Glutathione supplementation (GlyNAC) from glycine and N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), is it safe and effective? What are the risks?
Glutathione (GSH) is a natural antioxidant in cells which protects against oxidative stress and toxic metals.
The levels of glutathione in your body decrease as you age, limiting your ability to detoxify many hazardous compounds.
Reduced oxidative stress, thus protecting your mitochondria and enabling them to continue functioning properly. Healthy mitochondria protect muscle strength and metabolism among other key capabilities.
NAC loosens mucus and helps with symptoms of flu, bronchitis and COPD.
NAC is an FDA approved prescription drug provided in daily doses of 600 to 1200mg.
The amino acid, glycine, is found in fish, meat, dairy and legumes. A typical diet is 2g daily.
In 2020, the FDA declared NAC a drug and for legal reasons, many companies have stopped selling it as a dietary supplement. ConsumerLabs evaluated many NAC providers and all provided sufficient levels of NAC in their supplements. However, there is significant variance in cost.
NutraBio NAC powder is the least expensive option.
Doctor’s Best is the least expensive capsule option. It also contains detoxifiers, selenium and molybdenum.
PharmaNac pink berry blast includes 200mg of sodium with each effervescent tablet and is one of the most expensive options.
One small 36 week study from the Baylor College of Medicine on 8 young adults and 8 older adults found that a very high dose of daily GlyNac (20g NAC, 15g glycine) seemed to improve many age-related deficiencies, including:
- glutathione deficiency
- oxidative stress
- insulin resistance
- mitochondrial and endothelial dysfunction
- cognitive function
The study was funded by a philanthropic gift from the McNair Foundation. There are no reported conflicts of interest. Due to the small trial size and lack of a placebo group, this does not prove that GlyNAC worked.
Further expanded trials are hopefully in progress.
No adverse events occurred during the Baylor study.
Oral NAC can cause dry mouth, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It has an unpleasant odor.
NAC may cause bronchospasms in those with asthma. Do not use it if you are asthmatic or allergic to acetyl cysteine.
Glycine side effects are rare, but can include nausea, vomiting, upset stomach and drowsiness.
NAC lowers blood pressure and should not be taken with blood clotting or high blood pressure medications.
NAC increases the effect of nitroglycerin. Do not take them together.
WebMD provides a list of potential drug interactions.
BGR (Boy Genius Report)
Dall-E (digitally generated GlyNac art)