Among the various uses of NAC are its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It is also used for the treatment of cannabis use disorder and COPD.
Using NAC as a supplement can help to reduce the symptoms of chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and colds. It is a powerful antioxidant that can also help to protect the liver. It is also known to improve blood sugar regulation and reduce the risk of insulin resistance.
NAC may also be able to protect against several cancers. It has been studied in several studies. It has been found to protect against lung cancer, but it is not yet clear whether it will benefit other cancers. Nonetheless, research is underway, and further studies are in progress.
NAC is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can thin mucus in bronchial tubes and prevent oxidative damage. Inhaled NAC has been shown to avoid inflammatory reactions in the lungs of experimental pigs with lung transplants.
NAC also improves the effects of prednisone, an immune-suppressing medication. In an ex vivo study, NAC was also found to reduce oxidative stress in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. It may also reduce the risk of developing cirrhosis and improve the symptoms of cystic fibrosis.
One of the benefits of NAC is that several cancers are known to benefit from NAC treatment. For example, NAC can inhibit cancer cell proliferation in breast cancer patients. NAC can also be used to decrease chemotherapy-induced resistance. In addition to its antioxidant properties, NAC can suppress tumor cells’ interaction with their tumor-stromal microenvironment. It may also be helpful in patients with high cholesterol, liver disease, and HIV.
Cancer cells produce high ROS levels, a known cancer-promoting factor. However, elevated ROS is also associated with increased resistance to standard chemotherapy. This raises concerns about the use of NAC.
Although high ROS can lead to cancer-supportive TMEs, it may induce cancer cell-TME interactions that promote malignant progression. Using NAC and GSH in combination has been shown to reduce the generation of intracellular ROS and increase mRNA expression of markers associated with CSCs. This has been demonstrated in both mice and humans.
Studies have also shown that NAC treatment reduces the levels of radiotherapy-induced ROS. This may be beneficial for TNBC patients. However, further studies are needed to determine the most appropriate time for NAC administration and to evaluate how NAC may interfere with standard chemotherapy.
Several clinical studies have suggested that NAC has anti-depression effects, but these findings are still under investigation. Nevertheless, NAC has several promising aspects, including its ability to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and addiction.
One of NAC’s mechanisms in treating depression is its ability to enhance the DaT (Dopaminergic) system. This system is a chemical messenger in the body and plays a role in treating addictions. It also plays a role in balancing the brain’s glutamate levels.
NAC has been found to reduce oxidative stress, which can damage the body’s cells. Oxidative stress is associated with human depressive states.
Although it has been shown to reduce oxidative stress, more studies are needed to determine if NAC can improve depression. Other studies suggest that it may help a patient suffering from OCD. Other studies also indicate that NAC may help with addictions like cocaine, opiate, and methamphetamine addiction.
A study showed that NAC could reverse the social withdrawal caused by methamphetamine use. It also reversed recognition memory deficits. NAC was also found to have therapeutic benefits for nonsuicidal self-injury in adolescents.
Several studies have shown that N-acetylcysteine (NAC) can reduce the risk of COPD exacerbations. However, the effects of NAC on COPD still need to be well-defined. To help improve understanding of NAC’s effects, researchers have compiled a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.
To evaluate the effects of NAC on COPD, researchers searched databases to find genes associated with NAC effects. They discovered that NAC decreased the amount of pro-inflammatory molecules in the bloodstream. This reduced oxidative stress and lung damage. They concluded that NAC might be beneficial for current smokers.
Another study looked at the effect of NAC on lung fibrosis in rats. In this model, NAC prevented cigarette smoke-induced mucus hypersecretion. They also found that NAC normalized the level of pro-inflammatory molecules. This reduced oxidative stress and reduced the rate of COPD exacerbations.
A recent study on NAC and COPD found that NAC reduced the rate of mild and moderate exacerbations. It also showed that NAC reduced sputum eosinophilic cation protein concentrations. Interestingly, NAC reduced the adhesion of H. influenzae to epithelial cells. Moreover, NAC suppressed the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) axis. This reduced the level of VWF, a biomarker for inflammation in COPD.
Treatment for Cannabis Use Disorder
Medications that bind to cannabinoid receptors can be a helpful treatment for patients with cannabis use disorder. In addition, these medications can have the effect of reducing marijuana cravings. Behavioral therapy and NAC treatment may also contribute to a reduction in cannabis use.
N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is an over-the-counter antioxidant used to treat addiction. Its action is to upregulate the glutamate transporter GLT-1, which enables it to remove excess glutamate from the nucleus accumbent.
In clinical trials, NAC effectively reduces the amount of cannabis used. It has also been shown to increase medication adherence. However, there is limited information on the safety of NAC. In this study, participants will be randomized to NAC or a placebo for eight weeks.
During the first four weeks, about one in five adolescents assigned to NAC were negative on urine cannabinoid tests. However, about 19 percent of adolescents in the placebo group had negative tests after four weeks.
A 12-week treatment with NAC at 3 g daily reduced depressive symptoms, decreased the number of cigarettes smoked, and decreased exhaled CO. However, the effect was insignificant at the end of the study.