There is an easy answer for which is better or more easily absorbed. Short answer, NAC is better for most people’s body than glutathione because it allows the different type of cells to regulate the amount of glutathione needed. NAC is much more budget friendly. If you would like more information please read on, if not than just go ahead an grab some NAC
Here is the long answer…
N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC) is a precursor of glutathione, helps to replenish intracellular glutathione, a vital cellular antioxidant.
Cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid. It’s considered semi-essential because your body can produce it from other amino acids, namely methionine and serine. It becomes essential only when the dietary intake of methionine and serine is low.
There is no specific dietary recommendation for cysteine because your body can produce small amounts. To make the amino acid cysteine, you need adequate amounts of folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. These nutrients can be found in beans, lentils, spinach, bananas, salmon and tuna. While most protein-rich foods, such as chicken, turkey, yogurt, cheese, eggs, sunflower seeds and legumes, contain cysteine, some people choose to supplement with NAC to increase their cysteine intake. Consuming adequate cysteine and NAC is important for a variety of health reasons — including replenishing the most powerful antioxidant in your body, glutathione.
NAC is valued primarily for its role in antioxidant production. Along with two other amino acids — glutamine and glycine — NAC is needed to make and replenish glutathione.
Glutathione is one of the body’s most important antioxidants, which helps neutralize free radicals that can damage cells and tissues in your body.
L-Glutathione or Reduced Glutathione because it is the most commonly found, least expensive, and the true core behind other forms you will find. There is some debate whether L-Glutathione alone can be effective taken orally. The theory being the enzymes in your stomach break it down before it can ever reach the blood stream and become useful. Some evidence suggests using newer technology and measurement technique that reduced glutathione will actually be absorbed.
Liposomal glutathione is a form of glutathione with a protective barrier made of a fat that keeps it safe in transport through the stomach lining and into the blood stream. It’s normally paired with Phosphatidylcholine, which creates the protective lipid layer. This technique is used in other medical technologies like vaccines. and should prove an effective way to protect the sensitive glutathione molecule.
Acetyl-Glutathione is an acetylated form of glutathione. Adding an acetyl function group to an existing molecule is something that has been done in medicine for many years. In fact “acetyl” is the difference between heroine and morphine. You have probably used an acetylated product in the form of acetyl-salicylic acid… or aspirin. The concept is the acetyl function group makes the molecule more stable and enhances delivery through the blood stream including to the brain. Unfortunately there are very few studies regarding acetyl-glutathione but the science behind it is strong, and anecdotal evidence would suggest this is the best glutathione form currently in supplements. It also tends to come at a higher price due to a more complicated production.
Whey protein is technically a glutathione precursor. Whey protein get it’s own category because it’s so significant as one of the first and best ways to promote glutathione production in your body. Only a few years ago, the only reliable and simple way to boost GSH was to consume a good quality non-denatured whey protein powder. Cysteine tends to be the limiting factor in GSH production, and is found in good quality whey, making it strong healthy source of a good amino acid profile that boosts glutathione.
So there you have it. Both Glutathione and NAC are wonderful for the body. I will say, for the record, NAC’s ability to help the body produce and utilize glutathione is a superior method for healthy people than taking any type of Glutathione supplement. Discuss this blog with a nutritionist to figure out what is best for you.
People with bleeding disorders or taking blood thinning medications should not take NAC, as it may slow blood clotting. If you are on any medication check with your pharmacist before starting any new supplementation, consult with your doctor first if you have further concern.
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Strictly opinion and not medical advice. Consult your doctor, pharmacist and/or nutritionist before starting/stopping any supplement or exercise program
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