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Cysteine Advice (NAC and l-cysteine)

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Roostr, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. Roostr

    Roostr

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    Hi All,

    This is my first post, but have been lurking for a few months using the forum for insights into how to manage my symptoms, and have seen some great support and guidance here

    I'm a 33 year old male, and I suffer with brain fog, mental fatigue, heart palpitations, chest tightness, anxiety, dysphoria, and infrequent bouts of depression.. the fatigue and brain fog are often accompanied with a burning sensation in my eyelids (which become clammy and visibly red) and some sinus congestion. I'm not sure whether this is a cause, a symptom, or a coincidence though!

    I found 1 year back (accidentally) that n-acetyl-cysteine aka NAC (3x 200mg evenly spaced per day) alleviated the symptoms almost immediately, literally like a curtain lifted and just went back to being my 'old' self again - i continued taking this Maybe 4 days a week and had a great 9 months.. I did notice a strange light feeling in my chest over this time, but it was infrequent and not unpleasant.. assumed it was from reduced mucus production from NAC

    9 great months of minimal symptoms abruptly ended in September I suddenly experienced horrible heart palpitations/ surging feeling from my brain( it felt almost seizure like) down to my chest, followed by a massive panic attack.. (I had not taken any NAC for over 24 hours the day this happened) initially I hoped it was a one-off but these attacks persisted sporadically for weeks..

    I stopped taking NAC immediately from fear it was depleting something critical, or directly causing these attacks (scare articles on arterial hypertension etc), and have since worsened as mental/ neurological symptoms have returned with a vengeance!

    I'm not sure if my problems could be
    -glutamate/gaba imbalance
    -excess homocysteine
    -low glutathione (oxidative stress)
    -leaky Blood brain barrier
    -something completely different

    So.. Given the relief i experienced before I am now looking at testing ways to increase Cysteine / achieve the same result without NAC. The ideal situation is through food sources, diet rather than supplementation... I have a few general questions on Cysteine that I'd be grateful for input on.

    1) Is L-cysteine a viable alternative to NAC? What are the pros and cons and Is it likely to increase Glutathione and modulate glutamate in the same way? (Assuming these are why NAC makes me feel better!).

    2). Can I boost Glutathione by a similar range through diet without supplements? I do not know of any Cysteine superfoods and cannot warrant eating Kilo's of turkey for the Cysteine : )

    3) Does anyone on the forum have experience with long-term (lifetime?!) usage of NACl-cysteine, or lipsomal glutathione? Have you experienced any side effects, other supplements required or other interactions?

    Huge thanks in advance for any guidance you could offer me!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
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  2. Tunguska

    Tunguska Senior Member

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    Rule of thumb for higher order supplements like NAC when taken long term is: cycle them.

    For NAC good idea to take with glycine, but it won't explain what you wrote (which I've experienced but not from NAC).

    L-Cysteine doesn't have all the effects of NAC and less absorbed. Personal experience is it was useless vs NAC. Some people do take it for specific conditions (hair & skin), but only ever read one source that recommended for brain interchangeably with methionine.
     
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  3. Eastman

    Eastman Senior Member

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    Sulfur-rich vegetables are often recommended for boosting glutathione.

    Garlic in particular contains gamma glutamylcysteine, which is converted into glutathione by the addition of glycine. Glycine is plentiful in collagen.

    Undenatured whey has also been found to boost glutathione, although it is, strictly speaking, a supplement.
     
    actup likes this.
  4. Silence

    Silence

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    I think NAC binds to heavy metals like mercury and can in some individuals move it into the brain. Do you have heavy metal issues or amalgam fillings? This might be causing you to fell this way. Not to sure though.
     
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  5. Roostr

    Roostr

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    Thanks Tunguska - did you establish what caused your experience? I stopped the NAC just in case ... but realistically the symptoms may well have been something completely unrelated!
     
  6. Roostr

    Roostr

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    I would think I'm at the very low end for exposure to heavy metals.. I've never had any fillings, industrial contact, lived in a clean air area life long etc
     
  7. Critterina

    Critterina Senior Member

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    @Roostr ,
    Funny that you had the symptoms on a day you WEREN'T taking the NAC. Did you ever go back to your old schedule to test your theory that it was too much NAC that caused it? On a day you weren't taking it, I would have thought that maybe you didn't have enough. Just a thought.
     
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  8. Tunguska

    Tunguska Senior Member

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    I don't know. I "lived" with it for a time. I take a wild guess minerals went awry and getting high doses of Ca/Mg/K/Na + Taurine would be my first recourse if it happened again (taurine might also help lessen norepinephrine effects probably involved in that reaction).
     
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  9. caledonia

    caledonia

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    It could be sulfur sensitivity. The NAC contains thiols (sulfur).
    You can take glutamine and glycine instead, which are precursors to NAC and don't contain the sulfur.
    Vitamin C and vitamin E (the natural kind) also help glutathione recycling.

    Then to deal with excess sulfur you can eliminate foods and supps from the Free Thiol list and also take molybdenum to support the SUOX enzyme which detoxifies sulfur.

    There is a similar thing - the CBS protocol on the Heartfixer page, which I've done. You can check urine sulfate levels with sulfate strips.

    Also your symptoms are consistent with mercury toxicity. There are other sources you haven't considered such as 60% of the mother's body burden gets passed on to the baby, vaccines with thimerosal, broken fluorescent bulbs or thermometers. Sometimes you can't tell where you got exposed.

    See my signature link for more info on the CBS protocol, Cutler frequent dose chelation and testing for mercury.

    Also it looks like you're low on magnesium (heart palps).

    If the burning sensation in your eyelids is the same as mine, some vitamin C may help clear it up. Mine looks similar to pics of seborrheic dermatitis. The vitamin C is taken orally. Rubbing some aloe vera on the lids is also helpful.
     
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  10. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Since there are no significant CBS upregulations capable of causing problems with sulfur or anything else, what exactly is the point of a CBS protocol? Or is it a sulfur-avoidance protocol which has nothing to do with CBS?
     
  11. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem All Good Things Must Come to an End

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    What sort of cycle is recommended - how long on, how long off?
     
  12. Roostr

    Roostr

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    It's a good point -- When this happened I was terrified that long(ish) term NAC use had maybe been building up some kind of sensitization (Glutamate excitotoxicity or similar) and immediately thought stop all supplements. Entirely possible stopping only made things worse!!
     
  13. Demepivo

    Demepivo Dolores Abernathy

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    @Roostr Welcome to PR.Hope your you are doing well.

    Been using NAC for about 6 weeks now. Have obtained good results from the start. It takes about 90 minutes to notice an effect and it makes sharper mentally int eh mornign less irritable & dangerous to the people I encounter.

    It has a half life of 5.6 hours, so it wears off and is best taken on on an empty stomach. (advice courtesy of Couteney Craig). I takes the edge off brain fog but does not do much on the really bad days (what does?)

    The reason for doing so was the Dikoma Shungu presentation at teh IACFS/ME conference in Florida. (page 35)
    http://iacfsme.org/ME-CFS-Primer-Education/News/IACFSME-2016-Program.aspx
    .
    A very good resource I found was the Examine page on NAC.
    https://examine.com/supplements/N-Acetylcysteine/

    Hope this helps
     
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  14. Tunguska

    Tunguska Senior Member

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    For NAC it seems quite personal. I can't do more than 1-2 week before downsides start to set in so for me it's no more than a week at a time. The more conservative opinions I've read recommend doing only a week or two maybe a couple times a year (to replenish glutathione), but this might not be nearly enough for the very chronically sick. The studies go 3+ months with benefits, so not knowing more I would just try the de facto supplement standard 1-2 months on / 1-2 weeks off cycle long term. Take with grain of salt.
     
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