COVID and N-Acetylcysteine and Glutathione

Sars-Cov-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, has been of utmost focus across the medical community the last year. Treatments, protocols, and research have been argued for and suggested globally. At the Hormone Zone, staying current in the research and treatments available from all aspects is key to our philosophy and service to our patients. This article is not all inclusive to options we have found beneficial, however we will discuss one promising adjunctive treatment or preventative option for our community, N-Acetylcysteine (NAC).

When picking apart Sars-cov-2, we know that it acts on ACE2 receptors in the body to enter and infect the cell. These receptors are found in the lungs, airways, intestines, heart, blood vessels, brain, kidney and more - which is how the virus can show up with such a wide array of symptoms. (1,6)  N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is a supplement form of the amino acid cysteine which is crucial for many protective functions in our bodies. Simply put, NAC works to push forward glutathione production, break up mucus by breaking disulfide bonds, improves blood oxygenation, regulation of glutamine and glutamate to help bowel function and also protection of liver, kidneys and brain function through anti-oxidation. As a powerful antioxidant and precursor to our body’s major antioxidant (glutathione), NAC is able to combat free radical and oxidative species damage in complicated and severe lung disease such as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Which makes it of utmost interest in the realm of Sars-Cov-2 infections and prevention of severe disease from COVID19. (2,5)

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Furthermore, research has shown that NAC acts to inhibit entrance of the virus into our cells but inhibiting ACE2 receptors, which we know is the entry point for the virus. In severe COVID19 patients, we have seen that NAC given intravenously can also help prevent and clean up oxidative damage and blood cell damage caused by harsh medications such as Hydroxychloroquine or other antiviral medications being used to treat patients infected with Sars-Cov-2. 

ACS Infectious disease published an article in May 2020 by Alexey Polonikov, Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the most likely cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients. (1) Glutathione deficiency can be caused by genetics, increased age, poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, drinking, asthma, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, autoimmune disease, which are also high risk groups for COVID19. (1,4)

Research by Polonikov has shown that those with glutathione deficiency are more prone to severe COVID infection and that treatment with NAC either preventatively or alongside antiviral treatments such as hydroxycholoroquine or even HIV drug Rapavmavir can be lifesaving in those affected with COVID19. (1)

At the Hormone Zone, your health is our priority. We offer several treatment options that assist in these imperative pathways to keep your NAC and glutathione levels optimal. Our Mega Energy injections are special because they include PolyMVA, which contains a really nice B-complex as well as NAC. This formula is different, because not only does it have fat burning capability, but also renders a nice boost of energy. This is because it contains palladium which works to shuttle B12 directly into the mitochondria of the cell so that we get energy components directly where we make energy. We also offer glutathione IV therapy in office, which you really can’t beat if you are trying to detoxify and boost your immune function. Lastly, Protec is an amazing supplement that we offer to assist in pushing forward the Nrf2 biochemical pathway in our bodies which helps in both generation of NAC, glutathione and other antioxidants to assist overall detoxification. At the Hormone Zone, we take a holistic approach to your health to give you the best approach to assist you this cold/flu season!  Contact us to learn more.

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1. Polonikov A. (2020). Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients. ACS infectious diseases6(7), 1558–1562.

2.  Soltan-Sharifi MS, Mojtahedzadeh M, Najafi A, Reza Khajavi M, Reza Rouini M, Moradi M, Mohammadirad A, Abdollahi M. Improvement by N-acetylcysteine of acute respiratory distress syndrome through increasing intracellular glutathione, and extracellular thiol molecules and anti-oxidant power: evidence for underlying toxicological mechanisms. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2007 Sep;26(9):697-703. doi: 10.1177/0960327107083452. PMID: 17984140.

3.  Donatella Amatore 1, Rossella Sgarbanti, Katia Aquilano, Sara Baldelli, Dolores Limongi, Livia Civitelli, Lucia Nencioni, Enrico Garaci, Maria Rosa Ciriolo, Anna Teresa Palamara.  Influenza virus replication in lung epithelial cells depends on redox-sensitive pathways activated by NOX4-derived ROS. Cell Microbiol. 2015 Jan;17(1):131-45. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12343. Epub 2014 Oct 7. PMID: 25154738

4.  Fraternale A, Paoletti MF, Casabianca A, Nencioni L, Garaci E, Palamara AT, Magnani M. GSH and analogs in antiviral therapy. Mol Aspects Med. 2009 Feb-Apr;30(1-2):99-110. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2008.09.001. Epub 2008 Sep 27. PMID: 18926849.

5.  Xu Z, Shi L, Wang Y, Zhang J, Huang L, Zhang C, Liu S, Zhao P, Liu H, Zhu L, Tai Y, Bai C, Gao T, Song J, Xia P, Dong J, Zhao J, Wang FS. Pathological findings of COVID-19 associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Lancet Respir Med. 2020 Apr;8(4):420-422. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30076-X. Epub 2020 Feb 18. Erratum in: Lancet Respir Med. 2020 Feb 25;: PMID: 32085846; PMCID: PMC7164771.

6.  N-Acetylcysteine: A Potential Therapeutic Agent in COVID-19 Infection, 5 May 2020, doi:144 (2020) 110133. 

7.  Nrf2/ARE Pathway Modulation by Dietary Energy Regulation in Neurological Disorders, 4 Feb. 2019, doi:10.3389. 


DISCLAIMER: To date, there are no known FDA approved treatments for COVID-19 (aka SARS-CoV, aka coronavirus). This website and all digital communications are intended to provide educational information only. Please consult with a medical professional if you have any symptoms related to COVID-19 or believe you have been exposed to the virus.