NAC vs glutathione
Dr Patel

Reviewed By: Dr. Patel
Author: Auro Team

Unlock the Secret to Superior Antioxidant Power: NAC vs. Glutathione

Both Glutathione and NAC are potent antioxidants in the fight against free radicals, the unstable atoms that can damage cells by taking electrons from other molecules, leaving them stressed and unstable. Oxidative stress occurs when the body does not have ample antioxidant fighting power to combat free radicals. This sets the stage for adverse effects on the body, including chronic disease and illness.

NAC is a precursor to Glutathione, so supplementation leads to increased levels of Glutathione. Direct Glutathione supplementation directly raises the levels of the powerful antioxidant.

NAC has traditionally been a more popular supplement for increasing Glutathione levels in the body due to its ability to be more readily absorbed. Now, the emergence of Auro’s patented Auro GSH™ Antioxidant Delivery System, found within Auro’s  Glutaryl and Glutaryl +, provides the high efficacy of direct Glutathione supplementation.

Let’s dive deeper into what makes these two antioxidants, Glutathione and NAC, different – and alike.

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is a powerful,  naturally occurring antioxidant and one of the body’s primary defense systems against disease and aging. Glutathione is produced by the liver and comprises three amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine. It detoxifies the body – affecting overall health in numerous ways because of its big job of ridding the body of toxins – making it vital to the immune system’s proper functioning and building and repairing tissues. Glutathione is found in almost every cell of the body and keeps us healthy by neutralizing the free radicals that stress the body. These free radicals can be anything from UV exposure, everyday stress, alcohol, and more. Our bodies create their own free radicals, adding to the external free radicals that also besiege our bodies. Glutathione’s big job is to neutralize them all.

What is N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)?

Like Glutathione, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is an antioxidant. It contains the amino acid cysteine, which is a precursor to Glutathione, which means it plays a vital role in replenishing Glutathione in the body.

The connection between NAC, Cysteine, and Glutathione:

As we age, naturally occurring Glutathione levels wane. Our essential free radical fighter loses its fighting power when we need it the most.  The key is to find homeostasis.  When we have plentiful Glutathione antioxidants, the body can neutralize stressors. Glutathione is a vital detoxifier, protector, energizer, and beautifier, so increasing levels leads to better overall health. This includes battling against disease and sickness and ultimately having better energy, sleep, and smoother skin.

More Glutathione means more powerful antioxidant fighting power, but
What works better to increase Glutathione in the body: NAC or direct Glutathione?

Let’s break it down:

1. Using NAC over Glutathione to raise Glutathione levels.

People have taken N-acetylcysteine NAC for years as a precursor to increasing Glutathione levels instead of oral Glutathione.  Why? Bioavailability- or how effectively a substance is absorbed and utilized by the body.

The body more readily absorbs NAC compared to oral glutathione. When taken orally, Glutathione may undergo degradation in the digestive tract, and the intact Glutathione molecule may not be efficiently absorbed. NAC, on the other hand, is well-absorbed.

The body synthesizes Glutathione through a multi-step process that involves the combination of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine. NAC plays a crucial role in this process by providing a source of cysteine, which is a limiting factor in glutathione production. When you consume NAC, the body can use it to synthesize glutathione. This indirect approach helps overcome the challenges associated with absorbing intact Glutathione.

There are also reasons to take NAC specifically, like respiratory issues: NAC is used to break down mucus in the lungs and reduces inflammation, making it a popular supplement for respiratory illnesses.  It is a supplement, medication, and an FDA-approved drug.

In some cases, individuals may choose to use both glutathione and NAC, with guidance from a healthcare provider, to optimize their antioxidant support and address specific health concerns.

2. The challenge of Glutathione supplementation.

Since the bioavailability of Glutathione is low when taken orally, what about other forms of supplement? Glutathione is a large molecule. When delivered transdermally (on the skin), it is difficult for the skin to absorb fully. The molecule size makes penetrating the subcutaneous layers and then the bloodstream difficult.

3. Glutathione supplementation with high efficacy emerges.

Dr. Nayan Patel’s research and work started with wanting to find a better way to deliver Glutathione in its full form and on demand. He has studied this master antioxidant and its incredible role in overall health for over two decades. After 14 years of research, Glutaryl, the first ever multi-patented product that delivers Glutathione transdermally, was released.

Patel developed a delivery system for the large molecule called the Auro GSH™ Antioxidant Delivery System. It uses first-of-its-kind technology that optimizes antioxidant absorption and efficacy with subcutaneous delivery of this master antioxidant, which means a more powerful impact on the body. This delivery system is used in Auro’s  Glutaryl and Glutaryl +.

4. Unlike NAC, direct Glutathione supplementation immediately increases Glutathione levels in the body.

Direct Glutathione consumption through Auro’s  Glutaryl and Glutaryl + can raise levels faster and with high efficacy.  Dr. Patel’s delivery system has made Gluathione supplementation a potent form of Gluathione for the body. A recent pilot study shows that applying Glutaryl topically positively affects the immune system, reduces harmful substances, and helps fight against mycobacterium infection.* The study titled “Topical Absorption of Glutathione–Cyclodextrin Nanoparticle Complex in Healthy Human Subjects Improves Immune Response against Mycobacterium avium Infection” [1]shows that regular application to the skin of Glutaryl is a safe and effective way to balance the free radicals that can lead to illness and sickness.* 

Immunity is one of the many positive impacts of Glutathione supplementation on the body. The benefits of plentiful Glutathione are essential to getting on the road to better health. Make lifestyle, nutrition, and supplement choices that boost your Glutathione levels. Find out more about Glutaryl and what it can do for you.

[1] Sasania et al, (2023) Topical Absorption of Glutathione–Cyclodextrin Nanoparticle Complex in Healthy Human Subjects Improves Immune Response against Mycobacterium avium Infection. Antioxidants, 12(7), 1375. Retrieved from

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