Latest on N-Acetyl Cysteine


So what’s the deal with NAC? I heard they’re banning it?? Does all this have to do with COVID19?


It would be more accurate to say the FDA “expressed concern” about N-Acetyl Cysteine, vs outright banning it.

If you go to their website and read the bulletin they released, it seems the offending issue had more to do with how it was being marketed as a hangover remedy vs. any sort of safety concern.

To me, that makes total sense as NAC has been around for decades and enjoyed a phenomenal safety record.

In fact, NAC is usually the frontline med given to people (and dogs BTW) when Acetiminophen overdose is suspected.

This, due to its ability to raise glutathione levels and help the liver deal with the resulting insult.

But as we all know, it’s a slippery slope with the FDA and NAC is particularly vulnerable.

That, given NAC is the amino acid L-cysteine with an acetyl group attached.

This isn’t unlike the case with Picamilon, which was the amino acid GABA bonded to niacin.

Picamilon was banned due to FDA asserting it didn’t occur in nature, which is what DSHEA requires to qualify as a dietary supplement.

You can see now why I say NAC is vulnerable. It’s the same situation. Although you can still find it, some major retailers like Amazon no longer carry it.

How much longer it’ll be out there I’m not sure. I do know when I asked Life Extension about it they were absolutely adamant they’d continue to sell it and fight it in the courts if need be. Not every supplement company is as well heeled as they are BTW, so understand its still dicey.

Something else to consider – NAC has great potential in fighting the current virus outbreak.

First, lets look at the first stage of the disease, viral replication.

It’s been shown that NAC inhibits viral replication, and by not just one – but multiple mechanisms.

As the disease progresses, it enters a stage of hyper-oxidation and hyper-inflammation, so called cytokine storm.

So let’s think critically for a minute. Knowing what happens in cytokine storm, it stands to reason that anything ANTI-inflammatory or has an ANTI-oxidant function should help.

And in fact, there are multiple studies showing that’s precisely the case with NAC. They’re out there on pubmed for the world to see, and they’re not hard to find.

Next consider its ability to break up mucus in the lungs, and you begin to get an appreciation for NAC’s potential in fighting the pandemic. Again, the studies are out there and they’re not hard to miss.

It’s improving outcomes in a whole range of data points, but especially the one you can’t fudge – mortality. You use it, and more people survive. You don’t, and you’re more likely to die.

Given those facts, I would keep a very close eye on the situation. It would not surprise me in the least and at a minimum to see a mis-information campaign aimed at NAC, if not an outright ban.

Bottom Line

NAC is a first rate product and helpful to have in your cupboard. If you, a family member or a dog swallows too much Tylenol, it’s there and can be a lifesaver. And if you, a family member or your dog gets a particularly nasty virus, I think it’d be a VERY smart choice to begin use at the first sign of feeling “off” . It’s cheap, it’s still out there and it works.

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Coach Rob Regish

Rob Regish is an internationally recognized name in the field of health and fitness. He's been a weekly contributor to for almost a decade, answering listener questions from around the world.

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