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Is NAC Beneficial?
Apr 18, 2002

I remember reading some time ago about the benefits of adding NAC to one's therapy. Is there any recent information on this supplement or is it another hype? I dont have much money, so I would like to get the most I can out of any sort of supplements. I am currently undetectable with T-cells around 1000 (and have been for several years). I take Combivir/Sustiva/multi-vitamin. Would NAC be of any value?

Thanks for your assistance!

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

NAC has had its ups and downs in HIV care and there are some attractive theories behind its use. In October of last year a reserch group from Korea published suggested the importance of intracellular glutathione replenishment to slow progression of dementia due to neuronal cell death. Early this year a group from Stanford University in California suggested that NAC may assist in reducing the effect of oxidative stress.

Playing these benefits out in "real life" has not received much attention, probably because in real life many medications and supplements are added to the mix. NAC is associated with very few risks - the only side effects having been mild nausea or skin rash.

NAC has not experienced scientific rigor in HIV studies at this point. But the small and open studies suggest a beneficial effect and the downsides appear pretty minimal.


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