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History Of N-Acetylcysteine

Leonore Herzenberg
Published 2019 · Chemistry

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N-Acetylcysteine, commonly referred to as NAC, is the N-acetylated form of the amino acid cysteine. When ingested, it is rapidly deacetylated during first-pass metabolism to the essential amino acid cysteine and then stored by the liver, which uses and releases it as needed. It is also stored, utilized, and/or released into the bloodstream as glutathione (GSH), a cysteine-containing tripeptide that serves as a detoxifying agent, a coenzyme for multiple enzymes, and a key component of the electron transport system.
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