How NAC Works

NAC is an Amino Acid supplement, (AKA: N-Acetylcysteine). Supplementation boosts Glutathione levels and Glutathione is an extremely important antioxidant! Cellular glutathione is the backbone of our antioxidant system and plays a crucial role in DNA Methylation. NAC works by increasing your cellular ability to detoxify. You can help this process along by decreasing your exposure to toxic foods and chemicals. Also, keep in mind that NAC is only one amino acid used in Amino Acid Protocols. It can be used more effectively if combined with other amino acids and nutrients. (NAC is not the only way to boost Glutathione. There are alternative methods for those who are pregnant/breast feeding or children that are too young for AA Protocols/NAC. You can boost Glutathione levels and regulate Methylation most effectively through diet change. Read Action Steps: http://kickthetrich.blogspot.com/2010/11/action-steps-to-overcoming-sensory.html and Contact Be Well, www.bewellnsb.com if you have questions).

Recent research from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota School of Medicine regarding NAC and Glutathione click here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19581567.
Conclusion: “This study, the first to our knowledge that examines the efficacy of a glutamatergic agent (production of glutathione) in the treatment of trichotillomania, found that N-acetylcysteine demonstrated statistically significant reductions in trichotillomania symptoms. No adverse events occurred in the N-acetylcysteine group, and N-acetylcysteine was well tolerated. Pharmacologic modulation of the glutamate system may prove to be useful in the control of a range of compulsive behaviors.” Go to http://www.pubmed.gov/ and type in N acetyl cysteine in the search box… other good articles available. Related research: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11499335

If you have tried NAC before and did not experience any relief, the most common reasons for this are the following: (You should minimize this problem by using NAC or equivalent protocol under the supervision of a professional.) 1.) Remember that NAC is most effective when combined with other Amino Acids and Nutrients. 2.) Remember that it can take up to one month of consistent use for you to notice relief. (Could take up to two months if you are working against yourself and dosage may need to be increased.) 3.) Effective dose is usually between 500 – 1500 mg three times per day.
[FYI: I didn’t use NAC to stop Trich; I was already pull free when NAC came to my attention. As explained in the Action Steps post, I used personalized dietary controls including whey protein and physical exercise to achieve the same but better and Lasting Methylation Balance. I also included Cognitive Behavioral Therapy exercises in order to address every aspect of the problem. (Free CBT Program Here: http://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome/new/splash ) We now know that it is best to combine AA protocol/NAC with Lifestyle Changes and CBT. That is why I like the Designs for Health Detoxification Protocol. A modified version of their Protocol, (link here https://www.bewellnsb.com/DFH28DayDetox.pdf ), is used at Be Well. It combines the speed of relief NAC and other AA’s/Nutrients can provide with the lifestyle education needed to make the relief you experience permanent. Make the most of Amino Acid Supplementation! That is why NAC should be discussed with your Doctor or natural health expert. More info here http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/walshMP.htm#Met on Methylation/Production of Glutathione. Links to additional Amino Acid Research at the bottom of this page. (ie: Carnitine, 5-HTP)Over methylation vs Undermethylation here: http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/pfeiffer.htm]

I talk at length about Amino Acid Therapy Protocols in my Support Group and I do believe NAC and other Amino Acids to be very effective but I do not write much about AA Therapy protocols because I do not believe you should prescribe one to yourself. That said, most sources suggest that the effective dose for Amino Acids, like NAC, should start at 100mg three times per day and should be increased from there. Most people respond to daily doses of 500mg-1500mg three times per day. When taking NAC alone, it could take up to a month (two max depending on your “cellular state”) to notice the full effects. Amino acids are most effective when taken with water on an empty stomach, especially the larger amino acids. More info here about AA Therapy protocols, Chapter 4 of this book http://www.scribd.com/doc/56428903/Clean-and-Sober-Full-Text (free read).

Recent studies indicate that higher amounts of whey protein offers major benefits to health! Research supports whey protein as a complete way to boost Glutathione levels “long term”. I drink a whey protein based shake every morning that contains a mix of Amino Acids (including cysteine, the C in NAC) and whole food nutrients that is designed to maximize Glutathione levels.
More Info here: http://www.wellnessresources.com/studies/whey_boosts_production_of_key_glutathione_antioxidant/

More research on the importance of Increasing Glutathione Levels from the Journal of Biological Chemistry:  http://www.jbc.org/content/286/24/21865.long

If possible, you should find a Functional Medicine Doctor

(watch video and click here for more info http://www.bewellnsb.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86&Itemid=99).

If this is not possible find a Counselor/Therapist that specilizes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and combines therapy with an Amino Acid based detoxification program. (I like this protocol and it is widely available https://www.bewellnsb.com/DFH28DayDetox.pdf ask the expert about possibly adding a product from the same company called CraveArrest, Inositol, and possibly additional NAC if needed.) Knowing what I know now, this is exactly where I would have started. This approach will bring you significant relief and if you make what you learn during the program a permanent part of your life, you could experience complete resolution.
[You might say, “I pull because of the stress in my life… How could an antioxidant supplement like NAC help in my case?
Effects of Chronic Stress on the Immune System include:
– Increased sympathetic (fight or flight) activity decreases cellular immunity
– Immune cells migrate to different parts of the body and can worsen autoimmune and allergic conditions
-Over time, the positive acute mobilization of immune cells in response to challenge is suppressed.
(Reference: McEwan BS. Protective and Damaging effects of stress mediators. New England Journal of Medicine. 1983;338(3):171-179)]

It’s all connected!! Treat the whole body not just one aspect!!
Read Action Steps and Be Empowered! http://kickthetrich.blogspot.com/2010/11/action-steps-to-overcoming-sensory.html

Watch the video below to learn the science behind why your cellular environment matters.

Watch PBS’s, “Science Nova” on Epigenetics!

Join the support group on Facebook!! https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/kickthetrich/

Support Group Information and FAQ’s:

http://kickthetrich.blogspot.com/2011/06/support-group-information-and-faqs.html

FAQ’s and Other Info:

Why is Trich (and other Impulse Control Problems) so Enjoyable?

It’s enjoyable because, (for whatever reason), our brains have hooked the release of “feel good” neurotransmitters to the action of both pulling the hair and performing the post pull sensory activity… (All impulse control issues stem from the same type of neurotransmitter imbalance, I’m not sure why our physiology chooses different forms of expression.) We have basically adapted a way to mentally “Check Out” of our environment, but the result of this adaptation is devastating to the lives of almost all who suffer. Where Trauma is involved, therapy and CBT can really help us find the event or chain of events that we are escaping. (Maybe you already know or maybe it doesn’t feel like Trauma at all from your current perspective.) Maybe Your Cause is not trauma related at all; Maybe your body is trying to escape a Physiological State of Being (ie: state of health) or maybe you are trying to escape a combination of both “micro traumas” and the physiological state you’ve set for yourself over time. Find YOUR reason (or reasons) your mind/body has a need for this escape and you will be able to address it and overcome it. Physical Trauma, Emotional Trauma, Cellular Toxicity and/or Deficiency; all of these reduce immune system function; they suppress mitochondrial activity which depresses the cell’s ability to produce energy efficiently. All of these stressors hinder our ability to adapt to our environment. Some of us will experience relief with therapy alone but most of us need a much deeper evaluation. CBT and Therapy alone does not hold an answer for all those who suffer and medication on its best day functions as a band-aid and at worst screws up everything…

If I were to start all over again, I would ask my doctor to look into metabolic
testing, something like this http://www.bewellnsb.com/DHFMetabolicProfile.pdf
and if I were female I might have the need to ask the doctor to follow up with an expanded female hormone panel, something like this http://www.bewellnsb.com/diagnostechfemalehormonepanel.pdf
It’s all connected; we have to stop treating the parts and start addressing the whole. 😉
Join our “colsed” facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Be-Well-A-Chiropractic-Wellness-Community/114241455256159#!/groups/kickthetrich/

Research:

Research regarding Inositol for treatment of Trichotillomania and Skin Picking specifically:  http://www.healthrising.com/stories/trich.htm more here: http://www.ocdrecoverycenters.com/about/prot_inositol.html

Inositol is a B-vit. and works by supporting all neurotransmitter activity in the brain. Effective dose of Inositol by itself has shown to be between 3 and 6 grams three times per day, (9 grams – 18 grams total in divided doses), which is a lot of inositol… Keep in mind when reading research that the point of research is to isolate the nutrient in question to see if it really has an effect on a particular condition. Unfortunately, this can result in extremely high doses; this is shown to be true in looking at both NAC and Inositol. In clinical settings, clinicians know that Nutrient Synergy is very important. When you combine nutrients like NAC and Inositol with other synergistic nutrients you can use less of any one particular substance.

Other Amino Acid Research:

5-HTP and Serotonin

Immune Response to Dietary Protein

L-Carnitine Reduces Fatigue

Carnitine for ADHD Symptoms

These are all helpful when used in protocol but you do not want to take all or any of this stuff on a long-term basis! Eat, Move and Think in ways that are genetically congruent! http://kickthetrich.blogspot.com/2011/01/wellness-and-prevention-paradigm.html

More on NAC from WebMD:
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1018-N-ACETYL%20CYSTEINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=1018&activeIngredientName=N-ACETYL+CYSTEINE

More Research here:
http://www.futurescience.com/nac.html
What is Lifestyle Based Chiropractic and how can it Help?
http://kickthetrich.blogspot.com/2011/01/what-is-wellness-based-chiropractic-and.html

eHow.com:
“Glutathione is an important antioxidant. As a natural antioxidant produced by cells in the body, it provides protection from toxin damage and supports many essential biological functions. It is important to keep glutathione from becoming low, because low levels are associated with a variety of diseases. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is derivative of the amino acid cysteine. NAC can be used to boost levels of glutathione, and this article will show how to boost glutathione with NAC supplementation”
Read more: How to Boost Glutathione With NAC | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5788474_boost-glutathione-nac.html#ixzz1BtUnJOet

Read Original Article: How N-Acetylcysteine Works

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