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Does the Supplement Cysteine Help for Hair Loss?

Cysteine NAC 600mgName: Albert

Question: Hi, I wanted to know if Cysteine helps prevent hair loss by increasing the blood circulation at the scalp level. I want to try N-Acetyl Cysteine 600 mg.

Answer: N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a modified form of cysteine, a non-essential amino acid that can be manufactured in the liver, which helps the body make the antioxidant enzyme glutathione. Several studies have found that it is beneficial to people with chronic bronchitis and there is preliminary evidence to suggest that it may help prevent colon cancer.

It is believed by some that NAC may help to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. However, although cysteine is a necessary part of a well-balanced diet, the extent of its effect on hair loss is limited to providing some essential nutrients your hair needs for healthy growth. It is highly unlikely and definitely not proven to individually stop hair loss or re-grow hair that’s already been lost. There are only two clinically proven treatments for hair loss but good nutrition is helpful for enhancing the health of the hair follicles and certain hair growth boosters may provide extra support for those treatments.

Cysteine is readily available in a variety of foods such as beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, dairy products, eggs, fish, garlic, meat, nuts, onions, red peppers, seafood, seeds, soy, whey, and whole grains. You should be able to get enough cysteine your body requires from a healthy, well-balanced diet but if you have a deficiency, you may notice symptoms such as loss of pigmentation in hair, lethargy, liver damage, muscle loss, weakness and fat loss.

Optimal levels of NAC and cysteine have not been determined but 250 to 1,500 mg of NAC per day has been used in clinical studies with no adverse effects. The supplements you mentioned should be safe to use but always check with your doctor first. People with diabetes or who are allergic to eggs, milk, or wheat should not take supplementary cysteine and the danger with people taking supplements without checking with their doctor first is that they may overdose of certain nutrients. Studies have found extremely high doses of NAC could cause liver injury and daily doses of 1.2g or more increase oxidative stress.

More Information:
Male Hair Loss
Hair Loss in Women
Hair Loss Product Reviews

Further Reading:
Foods for Healthy Hair
Supplements vs. Proven Hair Loss Treatments
Tips for Preventing Hair Loss

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4th July, 2016 at 6:22 pm


I have a question. Why should people who are allergic to wheat not take NAC? Sorry my English is not so good. 'People with diabetes or who are allergic to eggs, milk, or wheat should not take supplementary cysteine' Thanks in advance. Best regards, Z

5th July, 2016 at 10:33 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Z, the ingredients of this supplement contain wheat so it is not suitable for anyone with a wheat allergy.

5th July, 2016 at 5:54 pm


Dear Sarah, Thanks for the answer. But i don´t understand it. Because the supplement of Solgar says it doesn´t contain gluten. Can you please explain why NAC has wheat/gluten? Thanks in advance. Beste regards, Z

12th July, 2016 at 11:24 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Z, This is due to ingredients which are often used to make the tablets, some of them can provoke gluten enteropathy attracts. NAC itself is ok, so if the medication is labelled gluten free, it should be ok to be used by a person with coeliac disease or a wheat allergy. We hope this helps.

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