Nutritional supplement trial that reduced flu symptoms by 68%
And the same would likely happen for SARS-CoV-2...By Bruce Thomson, Veterinarian and Pilates instructor
Updated Monday, 22 June 2020
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Google search for N-Acetyl Cysteine:
An Italian supplement trial in the winter of 1991-1992 showed that the food supplement N-acetyl Cysteine (NAC), when given to elderly folk (80% were over the age of 65), massively reduced their influenza symptoms, by a factor of 68% (Ref 1)
Blood tests at the end of this trial showed that 29% of the treated group, and 25% of the untreated control group, had been infected with Influenza strain H1N1. Infection rates were similar, which shows that the supplement did not reduce the rate of infection. However the supplement did reduce the severity and presence of symptoms:- 79% of the non-supplemented patients reported symptoms of influenza, while only 25% of the supplemented group reported symptoms. That’s a reduction of flu symptoms by a factor of 68%
This was a well-run scientific trial. It was randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, with sufficient numbers to give a reliable (that’s to say, statistically significant) result. It’s only negative is that no one else has attempted to repeat and confirm it since its publication date in 1992. Pardon me for being a little cynical, but I’m guessing if it had been a patentable drug it would have been trialled many times and a multimillion-dollar advertising budget allocated.
Almost twice as effective as the flu vaccine
This result indicates that – for this trial in Italy – the supplement was almost twice as effective as the ‘flu vaccination in an average year in the USA. Not a misprint - read again. The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website confirms that America’s average flu vaccine effectiveness was 40% over the past 15 years (Ref 2), which compares with 68% for this Italian trial of NAC. You can buy NAC over the counter at most health food shops, but before you do I’d like you to read a little more about the research behind NAC and it’s health-related effects.
The science behind N-Acetyl CysteineWhy was the Italian trial result so good? What is the science behind N-Acetyl Cysteine as a dietary supplement that could explain such a strong reduction of flu symptoms? The answer is that N-Acetyl Cysteine is used by the body to manufacture the molecule at the very centre of the body’s antioxidant and detox systems, which is glutathione, and it is accepted by scientists that NAC supplementation prevents the natural decline in glutathione that happens with aging and general ill-health. Research highlights follow.
High glutathione levels reduce the likelihood of getting sick in old age…A study in Stockholm recently reported in the journal of Gerontology (Ref 3) demonstrated that elderly folk with low blood levels of glutathione went on to develop more old age conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, than those who were blessed with higher levels. This trail went on for a period of 6 years and showed significant results. The important thing to note from this Stockholm study is that low glutathione leads to the illnesses that in combination with COVID cause serious illness and death. It is rare for young and healthy people to die of Influenza or COVID. It is also rare for older people with exceptionally high levels of glutathione to be severely affected by COVID (Ref 6).
N-Acetyl Cysteine improves the levels of glutathione in the bodyAn Oregon state university study showed that N-Acetyl Cysteine improves glutathione levels in the body (Ref 4).
Personal experienceI take NAC myself. I originally did this to protect myself from being a COVID sufferer and spreader. But it has also helped sharpen my mind and increase my recovery after a hard training run (I’m a national level masters sprinter and I take my sport very seriously, so I know that it works).
A Russian discussion paper presents compelling evidence for Glutathione and N-Acetyl Cysteine to prevent and treat COVID symptomsA Russian researcher has shown that low glutathione levels are strongly associated with COVID illness and death, and proposes both Glutathione and N-Acetyl Cysteine for treatment and prevention of serious COVID 19 illness – the translated article is easy to read and is backed up by references – the link to it is shown below (Ref 6).
Healthline website articleThe Healthline website provides a balanced article about N-Acetyl Cysteine(Ref 5): The Healthline article has two errors however: (a) N-Acetyl Cysteine (by mouth) is not a doctor only, prescription medicine, it is a food supplement and (b) when taken as per label on the container, it is extremely safe. You don’t need to get a doctor’s prescription, and it is not a pharmacy only product. Indeed, my research so far indicates that, in New Zealand at least, there are very few doctors or pharmacies that can help you with advice or supply.
Go and get your NAC supplement!NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) is cheap and available at Health Food stores such as health 2000. You can also purchase in New Zealand per online search and you can phone any Health Food shop for advice – their naturopaths generally are able to advise on the product.
Don’t wait for a COVID vaccineI’ll be happy when I see a safe and effective and proven vaccine against COVID. I hope that the real at-risk people (those in elderly care facilities - Reference 7 and link) all receive the vaccination. In the meantime don’t wait! - Visit your health food store and ask for more information about N-Acetyl Cysteine!
I leave the second to last word to Swedish epidemiologist Anders Tegnell:
“…historically, it's not been that easy to produce vaccines for diseases – and this is a disease where the immunology seems to be quite complicated. That’s usually not a good sign that the vaccine will work very well. Countries should instead embrace sustainable, long-term measures designed to reduce transmission because the virus will stay with us for a substantial time, probably forever.The high power governmental advisors forget that the best "long term sustainable" measures always include healthy exercise, together with quality meals and supplements. Such measures don't just protect from COVID and 'Flu - they also come with the added benefit that your personal overall health will improve!(Ref 9)
1. Attenuation of Influenza-Like Symptomatology and Improvement of Cell-Mediated Immunity With Long-Term N-Acetyl Cysteine Treatment
2. Past Seasons Vaccine Effectiveness Estimates
3. Glutathione Serum Levels and Rate of Multimorbidity Development in Older Adults
4(a). Boosting levels of known antioxidant may help resist age-related decline/
4(b) Glutathione maintenance mitigates age-related susceptibility to redox-cycling agents
5. The Healthline website provides a good, balanced discussion on N-Acetyl Cysteine:
6. Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients
7. Facts about COVID 19 – search on-page for the subtitle “Nursing Homes”
8. For your interest: results of google search: "n acetyl cysteine buy in usa"
search result here