With the bank holiday weekend nearly upon us I thought this would be the perfect time to tell you about an amazing hangover cure. In fact this will prevent you even getting a hangover in the first place if you take enough of it.
Ever wonder why you crave eggs when you’re hungover?
It’s because eggs contain NAC, or N-acetylcysteine, an amino acid which enhances the production of the enzyme glutathione, one of the body’s powerhouse antioxidants. By increasing the body’s ability to eliminate toxins, NAC helps boost the immune system and can even stave off disease if taken regularly.
NAC is what you’ll be injected with if you go to hospital with alcohol poisoning or an acetaminophen (paracetamol) overdose. NAC can prevent liver failure if given early enough. That’s how powerful it is.
Now I shouldn’t really be endorsing the overconsumption of alcohol, but I’m no saint and suffer from THE. WORST. HANGOVERS. EVER. (Despite what my boyfriend says – I am not being a baby/feeling sorry for myself – it really hurts!) So I’m the perfect advocate of NAC’s hangover curing powers. Without it I’m bed-ridden the following day; if I’ve taken enough of it before going to bed (I suggest one tablet for every alcoholic drink plus a few before you get started if you’re having a big night), I feel fine, apart from the tiredness which always comes from a disturbed night’s sleep after drinking.
So how does it work?
Glutathione is a vital antioxidant naturally occurring in the body which helps protect cells from free radicals and other toxins. Low glutathione levels are often used as a measure of cellular toxicity and can be linked to certain conditions which weaken the immune system. For more information on glutathione and its role in the immune system, Wikipedia is a good place to start.
NAC, which is known to stimulate glutathione production, has been prescribed for decades as a mucolytic (‘mucus dissolving’) agent which helps break down mucus, particularly important for those suffering from respiratory illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, asthma, sinusitis and phenomena.
When administered intravenously, it is also used to treat acetaminophen overdose as it protects the liver from this potentially toxic substance. It’s also believed that NAC protects the body from free radicals, which are thought to be significant factors in contributing to the development of degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease. As NAC can help eliminate these potentially dangerous environmental and biological toxins from the body, there’s reason to believe it could help in the prevention of these life threatening illnesses.
The production of NAC for oral consumption in order to utilise its everyday health benefits is a relatively new phenomenon. I believe the first company to introduce NAC in capsule form in the UK was Solgar. Biocare also sells NAC which they have branded BioCysteine.
If you’ve read all this, I hope you’ll be thinking that NAC is probably worth investing in – not just for preventing a hangover – but for everyday use. Looking after our immune systems is not only vital to our health but looking after our insides will also make us look better on the outside!
If you want to find out more about NAC I found quite an interesting article here:
As with any supplement you take, please check with your doctor or pharmacist if you think there’s any reason you shouldn’t be using it – particularly if you suffer from diabetes, allergies to eggs, milk or wheat, or kidney or liver problems.
Have a great bank holiday weekend!