The antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) lowers homocysteine levels, possibly reducing cardiovascular risk, according to a study from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Middle-aged men with and without elevated blood lipids took daily supplements of NAC (1.8 grams/day) or placebos for four weeks in this double-blind study. Results showed the NAC supplements lowered homocysteine levels by 11.7% and also were associated with reduced blood pressure. The researchers conclude that NAC should be considered for primary or secondary prevention of vascular events for patients with elevated homocysteine and arterial hypertension.
Hildebrandt W, Sauer R, Bonaterra G, et al: Oral N-acetylcysteine reduces plasma homocysteine concentrations regardless of lipid or smoking status. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2015;102:s1014-s1024.