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N – Acetylcysteine Influenza Prevention and Beyond

N - Acetylcysteine Influenza Prevention and  Beyond

Greetings friends. Today I am looking at a nutritional supplement that has been used by natural health practitioners for some time now for a range of life enhancing and health improving benefits. The main one I am focusing on is in the prevention of viral influenza infections. Once again we are already hearing the Big Pharma Corp line of “Vaccinate” to prevent the spread of influenza and of course the the main stream media outlets are right on board with this lie. Immense evidence is mounting now from Medical Doctors all over the world critical of these vaccines to support the long held viewpoint of most natural health professionals in that they are useless, poorly researched and damaging to your health and exist mainly to benefit the profits of drug companies. Natural health professional recommend many methods to help prevent the infection occurring such as good personal hygiene, good dietary habits, avoiding harmful and unproven vaccinations and a range of natural medicines that have been shown to improve your immune function and give your body the best chance of overcoming the virus should infection occur. One such ingredient is N – Acetylcysteine. Not heard of it before? I am not surprised. Mainstream doctors won’t tell you about it, many don’t know much about it themselves, and you certainly won’t hear about it from drug companies as they can not patent it and sell it to you at a profit. This is a wonderful substance that aids many aspects of health, in particular immune function in relation to influenza.

What is N- Acetylcysteine (NAC)?

NAC is a slightly modified version of the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine. Cysteine is an amino acid found in proteins. When taken internally, NAC replenishes intracellular levels of the natural antioxidant glutathione (GSH), helping to restore cells’ ability to fight damage from reactive oxygen species (ROS).

NAC and Influenza Immunity

H5N1 influenza, or bird flu, is a lethal and potentially pandemic infection that produces the massive release of inflammatory mediators aptly called the “cytokine storm.” Other more common forms of influenza also act by triggering massive cytokine releases that inflame vulnerable lung tissue. In early 2010, it was discovered that NAC offers dual protection against bird flu. It inhibits both virus replication and expression of pro-inflammatory molecules in cells infected with H5N1 virus, holding out the promise of effective protection in the event of a global avian flu pandemic.

NAC has also proven effective against seasonal influenza and flu-like illnesses. In a large study of older adults who took 600 mg twice daily for 6 months, only 25% of those experienced influenza-like episodes, compared with 79% in the placebo group. Even those with existing flu symptoms experienced a significant reduction in illness severity and length of time confined to bed. All subjects tolerated the treatment well. The study’s lead author, Dr. Silvio de Flora, commented that “Administration of N-acetyl cysteine during the winter, thus, appears to provide a significant attenuation of influenza and influenza-like episodes, especially in elderly high-risk individuals.” Influenza is a complex disease with multiple targets, most notably inflicting damage to lung tissue through extreme oxidative stress and inducing genes for a large variety of inflammatory mediators. At the microscopic level the destruction is vivid. The influenza virus causes such intracellular turmoil that the term “cell boiling” has been used to describe the devastation. But pre-treatment of cells with NAC significantly offsets these effects, reducing the oxidative and inflammatory burden within lung tissue through multiple mechanisms.

NAC has now been shown to protect laboratory mice from lethal influenza infection, synergistically enhancing the effects of several common antiviral medications. And a nutrient mixture containing NAC, green tea extract, certain amino acids and micronutrients had powerful antiviral effects in cultured cells, rivaling those of prescription flu drugs such as amantadine and oseltamivir (Tamiflu®). The NAC-based mixture actually affected viral replication for a longer period than did the drugs. So be aware that pharmaceutical drugs are NOT the only option in influenza prevention and therapy. In the words of prolific medical theorist Mark F. McCarty, “The most foolproof way to promote survival in epidemics of potentially lethal influenza is to target… intracellular signaling pathways which promote viral propagation or lung inflammation.” McCarty goes on to cite NAC’s benefits as a multitargeted supplement with precisely those attributes. NAC at doses of 600 mg twice daily may significantly reduce the risk of a devastating bout of influenza. In other words, clinical nutritional approaches that support the body’s natural defense systems is most potent.

What Else is NAC Used For?

Whilst the focus of my writing here today is to inform you about this fantastic nutrient and it’s role in influenza prevention and treatment, NAC is very useful for many other aspects of health. Medically it has been used for some time to reduce liver problems associated with over dosing and toxicity caused by Acetominophen drugs. Other uses for NAC include;

  • Reduction of Inflammation – This is true in both exercise induced inflammation and from chronic diseases.
  • Blood Sugar Regulation – NAC improves insulin sensitivity in people with some of the most difficult-to-treat metabolic disorders.
  • Cancer Prevention – NAC blocks cancer development at virtually every step in the process, and through multiple mechanisms, making it an important cancer chemopreventive agent.
  • Gastric Ulcers and Gastric Diseases – NAC fights the stomach infection Helicobacter pylori (The bacteria that causes gastric ulcers) on two fronts, inhibiting the organism’s growth while reducing production of inflammatory cytokines that can lead to gastritis and cancer.
  • Lung and Heart Disease – NAC reduces the frequency and duration of attacks of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and may slow the clinical course of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

Using NAC For Your Condition / Influenza Prevention

Whilst you can source this product online from many and varied sources, it is best usedunder the supervision of a Naturopath, Clinical Nutritionist or Dietitian. The dosing amount is varied depending upon your individual condition and needs. Like all medicines, just because this is naturally derived doesn’t mean it is safe to go nuts with. Too much of anything isn’t good for you and used the wrong way this nutrient can upset the system. Having said that, there is a great deal of evidence supporting it’s safety. None the less, if you’d like to have NAC included as part of your health program, then seek out a suitably qualified practitioner to help you. Alternatively, get in touch with me for an appointment, I’d be only too happy to help you. I advocate for the use of Practitioner Only supplements as they are of highest quality and have proven formulations and efficacy. These types of supplements are ONLY available from practitioners and despite what you are told in sales pitches online, they are not the same.

Until next time, be well, naturally.

OC_BG

Craig Hitchens – Natural Health Practitioner | Remedial Ttherapist

 

 

References / Resources:

http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2010/5/n-acetyl-cysteine/Page-01
http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2010/5/n-acetyl-cysteine/Page-02

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The information contained in this article is accurate at the time of posting but may change thereafter. The information provided on the various natural health subjects from this website of www.craighitchenstherapies.com is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as any form of medical advice. The information in the article this disclaimer is linked from is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. Always check with your health professional before taking any products or following any advice that you believe may conflict with other forms of health care. Always consult your health care professional before you start, stop or change anything that has been previously prescribed. Certain herbs and holistic remedies are unsuitable to take if you are pregnant or nursing and must always be cleared by your health professional before use.

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I highly recommend Craig Hitchens and his services. Craig has helped and supported me through some very difficult health problems using NES and general nutritional advice. Craig has often provided advice and done research without me asking, sometimes without charging me, in his free time. He is a caring, well informed, passionate and highly motivated natural health practitioner. I Feel that NES has cured me of chronic Epstein Barr virus that left me bed ridden for 5 years. My chronic fatigue has been significantly reduced and I'm now living a normal, happy life.
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