Are you ready for the flu and cold season?
It turns out that a little known dietary supplement may be your best defense against symptoms of the flu and common cold. The supplement, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), is a form of the amino acid cysteine and a component of protein. It's also one of the most potent immune boosters around.
Never heard of it? Virtually every hospital emergency room in the country stocks it as an antidote for acetaminophen (TylenolÂ®) poisoning. Overdoses of acetaminophen, a common analgesic drug, deplete your liver's supply of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, leading to liver failure.
Large supplemental doses of NAC restore liver glutathione levels and help the organ break down acetaminophen.
NAC has also been used since the 1960s as a mucolytic agent-that is, to break down lung-clogging mucous in chronic bronchitis and other respiratory disorders. Rich in what chemists call free sulfhydryl groups, NAC breaks down the disfulfide bonds of mucous-in essence, thinning it out.