Which NAC Supplements Are Best?
Taking NAC, or N-acetyl cysteine, as a supplement is growing in popularity. The supplement form of the amino acid cysteine, NAC, is not found in food and is not produced naturally by the body – but it is still useful. It is one of the few supplements proven to help alleviate kidney and liver damage. It can also be found in prescription drug form, but its supplement format is popular for home use.
One of the best NAC supplements is Thorne NAC capsules, a very high quality 500 milligram NAC supplement from a trusted brand that is odorless and does not oxidize quickly.
What to Know Before Buying NAC Supplements
NAC is a very powerful amino acid with a number of uses. It increases glutathione levels, aiding in liver detoxification; supports respiratory health; and can protect the kidney. It is often used in conjunction with acetaminophen or other drugs that can damage the liver and is often prescribed by doctors for these uses.
As an amino acid supplement, it also has a wide number of uses, ranging from treating serious health conditions and addictions to post-workout supplement and general health protector. As with many similar supplements, not all of its potential benefits are well researched or verified. It’s always best to be skeptical of outlandish health claims. If a supplement sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Since supplement regulation is minimal, the brand you buy from can mean a lot more than for prescription drugs. Look for a highly regarded brand with a verifiable history and source. Ingredients should be clearly labeled on the packaging and it should be easy to check if the product contains common allergens. NAC is a popular supplement, so many brands have a version. Look for one you know and trust when buying.
What to Look for in a Quality NAC Supplement
- Capsule: Most NAC supplements come in capsule form. These are inexpensive to produce and easy to swallow due to their smooth texture. Most capsules are made from gelatin, although vegetable cellulose options are becoming increasingly popular. Capsules often contain a lower dose of supplement than tablets.
- Tablet: The tablets are pressed into shape, rather than contained. They are also inexpensive to produce, but are less popular because they can be difficult to swallow due to their shape and texture. They also often taste good, because they are not enclosed in a neutral material.
Most NAC supplements offer a strength of 500 or 600 milligrams. NAC is generally safe for adults up to 2,000 milligrams per day, although this is an unusually high dose. Speak to a healthcare professional about the correct dosage.
Most supplements contain additives for texture and taste, to prevent odors, or as preservatives. Carefully consider the additives used, their source, and how they might affect you, especially if you have any health issues that might be exacerbated by unknown ingredients.
How much you can expect to spend on NAC supplements
Most NAC supplements cost between 10 and 30 cents per pill, depending on strength, derivation, and brand. As supplements, they are affordable.
NAC Supplement FAQs
Do NAC supplements help prevent or treat COVID-19?
A. NAC supplements are sometimes used to help treat lung conditions, and some studies support the use of NAC to treat COPD and chronic bronchitis. But there is little to no medical evidence for its effectiveness in treating COVID-19. There are no miracle cures for COVID-19, including dietary supplements.
Are NAC supplements safe?
A. Generally speaking, though, as with all medical treatments and dietary supplements, it is best to consult a healthcare practitioner before use. Many recommend that those using NAC drink more water while taking it. It may interact with certain medications and cause mild side effects such as upset stomach or fatigue. Discontinue use of any supplement if severe side effects occur.
What is the best NAC supplement to buy?
Best NAC Supplement
Thorne NAC Capsules
What do you want to know: This is a 500 milligram NAC capsule with excellent reviews from a brand trusted for its purity and effectiveness.
What you will love: Reviewers loved that it was odorless like many capsules do. It does not contain common allergens or gelatin, which makes it vegan.
What you should consider: This is on the more expensive end of a generally affordable supplement. Thorne products in general are usually very expensive.
Or buy: Sold by iHerb
Best NAC Supplement for the Money
Now 600 milligram NAC capsules
What do you want to know: These 600 milligram capsules come in bottles of 100 or 250 capsules.
What you will love: They are very affordable, vegan and free from common allergens. Reviewers raved about the value for money.
What you should consider: Some have found the capsules to oxidize quickly and have complained of dark spots in the capsules.
Or buy: Sold by iHerb
Worth checking out
Life Extension 600 Milligram NAC Capsules
What do you want to know: This is a small bottle of high quality 600 milligram NAC capsules.
What you will love: They are free of many additives and vegan. They are also relatively affordable.
What you should consider: They only come in 60-pill bottles, which means they’re a bit more of a pain to buy in bulk.
Or buy: Sold by iHerb
Sign up here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.
Arabella Matthews writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.