The Use of N-Acetylcysteine as a Chelator for Metal Toxicity

  • Daniel A. Rossignol


In this chapter, the effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) as a chelator of heavy metals are examined. In a systematic review to identify studies, NAC was shown to chelate toxic metals in 33 animal studies. Metals that were removed in these studies included mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum, arsenic, and gold. Fifteen human studies were identified. These studies reported no significant adverse effects and no effects on essential metals. Metals removed in these human studies included mercury, lead, gold, and arsenic. However, because of the preliminary nature of these studies, the overall rating was C due to limited evidence, although one double-blind placebo-controlled study using NAC in human lead exposure was promising. The use of NAC as a chelator of heavy metals appears to be a promising area of medical research and further clinical studies to verify these preliminary findings are warranted.

Supplementary material

371348_1_En_10_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Online Table 10.1 Mercury chelation studies using NAC (DOCX 16 kb)
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Online Table 10.2 Lead chelation studies using NAC (DOCX 16 kb)
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Online Table 10.3 Gold chelation studies using NAC (DOCX 15 kb)
371348_1_En_10_MOESM4_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Online Table 10.4 Arsenic chelation studies using NAC (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel A. Rossignol
    • 1
  1. 1.Rossignol Medical CenterAliso ViejoUSA

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