ThiolNAC (NAC + alpha lipoic acid combination) is back at NYBC

ThiolNAC, a combination of the two antioxidants NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) and Alpha Lipoic Acid, is again available as a combination supplement from the New York Buyers’ Club. The manufacturer of this supplement is Montiff, which also produced NYBC’s previous version of ThiolNAC.

ThiolNAC (NYBC): NAC 500mg, Lipoic 200mg [90 tablets/bottle].

NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine) is recommended for its antioxidant properties and because studies have suggested it may improve immune function. Often used in Europe to treat chronic bronchitis and chronic sinusitis. Also recommended if you are taking acetaminophen (Tylenol). Alpha Lipoic Acid is widely recognized as a potent antioxidant and liver protective agent. Research suggests it has the capacity to protect many organs and tissues from damaging inflammation due its antioxidant power. Long used to treat neuropathy in diabetics.

Note: ThiolNAC can be used to replace the separate NAC and Lipoic components of NYBC’s MAC (Multivitamin Antioxidant Combo) Pack, the purchasing co-op’s low-cost alternative to K-Pax.

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PharmaNAC at the New York Buyers’ Club

The New York Buyers’ Club stocks PharmaNAC, an effervescent form of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) produced in North America by BioAdvantex, which is also the supplier of our high-quality whey protein powder, Ultimate Balance.

PharmaNAC is a high-quality preparation of NAC, a supplement that has been studied extensively for immune system support, and for support of respiratory tract function. Currently forms of NAC (including effervescent forms) are more widely used in Europe than in North America, but this may change as its benefits are more generally recognized and studies continue.

A bit of anecdotal evidence: we have noticed some positive reviews of PharmaNAC in online forums dealing with cystic fibrosis.

NAC (N-acetylcysteine) as antidote to acetaminophen toxicity

Here’s more information on NAC as an antidote to acetaminophen overdose (best-known tradename is Tylenol, but note that acetaminophen is often paired with other drugs).

emedicine work-up on “acetaminophen toxicity”, including the role of NAC as antidote:

Frequency:

• In the US: Acetaminophen is the drug most commonly ingested in overdoses and is a common co-ingestant. Acetaminophen-induced hepatic failure is the second leading cause of liver transplantation.

Mortality/Morbidity:
• Since the introduction of NAC, the mortality rate from APAP toxicity is low.
However, in its Nov. 29, 2005 edition, The New York Times reported alarm among some in the healthcare community about a rise in acetaminophen poisoning in the US. NYBC replied in a letter to the Editor:

[We were] surprised that your article “Poisonings From a Popular Pain Reliever Are on the Rise” (Nov. 29, 2005) did not mention a readily available antidote for acute acetaminophen poisoning: N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a dietary supplement that costs just a few dollars. NAC has been studied and used as an antidote to acetaminophen overdose in Europe, and more recently in the US as well. It would be too bad if your article alerted people to the dangers of overdosing on this pain reliever without mentioning the wide availability and effectiveness of the antidote.

To conclude: we fear that this may be still another case of the prevalent bias in the US healthcare community against dietary supplements, dictated frequently by pharmaceutical companies’ lack of interest in promoting low-cost, low-margin supplements (as opposed to patentable and thus highly lucrative medications). The result: while in Europe acetaminophen poisoning risk is decreased by its usual pairing with NAC in drugs, in the US this pairing is less common, with the disastrous consequences outlined in The New York Times article.

See additional NAC information on the NYBC website: NAC -Pharmaceutical Grade.