Increased oxidative stress and disturbed glutathione metabolism have been associated with Yoga poses strength bipolar disorder and depression. Mood stabilizers, such as valproate Depakote and lithium improve oxidative status Yoga poses strength in bipolar patients. In a six-month double-blind randomized controlled study of 75 patients with bipolar disorder, the addition of NAC 2 g/day to the usual treatment regimen resulted in significant improvements on measures of depression, mania, quality of life, and social and occupational functioning compared to placebo.
Positive effects appeared after eight weeks of daily NAC and faded after discontinuation with a one-month washout of NAC.
As in previous trials, NAC was well tolerated with no significant side effects Berk, 2007; Tucker, 2007.
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Although this study will require further follow-up, it shows that NAC is promising and safe as an augmentation for bipolar patients who are already on medication. In animal studies, NAC protected rat striatum from oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation due to an antipsychotic medication, haloperidol Haldol; see Sidebar 2.2.