What does NAC do to the brain?

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What does NAC do to the brain?

What does NAC do to the brain? Different studies in the field of science have proved that NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) is a natural speck of a body that keeps rising the levels of antioxidants to improve certain activities of the brain. NAC helps the brain and its certain parts to work significantly in the body. NAC has other functions, too, to practice in the body as it is one of the critical amino-acids helping the body to stay healthy. It serves the brain to assimilate glutathione in the brain, which is one of the significant functions. Moreover, this article will deal with NAC’s functions in the body and specifically the brain. Further, some of NAC’s other functions will also be elaborated.

NAC (N- Acetyl cysteine)

NAC is a product and mixture of two amino acids; that is why it is called a semi-essential amino acid as the human body produces it with the help of two other acids named as serine and methionine. NAC works in the body on its own only when the other two amino acids, serine, and methionine, are not taken regularly in the diet, or the quantity taken does not meet the criteria. NAC is only found in food that is high in protein for example;

  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Sunflowers seeds
  • Yogurt
  • Legumes
  • Turkey
  • Chicken

Cysteine is the original molecule present in the body, while it can also be taken as a supplement known as NAC. It can also be consumed through injection. Taking the right amount of NAC is very important as it is healthy for many reasons as it does not only restock antioxidants in the body but also replenish glutathione. Besides other important operations, it serves the brain at its best.

NAC’s Major Functions on the Brain 

 Some of the following points present NAC’s functions on the brain and how it helps the brain with its properties.

  1. One of the major functions of NAC is that it enhances the level of glutathione in the body, specifically in neurons that serves the purpose of antioxidant and consequently protects the neurons from injury or damages.
  2. One of the studies on NAC proved that it also serves people who are suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). In the nerves, the protein coat shatters and results in an inflammatory practice, thus leading to damaged neurons in the brain. This causes multiple sclerosis that can be prevented through NAC therapies. 
  3. NAC is also effective for the people having Parkinson’s disease, which is a result of the neurodegenerative injury. Parkinson’s disease attacks on a particular part of the brain that is Basal Ganglia. Basal Ganglia works with dopamine in the brain. Supplementing of NAC enhances the activity of dopamine in the brain that assists neurons in communicating and helps in administering the movement. 
  4. NAC supplement is also taken by people with psychotic disorders as one of the studies in this particular field asserted that NAC helps to decrease the level of glutamate in the brain. Thus psychotic disorders are said to be the results of rising glutamate in the brain. 
  5. It is also observed that regular intake of NAC can help the people with dementia and other cognitive deterioration. 
  6. As NCA manages glutamate and recovers glutathione in the brain, this process leads to good memory and also treats memory issues. 
  7. It overall nurtures brain health.
  8. As discussed above, NAC controls glutamate in the body alongside glutathione, and this control enables the brain to fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
  9. Some research concludes that NAC also helps the brain in cognitive ability, especially in people who have Alzheimer’s.
  10. NAC increases dopamine function, and due to this disease like Parkinson can also be controlled. Due to this disease, there is damage in cells of the brain and also the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which will not only damage cells but also reduces the antioxidant ability of the cells.

Some of the Other Functions of NAC  

Besides its major impact on the brain, NAC has other purposes too in the body. It is beneficial for the rest of the body as it is to the brain. Its diverse functions in the body make it one of the significant amino acids. 

  1. It detoxifies the body, eventually preventing kidney and liver diseases.
  2. NAC supplement helps in to improve the respiratory system. 
  3. Due to lesser levels of antioxidants, the reproductive system does not work correctly. NAC helps to maintain the levels of antioxidants that render the chances of infertility both in men and women. 
  4. NCA also deals with the patients of PCOS.
  5. Diseases that people take for granted like blood pressure and sugar can also be cured by NAC that helps to remove inflammation in the fat tissues of the body and keeps the insulin molecules healthy. 
  6. Lower levels of antioxidants cause oxidative stress in heart tissues, which leads to some serious heart problems. NAC helps to prevent oxidative stress and lowers the risk of heart diseases. It also improves blood flow. 
  7. Against certain diseases, NCA is said to be the best shield, and overall it enhances the immunity of the body.

How much it should be taken?

As it is discussed above, NCA is produced in the body naturally called cysteine. The human body does not produce a large amount of cysteine; rather, a small amount of cysteine is induced in the body. However, there is no proper diet chart for cysteine. There are certain other nutrients that combine together to make this amino acid, including vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin B12. The right amount of these nutrients together help to make cysteine, so these nutrients are also crucial and can be found in different food types. These can be found in; 

  • Spinach 
  • Beans
  • Salmon
  • Bananas
  • Tuna
  • Lentils

So cysteine in the body can be improved alongside these foods. NAC is also available in the form of supplements. Usually, 600 mg capsules are being sold over the shelves in the stores. Cysteine can also be improved by taking a supplement of it that is NAC.

NAC takes time to absorb in the body. The only accepted amount of NAC supplements 600-1,800 mg on a daily basis. Some patients of Alzheimer’s who took 600 mg of NAC with the combination of other salts like alpha-tocopherol or folate shown an extremely high recovery rate from the disease.

Over Dosage of NAC 

NAC is said to be the safest medication for adults-only if prescribed by a doctor. There is a certain issue that can be seen in a person on the high dosage of NAC.

  1. Problems like constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting can arise if a person takes a large amount of NAC. 
  2. If a person inhales NAC, more than the prescribed amount may experience chest tightness, runny nose, and drowsiness.
  3. People who already have certain issues of bleeding disorders are prohibited from taking NAC. 
  4. NCA has a bad odor that is hard to take. This makes it complicated and should be consulted with a doctor before taking it. 

Other Nutrients and Amino Acids that Help Brain  

Modern science and technology have proved that different nutrients that we get from food and as supplements have the capability to protect the body against so many diseases. There are certain protein combinations and amino acids that give the brain a healthy growth. The brain is one of the main processors of the body that regulates most of the functions and thus to be called a central nervous system (CNS). The central nervous system needs high proteins that are the building blocks of the cells. These proteins can be taken from different food types. There are distinctive amino acids that also regulate neurotransmitters, including tyrosine, arginine, tryptophan, histidine, etc.

Final Words

This amino acid of NAC is also named as semi-essential amino acid. This amino acid is semi because of its nature. That is, it can be produced by the body with the help of other amino acids like serine and methionine. But if you are not consuming the diet, which includes serine and methionine, then the level of NAC in your body can get low. So, for this, you need to consume food like turkey, cheese, sunflower seeds, and yogurt as they are rich in proteins. NAC is the product of a chemical cysteine; it means if you are consuming those foods that contain cysteine, then NAC will be produced in the body, and your health will get good by reducing the potent antioxidant of glutathione from the body. NAC will increase your health in many ways, including fertility increase both in men and women, will increase the overall health of the brain, and helps your lungs to have a very sound respiratory system. NAC has a vital role in glutamate regulation and improves the system of detoxification of the body. That is why its supplements are used effectively by the patients of having brain diseases. But it should be kept in mind that before using any kind of supplements, you should have to seek the doctor's consultation.


References

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nac-benefits

https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/news-posts/2020/03/04/natural-antioxidant-molecule-nac-might-help-improve-brain-function-ms-patients-study-reports/

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02483130

https://www.alzdiscovery.org/cognitive-vitality/ratings/n-acetylcysteine

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nac-benefits#section1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK224629/

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