NAC for PCOS

by Joan
(Pennsylvania)

I'm curious about the NAC supplement. I'm taking supplements - all from your website - and just went back to read about them once again because it will soon be time to re-order.

The summary about NAC (which I'll post below, taken from your website) mentions a study in which obese PCOS women were given 3 grams of NAC daily and it showed a reduction in insulin resistance AND testosterone levels. I'm still having trouble with chin hair growth and have been taking a variety of your supplements since January, including NAC. However, the NAC you offer is only 600 mg in one pill, and one pill a day is recommended. Would it be wise for me to take 4 a day to bump it up to almost 3 grams? I really want to get my insulin and testosterone under control. I also take Glucophage, so lowering my homocysteine levels is very important to me as well.

How do I describe this to my primary care physician or ob/gyn so they will understand the importance and know how to monitor my blood work?

Your NAC description says:

"A recent study evaluated the effect of NAC on insulin secretion and insulin resistance in 6 lean and 31 obese women with PCOS. They took 1.8 grams of NAC daily for 5-6 weeks. A dose of 3 grams per day was given to the massively obese. Six of the 31 obese patients were treated with placebo. Those treated with NAC had a reduction of their insulin resistance and a significant fall in testosterone levels.

A recent study showed that people taking NAC for two months had a significant decrease in undesirable homocysteine levels. Higher doses were more effective than lower doses. Women with PCOS who take metformin tend to have elevated homocysteine levels.

NAC contains per 1 capsule:
N-acetyl cysteine 600 mg

Suggested Dosage:
1 capsule daily, or as directed by your doctor."

Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Editor's comments:

We are believers in a multi-pronged approach to chronic health issues such as PCOS and insulin resistance:
1) diet
2) exercise
3) stress management
4) selected supplements
5) consult with one or more knowledgeable physicians.

It's not especially wise to rely one just one modality.

I don't recommend you think of nutritional supplements as you would pharmaceuticals. That would be comparing apples to oranges. The idea behind supplements is to gently nudge the body in the right direction. So it can take time for any particular combination or dosage of supplements to create a desired result.

So what would be the "correct" combination and dosage? That's really hard to say without knowing your complete medical history and lab data. Furthermore, you are a unique person with unique metabolic needs.

Secondly, it is unethical and not very legal to "practice medicine" over the Internet by telling you that you should take an increased dose of NAC. The "recommended" dose is, in my opinion, on the low side for certain conditions. It is the dose the manufacturer chose to put on the label. For legal and other reasons, they indicate a dose that will avoid any problems.

Note that the NAC descriptions says: "…or as directed by your doctor". That should suggest to you that the dose could be higher in certain situations.

On the site, I've quoted the NAC doses used in studies as something for people to think about.

As for your doctor, about all you can do is go to PubMed, do a search on NAC and insulin resistance and print out the relevant medical studies and give him the abstracts and start asking questions.

You will also need to consider different supplements in combination. Should you take more NAC, or should you take d-pinitol in combination with NAC? A combination of nutrients may be more effective than a single one.

You should also ask your doctor for a vitamin D test.















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