NAC and mercury
10 Feb 2011
NAC is used to supply cysteine to the liver to help it make glutathione. Cysteine is usually the rate-limiting amino acid for making glutathione. NAC is also the antidote for overdose of acetaminophen (Tylenol in the U.S.) which depletes glutathione in the liver, and is the main cause of liver transplants. (Some, but not all, acetaminophen overdoses are intentional suicide attempts.) In ME/CFS, many have high body burdens of inorganic mercury, such as is produced in the body from inhaling mercury vapor that is continuously emitted by amalgam fillings in the teeth. If a high body burden of mercury is suspected, Dr. David Quig of Doctor's Data Lab has recommended that the NAC dosage be no more than 300 mg per day, because it has been found that NAC can bind mercury and move it into the brain. This has been found in rat studies by Aposhian et al. Dr. Paul Cheney has frequently mentioned two cases of people who took large dosages of NAC and later committed suicide. I think the suggestion is that they moved a lot of mercury into their brains. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin. Recent research indicates that it preferentially reacts with selenium and deactivates selenium enzymes. One of these is glutathione peroxidase, important for controlling oxidative stress, which is a major issue in CFS. Mercury also reacts with sulfur readily, but its affinity for selenium is much higher. http://forums.aboutmecfs.org/showthread.php?9938-nac&p=155399#post155399 This info comes from Rich van Konynenburg and I wonder if anybody here has something to say to this. As I have full mouth of amalgam fillings and had longterm problems with deep depression, this info is quite frightening.