A chemical called N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is found in all the food that we eat, and is the primary contributor to the body’s production of nitric oxide, an oxygen-carrying molecule that allows the body to burn calories.
The problem is, NAC isn’t exactly natural.
It’s derived from animals.
But a recent study published in the journal Science finds that, instead of being naturally occurring, it’s made by plants.
“NAC has been used as an endocrine disruptor, a carcinogen, and a neurotoxin, to name just a few of its many adverse effects,” explains the study.
“Its use has grown from a small subset of synthetic pesticides to the most commonly used herbicide and insecticide on our plates, and now it’s also found in some foods, most notably our food.”
NAC, or nitric oxides, is also a known neurotoxin.
It disrupts the function of nerve cells, causing them to die.
NAC is known to be harmful to your nervous system.
But this new study by a team of scientists from the University of Florida and University of Texas at Austin shows that NAC can also be used to improve human health.
Their study found that Nac is beneficial to health by slowing down the aging process, reducing the risk of developing certain cancers, and even reducing the chances of heart disease and dementia.
It can even be used in the treatment of asthma and allergies.
The researchers found that when they fed NAC-treated rice to mice, the mice were able to live for three to four years longer than mice that didn’t get the treatment.
“The effect was significant in mice that were treated with NAC,” said lead author Dr. Michael A. Meeks.
“That’s about three years of life span.”
It’s the first time researchers have shown that N-acylcystine (NMEC), an organic compound found in plants that is derived from the amino acid glycine, can actually be used as a food additive.
The team was able to use NMEC to enhance the body in ways that were thought to be beneficial to human health, by helping the body produce nitric Oxide, which is needed to make nitric acid.
The study’s other co-author, Professor Ravi Kumar of the Department of Chemistry at the University.
said that NTC is “one of the most important elements in plant life, and the most abundant in the environment.”
It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.
The scientists say that the compounds NAC and NMEC can both be found in nature, and that the ability to use NAC in a food is a promising avenue for further development.
“It’s like adding vitamin C to your diet,” said Meeks, who noted that the food additive has also been shown to improve cognitive performance.
The next step in this research will be to study how NAC affects different body systems.
The authors say that future studies will look into NAC’s potential as an alternative to the popular “nutrient rich” plant-based diets of the past.
The article is reproduced with permission from Chemistry World.