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LMU 135 – Empowering Fertility: N-Acetyl Cysteine’s Role in Combating PCOS


LMU 135 – Empowering Fertility: N-Acetyl Cysteine's Role in Combating PCOS

Source: Cell Journal (April 2017)

Lifestyle Medicine Update (July 12, 2019)


Within the realm of women’s health, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) looms as a complex enigma, impacting 5-10% of reproductive-age women. Renowned as the leading cause of anovulatory infertility, PCOS casts a shadow over the dreams of motherhood for countless women, rendering them unable to conceive. To add to the burden, PCOS unfurls a tapestry of complications—recurrent pregnancy loss and painful cyst ruptures, further entwining challenges with despair.

PCOS Unveiled: A Tangle of Challenges

Beneath the surface, PCOS orchestrates a symphony of challenges, intertwining reproductive hurdles with broader health implications. A symphony marked by a high prevalence of metabolic syndrome—a consortium of obesity, high blood pressure, glucose intolerance, elevated triglycerides, and reduced HDL-cholesterol. This ensemble paves the way for a formidable duo: type 2 diabetes and heightened blood clot risk. Consequently, the intricate dance of hormones and blood viscosity becomes a fragile balance, directly influencing fertility.

An Ovulation Enigma: Clomiphene Citrate (CC)

To dispel the shadow of infertility, the stage often welcomes a protagonist named Clomiphene Citrate (CC). This drug orchestrates the pituitary gland to conjure higher hormone levels—FSH and LH—that herald ovulation. Yet, as the curtains unveil, a sobering truth emerges: CC falters in up to 40% of women. The pursuit of conception, fraught with dashed hopes, yearns for a new dawn.

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC): A Ray of Hope

In the chronicles of PCOS, a natural supplement emerges as a potential ally—a beacon of hope named N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC). Intriguingly, studies spanning from 2010 illuminate a transformative potential: the symbiosis of NAC and CC catalyzes ovulation and pregnancy rates in women previously unresponsive to CC alone.

NAC’s Fertility Forte: Unveiling Mechanisms

Amidst the fertility labyrinth, NAC wields a dual-edged sword. On one front, it dissolves the mucus barrier on the cervix—a crucial element for conception. Notably, CC’s drawback lies in its propensity to thicken this mucus layer, hindering sperm’s journey. NAC’s intervention—a mucus-loosening action—garners the potential to usher sperm towards the uterine sanctuary, igniting the spark of fertilization.

Harmonizing Hormones: NAC and Insulin

As the fertility narrative unfolds, NAC unfurls yet another layer of its tapestry—its dance with insulin receptors. NAC’s serenade sensitizes these receptors, orchestrating a harmonious interplay with insulin levels. The result? A ballet of balanced blood glucose and insulin secretion, rekindling hormonal equilibrium and bolstering fertility. This harmony, in turn, reverberates through the corridors of metabolic syndrome, deftly lowering blood glucose levels and kindling hope for those entangled in type 2 diabetes.

Antioxidant Arsenal: NAC’s Shield

NAC’s prowess extends beyond the realm of fertility, encompassing an antioxidant shield. In a dance against oxidative stress—the handmaiden of infertility in PCOS—NAC emerges as a potent defender. Armed with the ability to stifle free radical damage, NAC champions the cause of healthy reproductive terrain, where cells flourish and fertility thrives.

A Plea for Awareness: NAC’s Untapped Potential

In the intricate dance of medicine, knowledge unfurls as a transformative cadence. Yet, within the realm of PCOS, a caveat emerges—a symphony of NAC’s potential that remains shrouded to some. Amidst the pulsating beat of drug research, the cadence of natural supplements may be lost. Herein lies a call for awareness—a summons to spread the word to those whose paths are shadowed by PCOS.

Towards Fertility’s Horizon: NAC’s Guiding Light

As the journey unfurls for PCOS-afflicted women, NAC stands as a guiding light, illuminating pathways to fertility. With a daily dosage of 1,200 mg intertwined with CC, the potential for ovulation and pregnancy burgeons. The ripple effect of NAC’s intervention, like a stone cast into a pond, can transform lives that have wrestled with the spectre of infertility.

Conclusion: A New Verse in the Fertility Symphony

In the melody of life, fertility emerges as a cherished note, harmonizing with the dreams of motherhood. Amidst the challenges that PCOS presents, NAC’s resonance offers newfound hope—a resonant chord that enriches the symphony of fertility. For those grappling with PCOS, NAC unfurls as a potential verse, where science and nature coalesce, composing a harmonious ode to fertility.


  1. Mokhtari V, et al. A review of various uses of N-Acetyl Cysteine. Cell J. 19(1) April 2017 [Link](
  2. Sekhon LH, Gupta S, Kim Y, Agarwal A. Female infertility and antioxidants. Curr Women’s Health Rev. 2010;6:84-95. [Link](
  3. Nasr A. Effect of N-acetyl cysteine after ovarian drilling in clomiphene citrate-resistant PCOS women: a pilot study. Reprod Biomed Online. 2010;20(3):403–409. [Link](

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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