NAC helps prevent serious illness and death from COVID

This incredible study showed that NAC may have a remarkable ability to save lives from COVID.

N-Acetylcysteine, or NAC for short, has shown exciting promise for COVID. NAC first drew attention because it is very effective at raising glutathione. Glutathione is a crucial antioxidant and detoxifier that is produced by your body. It also helps your body respond to viral infections. Glutathione levels may be important for preventing serious illness and death from COVID.

NAC is also important because it has a remarkable ability to break down thick mucus and help move it out, offering crucial help to people with lung conditions like emphysema, bronchitis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. NAC improves lung function and reduces coughing. It is also antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Research has shown that NAC can prevent death from COVID. When people who were hospitalized with COVID and pneumonia were given either standard treatment or the same treatment plus 600mg of NAC every 8 hours, the ones given NAC had a 44% lower risk of death from COVID. This result is especially impressive because the people in the NAC group were at higher risk of severe illness and death because they were older than the people in the control group and had higher prevalence of high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol problems and COPD (Sci Prog. 2022 Jan; 105(1): 00368504221074574).

A second study may be even more impressive. It included 82 people who were in the hospital with moderate or severe COVID pneumonia. 40 of them received standard care. 42 received the same care plus 600mg of NAC twice a day for 14 days.

The people who got NAC had significantly better chance of not progressing to severe respiratory failure. They also had significantly lower rates of death, including in people with severe disease. 12 of the 40 people in the standard treatment group died, but only 2 of 42 taking NAC did. 

This study supports the possibility that NAC is a safe, effective treatment for COVID


Infect Dis (Lond). 2021 Nov;53(11):847-854.

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