The action of N-acetyl-L-cysteine cannot be described in a few words. To explain how NAC works, you first need to explain what glutathione is . Well, glutathione is a tripeptide made of glycine, glutamic acid and cysteine, which occurs in many tissues and body fluids, where it participates in oxidation and reduction reactions . In this way, it has a protective effect on cells . Reactive oxygen species are mainly produced in cells as a byproduct of normal metabolism by mitochondria, and also contribute to the initiation of apoptosis, or cell death . Glutathione participates in the regulation of apoptosis; plays an important role as a substrate for enzymes that capture these reactive oxygen species.Well, N-acetyl-L-cysteine is a precursor of intracellular cysteine , and thus - glutathione, because cysteine affects its synthesis. It is generally accepted that NAC is due to its antioxidant or free radical scavenging properties by increasing intracellular cysteine levels. The availability of cysteine may limit the rate of glutathione synthesis during oxidative stress. N-acetyl-L-cysteine is an acetylated cysteine residue that can increase cell protection against oxidative stress . NAC through a compound with cysteine can minimize the oxidative effect of reactive oxygen species by correcting orpreventing depletion of glutathione stocks .
N-acetyl-L-cysteine, as a precursor of the amino acid cysteine, which is involved in the production of glutathione, plays an important metabolic role in the overall antioxidant activity of the body.
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