Child Loss & Grief

Does NAC prevent miscarriage? It’s never that simple, but here’s the 101

Jessie Day, in partnership with Zita West Products  |  26 Nov 2023


First up, we can’t overstate that in most cases, there’s no way to prevent a miscarriage from happening. And from very personal experience on team TRB, we know this can be hard – and frustrating – to hear. 

Having navigated recurrent miscarriage as part of my fertility journey, this is a topic close to my heart.

And while I know that there was nothing I could have done at the time, to stop my individual miscarriages from happening, I was and am excited by research into developing and potentially effective treatment for recurrent pregnancy loss. 

Who might benefit from NAC?

NAC – short for N-acetyl cysteine – is under the spotlight right now, thanks to its promising impact on female fertility – particularly for women who have PCOS – sperm health, and people experiencing recurrent miscarriage and pregnancy loss. 

Quick on the science, world-leading fertility and pregnancy support range Zita West Products (available in the US and UK) have just added the targeted N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) to their supplement options, recommended particularly for: 

  • women with PCOS
  • men looking to promote sperm health
  • men and women preparing for IVF (read our founder’s round 5 IVF prep list for more) 
  • those navigating high-risk pregnancy

Jump to the specifics for supplementing with NAC with Zita West, and keep reading for the what, when and why of this powerful antioxidant, and how scientists believe it may be an effective treatment for recurrent miscarriage. 

I asked team Zita West, why are we so interested in NAC right now? Here’s what we know, from the latest research and findings. 

benefits of nac during pregnancy

NAC is a potent antioxidant

N-acetyl cysteine acts as a precursor to glutathione, one of the body’s most potent antioxidants. You may have come across it as a potential support for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), or for whole-body health, but studies show that NAC may also have a significant impact on recurrent miscarriage rate – deep-dive this controlled clinical trial for the detail. 

Zita West has covered the role of antioxidants in supporting fertility pretty extensively – read this top-level male and female diet 101 for a good starting point – and how to get as many as possible into your pre-conception, IVF and pregnancy meal plans. This super-creamy shake recipe packs a solid antioxidant punch. 

In simple terms, antioxidants help protect our cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Let’s dive deeper into the potential benefits of NAC during pregnancy and pre-conception, and its emerging link to increasing live birth rates.

NAC and recurrent miscarriage – what’s the connection?

Miscarriage – particularly recurrent miscarriage – can sometimes be attributed to inflammation and oxidative stress. As one of the most potent known antioxidants, NAC may help to reduce the risk of miscarriage by counteracting these factors. 

This recent review on the various uses of NAC highlights useful information for fertility patients. And more specifically, studies show that a NAC pregnancy success connection may be due to its impact on oxidative stress, and support of a healthy uterine environment, in preparation for implantation. 

Optimal antioxidant levels are a vital part of the fertility picture, and pregnancy success rates. Supplementing with NAC is associated with increased live birth rates in patients undergoing treatment like IUI and IVF, by reducing oxidative stress and improving the quality of the embryo. 

Can I get NAC from my diet too?

Yes, many high-protein foods do provide small amounts of NAC, which can be helpful as a daily boost. Zita West is a world-leading authority on nutrition for optimised fertility, and alongside targeted supplementation provides lots of ideas and suggestions for boosting micronutrient and antioxidant intake through an extensive library and blog – just search NAC here, for lots more info. 

To get started with a dietary boost, focus on these best-known NAC food sources: 

  • animal produce like poultry, pork, eggs, cheese and yoghurt
  • plant options, including alliums like onions and garlic, plus legumes and sunflower seeds

For broader antioxidant support, eat the rainbow wherever you can, packing in a variety of fruits, nuts and vegetables, plus nutrient-dense dark chocolate, green tea and olive oil.

Supplementation

Team TRB have long-standing personal experience with Zita West and her legendary range of supplements. I’m currently dosing with the brand new NAC formula – we may try again for a baby next year, and I’m excited for the antioxidant boost, at age 37. 

Our CEO and founder Eloise – who is currently pregnant with twins – has written extensively about her most recent IVF supplementation checklist, which features a few other superstar Zita West formulas too, including the vitamin D spray, psyllium husk for a soluble fibre boost and CoQ10 for further powerful antioxidant support. 

Plus, there’s a round-up of our all-time favourites here, which for me features Inositol and Folate, for cycle & egg quality support. For Eloise, Vitafem Boost is a go-to for added antioxidant support. 

Wrapping up our chat about NAC, Zita adds, 

“We follow the science, and are constantly looking for ways to provide people with premium options for supplementation, based on the very latest research. Our new N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) supplement is carefully formulated to provide 600mg of NAC in just two daily capsules, for dynamic antioxidant support.  

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) has emerged as a promising antioxidant supplement in the realm of fertility. We still need deeper investigation – especially in relation to the suggested positive impact on ICSI cycles, for example – but research suggests NAC may hold great promise in supporting reproductive health.” 

NAC recurrent miscarriage

Interested in NAC? Snap 10% off the entire Zita West fertility supplement range (US and UK), with code TRB10* at checkout. 

*TRB10 is valid once per customer only. Excludes subscription purchase. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Zita West terms of the site apply.

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