Our Review Process
Our articles undergo extensive medical review by board-certified practitioners to confirm that all factual inferences with respect to medical conditions, symptoms, treatments, and protocols are legitimate, canonical, and adhere to current guidelines and the latest discoveries. Read more.
Our Editorial Team
Shifa Fatima, MSc.
Dr. Apoorva T, MHM.
5 Benefits of N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) for PCOS
If you are trying to manage the symptoms of PCOS and trying to lead a healthier life, then there is no stone you would leave unturned. There are medications prescribed by the doctor that can help you gradually get rid of the root cause of PCOS. However, an immediate way to deal with the adverse physical changes is to try changing your diet and lifestyle for the better. Improving your hormonal balance is a big part of improving your overall health.
One of the ways you can manage the symptoms is by employing the use of NAC for PCOS. NAC has multiple benefits. Essentially, it is a powerful antioxidant as it is used widely for treating infertility, inflammation, insulin resistance, and the reduction of testosterone in the body. Before looking at the advantages of NAC, let us take a look at what makes it so great.
Table of Contents
What is NAC?
N-Acetylcysteine is known as NAC for short. NAC is a semi essential amino acid that are the building blocks of proteins. When consumed, NAC breaks down into cysteine, which is metabolized to glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that clears the body of free radicals and restores health. Free radicals are a type of unstable molecule that is made during normal cell metabolism. They have a negative impact on the body. They cause inflammation and damage cells in the body. This is why despite many alternatives, NAC for PCOS is a great option.
While NAC is useful, it cannot be ingested through food. Supplements are the only way to increase the intake of NAC. It is extremely potent and has been graded as a drug because of its extensive uses. It is common knowledge that nutritious food and a rigid exercise regime can make a lot of difference. When you are tweaking your diet to encompass the needs of your body, NAC is worth adding to your diet.
Health benefits of NAC for PCOS
1. Improves Insulin Resistance
An unfortunate side effect of PCOS is the reduced sensitivity of the body to insulin. This gives rise to diabetes and further complicates matters of your health. Exercise and changes in diet are imperative however, NAC for PCOS helps to increase the insulin sensitivity of the cells. It is not a mainstream treatment but it can definitely be used to manipulate insulin circulating levels and insulin sensitivity in those with PCOS. Uneven insulin levels can cause type 2 diabetes and lead to further health complications and NAC can prevent that from happening.
2. Boosts Fertility
The most common side effect of PCOS is the issue with conception. PCOS can cause an irregular menstrual cycle and a rise in testosterone that can hamper the process of ovulation. Metformin is the common course of treatment for this but NAC is also a viable option. When paired with the right diet, and some supplements, it can resolve the issue of infertility due to PCOS. Along with this it can regularize the menstrual cycle, improve spontaneous ovulation, and pregnancy rate, and increase the chances of live births. NAC for PCOS has given hope to those struggling with infertility.
3. Restores Hormone Balance
PCOS further disturbs the hormonal balance in the body leading to physical changes. These are mainly caused by the increase in androgen levels. Increased androgen levels cause excessive loss of hair, facial hair growth (hirsutism), and acne. The traditional medicine to tackle this problem is metformin but many studies and experiments have demonstrated successfully that NAC for PCOS can be beneficial. It is especially useful to regularize menstrual cycles.
4. Fights Inflammation
Women with PCOS observe some inflammation and higher levels of oxidative stress than normal levels. The result is a disrupted metabolic system and decreases the insulin resistance of the body as well. NAC fights the free radicals and ensures the inflammation is under control at all times.
5. Helps Your Liver
Those with PCOS have been known to develop a fatty liver (non-alcoholic). This kind of fatty liver is a result of high insulin and levels of triglycerides in the body. NAC has to be coupled with a proper diet and a rigorous exercise schedule. A study shows that women with PCOS when treated with NAC showed signs of lowered liver function tests, markers of fatty liver. Also know about the diet for liver cirrhosis and diabetes.
Recommended Dose Of NAC
The recommended dosage for a healthy adult is 600 mg thrice a day. It is essential to check with your doctor before taking this medicine if you are already on any medication, pregnant, lactating, or have prevalent health issues.
There are some minor side effects of NAC. It can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and headaches.
The use of NAC has proven effective; however, it should be done only after consulting with your doctor. The medication can react with any other medication you may be on. Get the go ahead from your doctor by revealing all the health issues you are facing and ensuring you are in no danger before starting this medication.
1. How does NAC help with PCOS?
NAC helps manage the symptoms of PCOS by improving fertility, hormonal imbalances, reducing inflammation, helping the liver, and improving insulin resistance. If these things get streamlined, then the functions of the body that prompt PCOS are regularized and the result is a healthier version of the body.
2. Does NAC help with weight loss PCOS?
Dietary changes and exercise make a lot of difference when trying to manage weight loss. Although it cannot be wholly dependent on NAC however, it can also help.
3. Why is NAC good for fertility?
NAC can be a great option for those struggling with infertility because it balances hormones by reducing testosterone levels. It also regularizes the menstrual cycle, creating a more conducive environment for conception.
4. Does NAC help ovulation?
NAC can help improve pregnancy rates, ovulation, and live births.
This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.