can be vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can protect and repair cells from damage. N-acetyl cysteine is the successor of the amino acid L-cysteine. And as you know, amino acids are the building blocks of protein; therefore, N-acetyl cysteine has numerous uses in the medicines.

People use NAC by mouth for cough and lung conditions for decades. Besides, you can also use it for conditions like flu, dry eye, and other conditions. However, many researches are still going on to find proper evidence. Physicians recommend NAC for health conditions like acetaminophen overdose. Besides, you can also take it by IV to reduce nitrate tolerance.

In light of its vast use and numerous health benefits as an antioxidant anti-inflammation supplement, people ask about its role in arthritis. Therefore, in this article, we will explain does NAC helps arthritis or not.

Does NAC Help Arthritis

N-Acetyl Cysteine, or popularly known as NAC, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, arthritis is also a joint disease characterized by inflammation in joints. Therefore, it is common for people to ask whether NAC treats arthritis or not. Therefore to find answers, scientists are continuously busy with experiments and research to discover whether NAC is effective in preventing joint damage and loss of cartilage. In this section, we will mostly discuss the impact of NAC on joint inflammation in light of osteoarthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis: 

One of the most common types of joint disease is osteoarthritis. Almost 30 million of the population in the US alone suffers from osteoarthritis. This painful disease breaks the cartilage in hands, hips, feet, knee, and spine. Consequently, resulting in the swelling and tenderness and swelling in the joint. In some patients, symptoms come and go over time, while others have constant symptoms. When it comes to the treatment of osteoarthritis, there are very few effective methods.

Moreover, nothing can halt the progression of this enervating disease. Factors like obesity and advanced age play a significant role in this disease. Besides, older and heavier people have high chances of catching this disease.

  • NAC and Osteoarthritis:

It is essential to understand the changes that occur at the cellular level in osteoarthritis and their interaction with certain proteins. One of the important antioxidant food supplement used to treat osteoarthritis is paracetamol, which shows promising results in the research. Keep in mind that the only way to treat this disease is through painkillers and drugs.

In one of the research, scientists added NAC to the drinking water of mice with osteoarthritis. The result of the study shows a considerable reduction in the level of joint damage. An important effect of the NAC is the stifle damage to the joint's cartilage tissues, which is a result of the natural process called oxidative stress.

A relevant term to learn and understand is ANP32A during the study of the impact of NAC on osteoarthritis. ANP32A is a protein that is a part of the numerous processes within the cell and plays a vital role like cell differentiation and intracellular transport. Studies have shown that both humans and mice with osteoarthritis diseases have a significantly lower amount of ANP32A. This gained the interest of scientists to study further the impact of this amazing protein and its role in osteoarthritis.

ANP32A is important in osteoarthritis because it produces a natural enzyme that helps to halt oxidative stress. As a result of which it can give the patient strength to fight against the disease. And we all know that this oxidative stress in cartilage cells plays a critical role in causing and worsening osteoarthritis. Therefore, any treatment or therapy that can neutralize this condition can successfully treat the condition of osteoarthritis. And we know that NAC is an excellent antioxidant that can neutralize oxidative stress efficiently by producing glutathione.

  • Animal Model:

The best and the easiest way to learn about the impact of NAC on arthritis is through the animal model, especially you can say, mouse model. Scientists use a mouse model that cannot produce ANP32A protein due to joint conditions like osteoarthritis, osteopenia, and bone loss. Besides, they also have a condition that is similar to the cerebellar ataxia. A common symptom of cerebellar ataxia is the stumbling and lack of coordination.

The studies' initial results have shown that ANP32A can protect you against the development and progression of osteoarthritis. This can happen as it helps to reduce oxidative stress in the articular cartilage and body, thus stopping the condition from getting worse.

To find does NAC helps arthritis, scientists have added N-acetyl cysteine, an oxidative substance in the drinking water. The study concludes that the addition of NAC in the animal diet can reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis. Moreover, it can also halt cartilage damage.

  • Role of ANP32A in Treating Osteoarthritis:

Till now, we have learned that ANP32A plays a critical role. However, it is important to understand the primary mechanism behind the ANP32A, which can help to reverse symptoms of osteoarthritis. Actually, ANP32A helps to increase the level of an enzyme called ATM, which is known for playing a significant role in regulating cellular defensive response against oxidative stress.

ANP32A helps to promote the expression of ATM in the articular cartilage, therefore, preserving the cellular redox (reduction and oxidation) balance. In simple terms absence of ANP32A means there will be less ATM in the particular cartilage to mop up the free radicals. As a result of which it can cause damage to the cartilage.

Therefore, it becomes evident that both ANP32A and ATM play a vital role, and more in-depth analysis is required to treat a number of other difficult-to-treat and poorly understood conditions. And finally, these findings show excellent results for chronic joint disorders, but they are also useful in bone and neurological disorders.

Uses of NAC

NAC is used for ages for several health conditions and issues. Therefore, in this section, we will briefly explain some of the important uses of NAC. These are:

  • NAC can effectively reduce the death rate and prevent permanent harm caused by acetaminophen poisoning.
  • It is useful in case of the complete or partial lung collapse caused by the mucus blockage.
  • Moreover, apart from lung diseases, it also helps in preparing people for diagnostic lung tests.
  • It can prevent crusting in the people with a tube in their windpipe.
  • Consuming NAC by mouth or through IV can effectively reduce chest pain in the presence of drug nitroglycerin. Moreover, when consuming NAC by mouth, it can prevent nitroglycerin tolerance.
  • Several researches show that taking NAC can improve irritability in children and adolescents with autism.
  • It is also useful in reducing shortness of breath and coughing in people with air passage swelling.
  • If you are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, taking NAC is beneficial in reducing and treating the condition.
  • It can also prevent kidney problems and improves the normal functioning of the kidney.
  • NAC can maintain blood pressure by reducing the fats and cholesterol in the blood.
  • It is also beneficial in the flu.

Precautions and Warning

In this section, we will explain who should avoid consuming NAC. These include:

  • Breast-Feeing Mothers and Pregnant Women:

When it comes to breastfeeding, mothers and pregnant women, NAC is considered safe when taken by mouth or through a hole in the windpipe or by inhaling. There is not still enough evidence to confirm the harmful impact of NAC on unborn children or mothers. However, keep in mind that on consumption, NAC crosses the placenta. Moreover, many argue that you can use NAC on the doctor's prescription. However, due to insufficient evidence for breastfeeding mothers, it is always better to stay on the safe side by avoiding it.

  • Children:

Consumption through mouth is considered safe for children when the amount of NAC is 900 to 2700 mg. Children can consume it daily for 12 weeks on physicians' prescriptions.

  • Allergy:

In case you have an allergy to acetylcysteine, the best option is to avoid NAC consumption.

  • Asthma:

Some people believed that NAC could cause bronchospasm in people with asthma if they consume it by mouth or through a tube in the windpipe. Therefore, if you have asthma, it is better to consult your doctor for professional advice.

  • Bleeding Disorder:

NAC can slow the blood clotting process. Moreover, it can also increase the risk of bleeding and bruising in people with a bleeding disorder. Therefore, all those people should avoid it.

  • Surgery:

We have mentioned in the above section that NAC can slow blood clotting. Consequently, it can increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery. Therefore, stop using N-acetyl cysteine at least two weeks before surgery to avoid any problem on the day of surgery.

Final Words

We have tried to answer whether NAC helps arthritis in the light of on-going research and studies. It does help with osteoarthritis as it can influence the level of APN32A in the body.


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