July 28, 2010
Don't let your doctor use X-ray dyes unless you do this first...
If you have an X-ray that uses a contrast dye scheduled, please read this before going to the doctor. It could save your kidneys.
Contrast dyes are important to see your organs function, like in coronary angiography or kidney X-rays. But contrast dyes carry significant risk of renal damage, especially if you already have kidney disease. However, you can prevent the damage with one simple supplement.
Scientists compared the effectiveness of NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine) and vitamin C in 212 patients scheduled for angiography. They gave half of the patients 1,200 mg of NAC twice daily the day before and the day of the angiogram. They gave the other half 3 grams and 2 grams the day before and 2 grams twice after the exam of vitamin C. Then they compared the kidney damage of both groups.
NAC outdid vitamin C in protection. That's good news for those with risk. However, I don't think you need to choose one supplement over the other.
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X-ray contrast dyes carry risk whether or not you have kidney disease. If you ever need a dye study, consider taking NAC (500 mg three times daily) along with vitamin C (1 gram three times daily). I see no downside to this regimen. These nutrients both generate and recycle glutathione. Glutathione is your body's most important detoxifier and cellular protector. So they will both offer protection.
Ref: American Heart Journal, 2009.