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N-acetylcysteine also known as Acetylcysteine or N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) increases levels of Glutathione (GSH), the most common antioxidant in the body. Taking GSH directly is costly and inefficient, NAC is a more efficient and economical means delivering GSH to cells.[1] NAC is a pro-drug for l-cysteine which enables cells to synthesise Glutathione providing antioxidant benefits.[2]


In a presentation to the 2016 IACFS/ME conference Dr Dikoma Shungu of Cornell University gave a presentation on a trial of NAC in ME/CFS patients. [3] Previously his team had found a 36% deficit of the tissue anti-oxidant occipital cortex glutathione (GSH) in the cortical areas of the brains ofME/CFS patients.[4]

The trial supplemented patients with 1800g daily of GSH precursor n-acetylcysteine for 4 weeks and looked at levels of GSH. The study found that GSH had increased in patients and that symptoms were significantly reduced.

Clinical use[edit]

No official use for ME/CFS currently.

Learn more[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. Examine:Glutathione
  2. Examine: N-acetylcysteine
  3. N-Acetylcysteine Alleviates Cortical Glutathione Deficit and Improves Symptoms in CFS: An In Vivo Validation Study using Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: Dikoma Shungu et al (page 35 IACFS/ME Syllabus 2016)
  4. Increased ventricular lactate in chronic fatigue syndrome. III. Relationships to cortical glutathione and clinical symptoms implicate oxidative stress in disorder pathophysiology. Shungu et al

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history