Volume 9, Issue 3

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Page 20 | Abby's Magazine | stress, and restored exercise performance. Somewhat similarly, a 2011 study found that in those with high blood sugar levels, supplementing with NAC and glycine for two weeks resulted in higher glutathione levels and lower levels of oxidative stress. This research demonstrates how important it is for our cells to maintain adequate levels of glutathione. 3. Supports male fertility Research finds that problems with male fertility increase when excessive oxidative stress is present in the reproductive system. Several trials have evaluated the effects of NAC supplementation on male fertility and oxidative stress. A 2019 study found that men with fertility problems who supplemented daily with NAC for three months experienced healthier sperm function, higher sperm counts, more favorable hormone levels, and reduced levels of oxidative stress. Based on this research, it appears that NAC is a powerful antioxidant that supports male fertility. 4. Increases magnesium levels Evidence suggests that having insufficient glutathione may impair magnesium levels. For example, those with high blood pressure or high blood sugar tend to also suffer from low levels of glutathione and magnesium. In a study evaluating the effects of glutathione on magnesium levels in subjects with and without blood pressure problems, results showed that glutathione administration increased magnesium levels. Because magnesium is a vitally important mineral that supports numerous body functions—including blood pressure regulation—ensuring sufficient body stores of glutathione can also help maintain healthy magnesium levels. 5. Regenerates antioxidants Glutathione helps regenerate antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Conversely, having low levels of antioxidants may result in oxidative stress and glutathione depletion. A 2015 study showed that compared to individuals with adequate vitamin C intake, those with a low intake of vitamin C had depleted levels of glutathione and high levels of oxidative stress. This research suggests that vitamin C and glutathione have a synergistic relationship—meaning that glutathione restores vitamin C and vitamin C helps maintain glutathione. 6. Removes toxins Glutathione plays an important role in the detoxification of various compounds in the body. For instance, its mercury-binding ability helps carry this toxic metal to the urine for elimination. Due to rising pollution levels, glutathione is necessary to neutralize the exposures that all of us face daily. If external sources of toxins weren't enough, the body also creates its own "internal toxins," which glutathione also helps remove. 7. May support healthy liver function Poor liver function is a common problem that can be exacerbated by a lack of antioxidants, including glutathione. Glutathione has a long history of being used to support liver health. A 2017 study explored the effects of four months of oral glutathione supplementation on those with liver problems. The results showed that supplementation with glutathione had positive effects on certain markers of liver health. 8. May provide brain-supportive properties Research suggests that glutathione regulates glutamate, a vital neurotransmitter responsible for communication between nerve cells in the brain. Some people with specific mood problems may have suboptimal glutamate activity, which can impact the health of nerve cells. Preliminary studies suggest that the glutathione precursor known as NAC may support healthy brain-glutamate levels. A 2020 analysis of several studies reported that, among those experiencing mood problems with repetitive thoughts, those who supplemented with NAC had fewer instances of repetitive thoughts and behaviors, as compared to the placebo group. More research is needed to determine if NAC's brain and mood-supportive properties may be due to its ability to help maintain healthy glutamate levels. 9. Supports cellular health by reducing homocysteine levels Homocysteine is an important sulfur-containing amino acid produced by the body that supports several body functions. However, excessive production of homocysteine may lead to cardiovascular health problems. A review of studies conducted in 2015 found that men supplementing with NAC for 4 weeks had greater reductions in blood homocysteine levels than a placebo group. In addition, the men supplementing with NAC experienced healthy changes in blood pressure whereas the placebo group did not. These results suggest that NAC may promote healthier homocysteine and blood pressure levels.

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