Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been flooded with various immune-boosting supplements. However, we all know that they aren’t any magic potion that can heal SARS-CoV2. Even the vaccine that we are taking may not be as effective. The vaccine may help in producing antibodies among youngsters, but it may not show the same results in elder citizens or those with a low immune system.
The SARS-CoV2 virus can cause severe illness in people with a low immune system due to age, diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to pneumonia-like fever, dry cough, and acute respiratory distress syndrome which are the main reason for increased death cases. Therefore, exploring new medicines is important to fight against COVID-19.
N-acetylcysteine has been used in critically ill patients. N-acetylcysteine is used for various types of lung diseases. It is commonly used orally for cough and lung problems like congestion or breathlessness, bronchitis, etc. Recently, it is used on COVID-19 patients. NAC is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulating properties that provide treatment and prevention against SARS-CoV2.
SM Pharmaceuticals is a leading pharma company in Thailand. They are focusing on making medicines to increase COVID 19 immunity (เสริมภูมิสู้ Covid-19, this is the term in Thai). The company was started in 1962 and since then they have built a strong and transparent relationship with their customers by providing the best quality medicines and service. By providing supplements to fight against COVID-19 they are helping the Thai people to lead a better life.
What is N-acetylcysteine?
NAC is an extra form of cysteine that is a non-essential amino acid. It is present in high protein foods like turkey, chicken, yogurt, eggs, sunflower seeds, legume, and cheese.
- It is an antioxidant that detoxifies and reduces inflammation.
- It prevents free radicals that damage cells and cause aging.
- It prevents blood clots by reducing platelet accumulation and preventing clotting features.
Mostly NAC is used to treat any sort of lung disease and to treat injuries due to paracetamol. For its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-coagulate properties it has gained a lot of attention for being one of the preventive measures against COVID-19. Another reason for its publicity is that it has no side effects.
How Does NAC work with SARS-CoV2?
- When the infection of SARS-CoV2 begins it binds the ACE2 receptors.
- This in return misbalances the level of Angiotensin II (constrictor) and the Angiotensin 1-7 (dilator) of the blood vessels in the lungs.
- When Angiotensin II increases it narrows the blood vessels which further increase the concentration of free radicals and cellular damage in the lungs.
- The endothelial cells then send a signal to the clothing factor to repair the damage caused to the blood cells. This increases the formation of blood clots.
- This clot blocks the flow of blood in the vessels thereby reducing the oxygen level in the tissues, which is known as hypoxia.
Role of NAC
The role of NAC is that it can interfere in all levels during the process of infection.
- It increases the glutathione concentration and antioxidant in the blood which helps in decrease cellular damage.
- NAC breaks the bond between blood cells and clotting factor which maintains the normal flow of blood and oxygen in the vessels without any clots.
If using N-acetylcysteine can help patients fight against COVID-19, it can save millions of lives. However, people with a low immune system should still refrain from doing outdoor activities due to other health issues.