Best NAC Supplements and Brands

Earlier this year, Amazon sent customers scrambling to find NAC supplements when they removed them from their platform. Although this may have seemed sudden it has been a long battle between the FDA and supplement companies manufacturing and distributing NAC supplements.

Whilst this battle rages on, a lot of us have been stranded and are unable to purchase NAC. NAC is one of the most popular supplements used for antioxidant support and to reduce inflammation.

In this review we will review NAC products that are still manufactured and distributed and why they are superior to competing brands.

NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) Overview

Best for Antioxidant, Anti Anxiety, Fertility
📦 Product types Powder and pill form
🤑 Pricing $0.10 – $0.27 per serving
✅ Discounts 10% off with Bulk Supplements with code brawn10

NAC Banned On Amazon

In July 2020, the FDA sent advisory letters to seven supplement brands warning them against selling NAC supplements, even though the FDA has not done a final determination on NAC supplements. However, even though it’s an open issue, Amazon has jumped the gun and banned the sale of all supplements that contain this ingredient.

Don’t worry though! We found the leading retailers that still sell NAC, but be aware that they might sell out at any moment.

TL;DR: What are the Best NAC Supplement in 2021?

  • Bulk Supplements offers the best NAC supplement overall. Its NAC is available in both powder form as well as in gelatin and vegetarian capsules.
  • Double Wood offers the best overall NAC capsules. Each serving (2 capsules) contains 1,000mg of pure NAC.
  • Life Extension offers the best 600mg NAC capsules. This product is easily absorbed and can be taken up to 3 times daily.
  • Science.bio offers the best NAC powder. This NAC is the purest product we’ve come across and is completely free of adulterants, excipients, and flow agents to maintain purity.
  • Thorne offers the best 500mg NAC capsules.

Comparison of the Best NAC Supplements

Best Pure NAC Powder
Bulk Supplements
1
Best NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and Brands
Best Pure NAC Powder
Bulk Supplements

This NAC is available in both powder and capsule form.

1 Scoop Daily
600mg per Serving
$0.10 per Serving

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Affordable Small NAC Capsules
Double Wood
2
Best NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and Brands
Affordable Small NAC Capsules
Double Wood

Each capsule contains 500mg of NAC, but the recommended daily serving is 2 capsules (1,000mg).

2 Capsules Daily
1000mg per Serving
$0.19 per Serving

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Best Small Pill Brand
Thorne
3
Best NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and Brands
Best Small Pill Brand
Thorne

This easily-absorbed, capsule version of NAC contains 500 mg per serving.

1-3 Capsules Daily
500mg per Serving
$0.27 per Serving

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20% off with link

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Best Medium NAC Capsules
Life Extension
4
Best NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and Brands
Best Medium NAC Capsules
Life Extension

This easily-absorbed, capsule version of NAC contains 600 mg per serving.

1-3 Capsules Daily
600mg per Serving
$0.18 per Serving

Purest NAC Powder
Science.bio
5
Best NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and BrandsBest NAC Supplements and Brands
Purest NAC Powder
Science.bio

This is the purest NAC powder available, with each batch possessing a minimum purity of 98%.

Weighed with Scale
1000mg per Serving
$0.15 per Serving

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Best Value NAC Supplement: Bulk Supplements (Back in Stock)

Best NAC SupplementsBulk Supplements offers the best NAC capsules available. It provides customers with the option to select from standard gelatin capsules or vegetarian-friendly capsules and there is also a powder version available as well.

This product contains pure N-Acetyl L-Cysteine that is free of additional ingredients or additives of any kind. Customers can order either 100 or 300 capsules of NAC or may choose to purchase it in powder form of varying quantities as well.

It is recommended for adults to take 1-3 servings of 600mg daily, depending on their health needs.

Pros
  • Capsule or powder form

  • Gelatin or vegetarian capsules

  • 100% pure NAC

Cons
  • Vegetarian capsules sell out often and may have limited availability 

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Best and Largest NAC Capsules – Double Wood

Best NAC

Double Wood offers one of the most potent NAC supplements available today.  Each capsule contains 500mg of NAC, but the recommended daily serving is 2 capsules (1,000mg).

Thankfully, Double Wood’s NAC capsules are made with naturally derived ingredients only and are free from synthetic materials that are often contained in lower-quality, generic products.

Whether you’re new to using NAC or have used it for a while, this product can be easily dosed according to one’s preferences and tolerability.

Pros
  • 2 capsules daily
  • 1000mg of NAC per serving
  • 100% pure NAC

Cons
  • Some people may require 4 capsules daily for certain conditions

  • Powder version is more cost-effective

  • Some people prefer to avoid the use of MCC (microcrystalline cellulose)

Best Medium NAC Capsules – Life Extension

Best NAC Supplements

NAC by Life Extension is available in an easily absorbed capsule form that provides 600mg of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine per serving.

This is the perfect product for customers who can’t stand the somewhat bitter taste of NAC in its standard powder form as it doesn’t leave an aftertaste whatsoever.

Additionally, there’s no hassle with having to measure out dosages exactly and this product provides an easy way to gradually increase or lower servings as needed.

This 100% pure NAC supplement provides systemic benefits, especially for bronchial, respiratory, liver, and immune health.

It is recommended for adults to take 1-3 capsules daily.

Pros
  • Easy to take capsules
  • 600mg of NAC per serving
  • 100% pure NAC

Cons
  • Powder version is less expensive per serving than capsules

Best Alternative NAC Powder: Science.bio

Best NAC

Science.bio offers the purest NAC powder available, with each batch possessing a minimum purity of 98%. Additionally, the company provides batch purity reports for all of its products.

Not only is this NAC the purest but it’s also contained in a PET single-wall jar with UV resistance to minimize degradation and is protected by a tamper-proof seal to reduce the risk of damage during shipping.

Each container holds 100grams of NAC powder, which provides 100 servings for customers who use 1,000mg per day.

Pros
  • Pure powder form

  • 100 servings per container

  • Purest NAC available

Cons
  • Some customers may not enjoy the taste

  • There are no directions for serving sizes as this product is intended for research purposes only

  • You will need to purchase a serving spoon separately and carefully weigh each dose with a scale

Best Small NAC Capsules: Thorne

Best NAC Supplements and Brands

NAC by Thorne is available in capsule form and each serving (1 capsule) provides 500mg of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine.

This product is ideal for customers who are completely new to using NAC and want to gradually increase their dosage over time.

Thorne provides one of the best-tested and most easily absorbed low-dose NAC capsules on the market today.

It is recommended for adults to take 2-3 capsules daily.

Pros
  • Easy to take capsules
  • 500mg of NAC per serving
  • 100% pure NAC

Cons
  • Powder version is less expensive per serving than capsules

  • Other capsules contain higher dosages (better for more experienced users)

NAC Antioxidant

NAC exhibits extremely powerful antioxidant properties due to its ability to enhance glutathione production, promote full-body detoxification, and remove free radicals. [1]

Its role as an antioxidant allows it to be an effective option in the treatment of disorders that result directly from free oxygen radical formation and damage. Some of the most common disorders that are caused or heavily affected by free radical damage include infertility in men and PCOS in women.

Men and women affected by these disorders who have used NAC in conjunction with standard forms of treatment have displayed incredible improvements in fertility parameters, such as sperm morphology and function, and have improved women’s chances of conceiving due to improvements in ovulation. [5]

Additionally, NAC has provided substantial support for diabetics in the prevention of further complications related to oxidative stress. Studies have shown that NAC reduces the risk of myocardial infarction in those who suffer from diabetes and may play a critical role in the prevention of both ischemia and non-ischemic-associated cardiac damage. [3]

NAC for Anxiety

NAC has been used for the treatment of anxiety, depression, and similar disorders. [2]  NAC is successful in the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders due to its role in reducing cellular damage related to oxidative stress and inflammation, its ability to prevent apoptosis, and its assistance in mitochondrial function and dopamine regulation. [4]

Studies have displayed that servings of 2,400-3,000 mg/day of NAC used over the course of at least 3 months help to drastically reduce the severity of the most common symptoms associated with mental health disorders. [6]
[7]

NAC provides people of all ages with an over-the-counter, affordable form of treatment that is easily accessible and poses minimal adverse effects. As far as what the best is? Just get pure.

NAC for Covid-19

NAC has multiple properties that have been shown useful in treating critically ill patients and now Covid-19.

These properties are:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti Inflammatory
  • Immune modulating characteristics 

Research has shown that administration of NAC may suppress Covid-19 replication and improve outcomes if used timely.

The administration of NAC in combination with other antiviral agents may reduce the hospital admission rate, mechanical ventilation and mortality [8].

Dosage for Covid-19

Research has proposed a dose of 600mg as an effective and economical measure to prevent Covid-19 in healthy patients.

If symptoms of Covid-19 start developing a dose of 1200mg is recommended to help alleviate symptoms and accelerate recovery from the infection.

For patients in ICU healthcare practitioners can administer NAC via IV form [8].

Before taking NAC, it is important to chat to your healthcare provider.

NAC and Lung Health

Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), Asthma and chronic bronchitis are  common lung disorders that are estimated to affect  millions of Americans. COPD causes long term oxidative damage and inflammation of the lungs. This causes the airways to constrict and results in shortness of breath and coughing. 

NAC can help relieve symptoms for individuals affected by COPD and other lung conditions.  The main way it helps is by acting as an antioxidant and expectorant. 

NAC helps replenish glutathione levels in the lungs which helps reduce inflammation in the airways, it also helps to thin the mucus in the lungs. This reduces the frequency and severity of coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

NAC supplements have been used to improve COPD symptoms, exacerbations and lung function decline. In a one-year study, 600mg of NAC twice a day significantly improved lung functions and symptoms in those with stable COPD [8].

NAC for Depression, Anxiety, OCD and trichotillomania

Addictive and compulsive disorders affect millions of Americans and include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, trichotillomania, skin picking, nail biting and OCD.

Glutamate is an important neurotransmitter in the brain however when it is in excess paired with a depletion of glutathione it can contribute to OCD and other addictive behaviors. Research has shown that NAC can benefit these disorders by replenishing NAC and regulating the levels of Glutamate in the brain. This makes it easier for patients to reduce unwanted behavior [9].

The recommended dose for NAC with these disorders is 1200mg to be taken twice a day, one in the morning and one in the evening [10].

Best NAC Supplement

We recommend N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC) by Bulk Supplements as the best NAC supplement. Bulk goes above and beyond in offering its customers numerous options for how to take their NAC and its products are incredibly pure and affordable when compared to other leading brands.

The company offers both powder and capsule form for its NAC and it also provides both gelatin and vegetarian options for its capsules. They’re also the most affordable option!

Should I take NAC in the Morning or Evening?

NAC can be taken throughout the day as needed. However, it is generally recommended to take NAC after eating to prevent potential side effects such as nausea or gastrointestinal discomfort.

Most people take their first dose of NAC upon waking with breakfast and take additional servings as needed, such as mid-day or before bed.

If you are taking it for lung conditions it may be best to take a dose in the evening as lung function can decline in the evening.

How long does it take for NAC to work?

For NAC to function at its best it needs to be converted to L-Glutathione first, this takes about an hour after you take it. Some conditions such as trichotillomania, skin picking  may require you to take it for a longer period of time until you start seeing improvement.

Take-Home Message

NAC is a powerful supplement with many health benefits.  If you’re looking for the best NAC capsules, we highly recommend taking pure NAC by Bulk Supplements.

[1] Mokhtari, V., Afsharian, P., Shahhoseini, M., Kalantar, S. M., & Moini, A. (2017). A Review on Various Uses of N-Acetyl Cysteine. Cell journal, 19(1), 11–17. https://doi.org/10.22074/cellj.2016.4872

[2] Rapado-Castro, M., Dodd, S., Bush, A. I., Malhi, G. S., Skvarc, D. R., On, Z. X., ... & Dean, O. M. (2017). Cognitive effects of adjunctive N-acetyl cysteine in psychosis.

[3] Dludla, P. V., Dias, S. C., Obonye, N., Johnson, R., Louw, J., & Nkambule, B. B. (2018). A systematic review on the protective effect of N-acetyl cysteine against diabetes-associated cardiovascular complications. American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, 18(4), 283-298.

[4] Oliver, G., Dean, O., Camfield, D., Blair-West, S., Ng, C., Berk, M., & Sarris, J. (2015). N-acetyl cysteine in the treatment of obsessive compulsive and related disorders: a systematic review. Clinical psychopharmacology and neuroscience : the official scientific journal of the Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 13(1), 12–24. https://doi.org/10.9758/cpn.2015.13.1.12

[5] Jannatifar, R., Parivar, K., Roodbari, N. H., & Nasr-Esfahani, M. H. (2019). Effects of N-acetyl-cysteine supplementation on sperm quality, chromatin integrity and level of oxidative stress in infertile men. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 17(1), 1-9.

[6] Slattery, J., Kumar, N., Delhey, L., Berk, M., Dean, O., Spielholz, C., & Frye, R. (2015). Clinical trials of N-acetylcysteine in psychiatry and neurology: a systematic review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 55, 294-321.

[7] Fernandes, B. S., Dean, O. M., Dodd, S., Malhi, G. S., & Berk, M. (2016). N-Acetylcysteine in depressive symptoms and functionality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 77(4), 457-466.

[8] Shi Z, Puyo C, 2020, N-Acetylcysteine to Combat Covid-19: An Evidence Review, Therapeutics and Clinical Risk,16: 1047-55. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7649937/

[9] Goodson A, 2018, Top 9 Benefits of NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine), Healthline, viewed 30th November 2021, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nac-benefits

[10] Grant JE, 2017, N-Acetylcysteine for Trichotillomania, Skin Picking, and Nail Biting, The TLC Foundation, viewed 30th November 2021, https://www.bfrb.org/learn-about-bfrbs/123-n-acetylcysteine-for-trichotillomania-skin-picking-and-nail-biting

Kathryn Giuffrida MPH

Kathryn obtained a MPH in Toxicology & Risk Assessment from the University of South Florida in 2018. She's also a year-round swimmer who qualified to compete in the 2020 TYR Pro Series.

2 Responses

  1. ALERT … Science Bio states on its info that you refer to for more info …
    states
    NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION !!!!! you really need to remove this product for sale… unless i am missing something .. IT CLEARLY SAYS THIS !!!
    https://science.bio/product/nac-powder/ref/692/
    ‘This material is sold for laboratory research use only. Terms of sale apply.
    “Not for human consumption, nor medical, veterinary, or household uses. Please familiarize yourself with our Terms & Conditions prior to ordering”
    “This material is sold for laboratory research use only. Terms of sale apply. Not for human consumption, nor medical, veterinary, or household uses. Please familiarize yourself with our Terms & Conditions prior to ordering.”

  2. Hi Lee, this is necessary because the FDA is cracking down on NAC. This means that companies cannot advertise them for human consumption even though NAC has been in use for decades and is known to be a safe supplement. Science.bio is an approved vendor and known to have extremely high quality controls.

    Take a look at studies covering NAC: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6562654/#:~:text=Although%20NAC%20is%20considered%20a,our%20understanding%20of%20NAC%20applicability.

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Best NAC Supplement

10% off with Bulk Supplements with code brawn10