Na Cand Healthwith Dr Parkers Comments98 2003
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Na Cand Healthwith Dr Parkers Comments98 2003
A type of antioxidant may not be as safe as
Certain preparations taken to enhance athletic performance or stave off disease contain an anti-
oxidant that could cause harm. According to new research at the University of Virginia Health
System, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an anti-oxidant commonly used in nutritional and body-
building supplements, can form a red blood cell-derived molecule that makes blood vessels think
they are not getting enough oxygen.
This leads to pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a serious condition characterized by high
blood pressure in the arteries that carry blood to the lungs. The results appear in the September
issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
“NAC fools the body into thinking that it has an oxygen shortage,” said Dr. Ben Gaston, UV a
Children’s Hospital pediatrician and researcher who led the study. “We found that an NAC
product formed by red blood cells, know as a nitrosothiol, bypasses the normal regulation of
oxygen sensing. It tells the arteries in the lung to ‘remodel’; they become narrow, increasing the
blood pressure in the lungs and causing the right side of the heart to swell.”
Gaston notes that this is an entirely new understanding of the way oxygen is sensed by the body.
The body responds to nitrosothiols, which are made when a decreased amount of oxygen is being
carried by red blood cells; the response is not to the amount of oxygen dissolved in blood. He
says that this pathway was designed much more elegantly than anyone had previously imagined.
“We were really surprised”, he said.
The research team administered both NAC and nitrosothiols to mice for three weeks. The NAC
was converted by red blood cells into the nitrosothiol, S-nitroso-N-acetylcysteine (SNOAC). The
normal mice that received NAC and SNOAC developed PAH. Mice missing an enzyme known
as endothelial nitric oxide synthase did not convert NAC to SNOAC, and were protected from
the adverse effects of NAC, but not SNOAC. This suggests that NAC must be converted to
SNOAC to cause PAH.
Could regular use of NAC produce the same effects in humansquot; The next step is to determine a
threshold past which antioxidant use becomes detrimental to heart or lung function, according to
Dr. Lisa Palmer, co-researcher of the study.
“The more we understand about complexities in humans, the more we need to be aware of
chemical reactions in the body,” said Palmer.
According to Gaston and Palmer, NAC is being tested in clinical trials for patients with cystic
fibrosis as well as other conditions; and clinical trials with nitrosothiols are being planned. These
results, Palmer says, should motivate researchers to check their patients for PAH.
The results also open up a range of possibilities in treating PAH. Palmer added that the signaling
process could be restorative and healing if they figured out how to keep NAC from fooling the
“From here we could devise new ways for sensing hypoxia or we could in theory modify
signaling to treat PAH,” Palmer said.
Source: University of Virginia Health System
Dr. Parker’s Comments:
Not all antioxidants are equally helpful or useful to the body. This article is a
summary of clinical research demonstrating that N-acetylcysteine may lead
to health problems. This is also true of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin E.
It is important to understand that all naturally occurring antioxidants in
foods are very complex compounds which require breakdown, via digestion
by the body before they are useful to the body. The very act of breaking
these compounds into usable forms creates a great deal of oxidation which,
ironically enough, uses up to 90% of the antioxidants contained in the food
or supplement, creating a small net gain of these valuable commodities.
The ionized, alkaline, reduced, Kangen Water™ produced by Enagic’s water
ionizers are very simple in structure. They are simple hydroxyl ions – just
oxygen and hydrogen. The antioxidant potential in this water is readily
available to be utilized by the body with no digestion. This is the reason we
see such dramatic shifts in the body in such a short period of time.
Do not misunderstand me, the antioxidants and nutrients found in foods are
vital building blocks required for good health. It is just that the net
antioxidant effect on the body is not great enough to see a quick and
significant shift in health related issues.