PBC Foundation

Saundrella posted here on Sunday 16th, about the liver protecting properties of NAC or N-Acetyl Cysteine. Does anyone know if it helps PBC?

It's an interesting piece, and my Physio actually mentioned this 'amino-acid' treatment to me the other day (he has other liver issues). However no one has commented back to Saudrella's post so far to say if they KNOW it helps with PBC. As it's the cells of the bile duct that experts think are specifically targeted by the antibodies in PBC, and the liver is then impeded in doing its job by bile duct scar tissue, and not being able to get rid of bile, will NAC necessarily help? Does anyone know?

4 Replies

Hello GrittyReads.

I did read the posting but like a lot of things when you have PBC you can only wonder really. I didn't reply back myself due to not really knowing and also being sceptical. There are a lot of claims out there and it seems a less common component.

I really think that if this NAC was of tremendous help I am sure that it would be more widely known surely?

Milk thistle is reputed to aid the liver but I seem to think personally you have to take a good quantity if you have a liver-related problem. I have experimented myself with milk thistle since 2012 and I did get good results that year but then due to the regulations regarding herbal products and now licensing of many, milk thistle I found was greatly reduced in strength and also the price went pretty high due to having to use a pharmaceutical with a licence.

I found that I didn't get any better results during last yr using milk thistle and I put it down to the strength so I stopped taking it.

I also think that it is known that scientists and doctors like to find things out and maybe this NAC has been found to be non-toxic perhaps and the theory of what it may do not wholly approved yet?


Thanks Peridot, I think I'm with you. There are so many things out there - if I took everything that everyone recommends I'd be bankrupt, and quite possibly more ill than I am. I was just curious in case anyone knows some more detail. As I said, just because something helps the liver - or liver cells - it doesn't mean the liver cells can then find a way around ongoing bile duct damage. thanks again.


Hello again. Just noticed that there are now 3 replies to Saundrella's posting on this NAC. Still not convinced there. Noticed there is a mention of selenium. Now I know you can poison yourself from selenium but not sure what quantity one would have to take. I live by the 'a bit of everything and some things in moderation' (definitely no alcohol. Not bothered as never a big drinker prior to PBC and I ceased after my first abnormal LFT early 2010).


Hello once again.

I was checking upon this NAC myself never having heard of it. Apparently it is being used in certain medications already and one is for over-use of Tylenol which I believe in USA is UK equivalent of paracetamol (I am in UK). Maybe this is where this idea has come from?

From some article I was reading on a site called lef.org (which is a magazine Life Foundation apparently and presume American due to the usage of Tylenol)this NAC does actually state it was originally used for asthmatics and COPD and chest problems.

What I am finding puzzling is the fact that if this substance was of continual benefit wouldn't it have been noted as common place some time ago?


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