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Essential for producing what may be your body’s most important antioxidant, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, or NAC – Dr. Joseph Mercola

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Promote Your Body’s Production of “Master Antioxidant” Glutathione Naturally With NAC to Protect Your Cells and Tissues

Essential for producing what may be your body’s most important antioxidant, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, or NAC, has recently been rediscovered for its ability to help protect your liver and cells as well as support healthy insulin secretion, respiratory and immune health, especially when challenged.

  • N-Acetyl-Cysteine, or NAC, allows your body to naturally produce glutathione, your body’s “master antioxidant,” which is essential for optimal immune and metabolic health as well as for your body’s proper metabolism of vitamin D3.*
  • NAC with Milk Thistle provides ongoing support for your body’s normal detoxification process and healthy inflammatory response, while also helping your body produce and effectively use antioxidants to help protect against free radical and oxidative damage to your cells and tissues.*
  • Our formula combines three powerful ingredients – NAC, Milk Thistle Seed Extract and Organic Broccoli Sprouts Powder – to provide an exceptional array of antioxidants for supporting the healthy function and normal daily repair of your liver.*

Glutathione has received much attention in recent years for the key role it plays in overall health and well-being.

What is glutathione?

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant made up of three amino acids – cystine, glycine and glutamate. Known as the “master antioxidant,” it’s the most abundant antioxidant produced in your body and is found in all of your cells.

One of glutathione’s major roles is to keep all your other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and CoQ10, in line and performing at their peak.*

Glutathione’s primary task is to help protect your body from free radical damage, wastes and potentially harmful substances. It is one of the most important tools in your body’s detoxification arsenal and is crucial for your liver’s well-being.*

But that’s not all… Your brain, lungs, joints, skin, eyes and every system in your body requires glutathione to function properly.*

It’s a “must” for your immune system, as your immune cells work best when they have a delicately balanced level of glutathione. Studies show glutathione promotes T-cell function, and optimal glutathione levels tend to be seen in healthy human subjects.*

As you age, your body’s ability to produce glutathione declines. And many substances can hasten its destruction, like alcohol, drugs and environmental contaminants.

When your cells run out of glutathione, they die. When levels run low, cells lose their ability to repair themselves and produce the antioxidants your well-being depends upon.

How Glutathione Affects Your Health and Longevity

Researchers have discovered that your levels of glutathione can determine how well your body responds when you become sick. With low levels of glutathione, you may be more likely to be hospitalized or even die, compared to someone with higher levels.

In fact, longevity researchers now believe glutathione plays a key role in determining your life span.

The level of glutathione in your cells may actually predict how long you will live.

Why? Glutathione helps keep all your other antioxidants functioning at their peak, so lower levels of glutathione can mean a less robust and inferior antioxidant defense overall.

Keep in mind… Your body – especially your liver – depends on antioxidants to help maintain healthy cells and tissues. A lack of antioxidants can lead to oxidative damage from reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Oxidative stress occurs when you have an imbalance between the increased production of ROS and a lack of antioxidant defense to repair oxidative damage to cells, tissues and organs.

Adequate antioxidant defense against ROS damage is crucial for optimal health. Poor antioxidant defense leads to cellular aging and chronic disease.

To look and feel your youthful best, you must have sufficient antioxidant power. Having optimal levels of the “master antioxidant” glutathione is like having insurance, knowing you have enough antioxidants to meet your body’s needs.

Happy women

What’s Your Risk for Low Glutathione Levels?

Who’s most at risk for having lower levels of glutathione?

We already know older people have lower levels, simply because their body’s natural production of glutathione has slowed down. Some men are also more likely to have low levels, as well as smokers and heavy drinkers.

Studies show those who have comorbid conditions, or comorbidities, are also at greater risk of low levels of glutathione. This includes anyone with metabolic and weight concerns, as well as those with blood sugar issues.

Why is this? Glutathione influences the expression of your genes, including those playing a role in glucose metabolism and insulin secretion.

And here’s another interesting finding… Glutathione levels appear to be related to vitamin D levels. When your vitamin D blood levels are low, your glutathione is likely to be low, too.

Hundreds of studies show low levels of vitamin D can seriously jeopardize your health, especially your cellular, immune and metabolic health.

And now, it’s apparent that glutathione deficiency may cause changes that impair how your body metabolizes vitamin D.

So, if you are taking a vitamin D supplement to help raise your vitamin D level, or are already getting adequate sun exposure (it’s very difficult to do in the Northern Hemisphere), you must have enough glutathione for your body to metabolize vitamin D.

However, raising your glutathione levels may not be as easy as it sounds…

The Preferred Way to Raise Your Glutathione Levels

You can raise your glutathione levels using food, supplements and exercise.

Foods and nutrients, like broccoli, green tea, curcumin, rosemary and milk thistle, have a positive impact on glutathione production.

A study with 80 healthy, sedentary adults showed that aerobic training in combination with circuit weight training had the greatest effect on the glutathione antioxidant system.

Certain supplements may help, too. While a glutathione supplement may seem like the obvious best choice, it’s not.

Because oral glutathione consists of three amino acids, it is rapidly broken down in your stomach by digestive enzymes. Even if you could assimilate it intact, I don’t recommend taking oral glutathione as it may interfere with your body’s ability to produce it naturally.

Instead of taking an ineffective glutathione supplement, I recommend providing your body with the raw materials for making its own glutathione. This allows your body to produce only the amount it needs.

One of the best ways to help your body produce glutathione naturally is with N-acetyl cysteine, or NAC, a derivative of cysteine and precursor of glutathione.*

The use of NAC is backed up by decades of scientific research demonstrating its valuable role in boosting glutathione levels.

For example, one study showed that supplementing with NAC for 30 days helped restore baseline glutathione concentration in people with low glutathione levels.

Here’s how it works…

When your body manufactures glutathione, cysteine is the “rate-limiting amino acid.” That means cysteine tends be available in lower amounts than the other two amino acids that make glutathione.

When you take NAC, you increase your cysteine levels, providing your body with more of the raw material it needs to pair up with glycine and glutamine to make glutathione.

8 Additional Ways NAC Supports Health

By replenishing your cellular supply of glutathione on a regular basis, NAC helps your cells regain and maintain their ability to protect themselves against free radicals and ROS damage, especially as you age.*

However, researchers have found that NAC does more than just replenish glutathione within your cells…

NAC is a powerful antioxidant on its own, providing potential benefits in these additional areas:*

  1. Supports a normal inflammatory response through its influence on genes involved with your body’s inflammatory response*
  2. Supports normal healthy insulin sensitivity and metabolic health*
  3. Supports respiratory health, especially your lungs and airways*
  4. Protects tissues and cells from the effects of oxidative stress from exercise*
  5. Supports normal healthy cellular growth and development*
  6. Supports healthy mitochondrial function*
  7. Provides valuable support for your liver and kidneys*
  8. Promotes a positive mood and cognition through its impact on neurotransmitter levels in your brain*
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Why Your Liver May Need Extra Support

Years ago, a healthy person’s liver did just fine without extra support, but today, we live in a different world. Your liver confronts challenges humans have never faced before.

Your body’s largest internal organ, your liver is responsible for removing toxins and harmful substances in your food and living environment, including the water you drink and the air you breathe.

The more contaminated your diet and environment, the harder your liver has to work.

Besides its primary role of protecting your body from harmful substances, your liver plays other key roles, too.

When your liver is healthy, it:

  • Produces bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats.
  • Helps regulate the levels of sugar, protein and fat entering your bloodstream.
  • Clears your blood of drugs, alcohol and other potentially harmful substances.
  • Neutralizes highly reactive oxygen molecules, or free radicals.
  • Processes nutrients absorbed by your intestines during digestion.
  • Produces cholesterol, proteins and clotting factors to help your blood clot.
  • Regulates many of your hormones.

When your liver encounters harmful substances, it breaks them down and sends the byproducts to one of two places – they either enter your blood to be eliminated by your kidneys, or they go into your bile and are passed out through your intestines.

When your liver is healthy, all these functions go on like clockwork, without much support on your part.

But in today’s highly-contaminated environment, your liver has to handle an unprecedented load of toxins, which presents many potential threats to its well-being…
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