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Monday, June 11, 2012

Growing Myelin – N-Acetyl Glucosamine

There are supplements that help our bodies fight the damage from multiple sclerosis (MS). The one I’d like to talk about now is n-acetyl glucosamine (NAG). N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) is an enzyme and one of the 8 essential sugars, a monosaccharide. (It is sometimes called NAG but more properly, it’s GalNAc.) Bodies use NAG for repairs including cartilage, and the muscosal lining of the digestive system. It aids in insulin production and in absorbing cholesterol. It can help suppress pain, tumor growth and viruses.

In one experiment, in rats, those which took NAG saw remyelination. In other words, they got myelin coming back to cover the nerves that were bare of it due to MS. Humans and rats have a lot in common, and scientists think that NAG will cause remyelination in humans. The dose that’s recommended is 3500-4000 mg a day of NAG. Because NAG effects the gut, it’s important to build up slowly and find the amount that you can handle. NAG comes in 500 or 750 mg pills.

Table 1. What N-Acetyl-Glucosamine Does in the Human Body.
May cause remyelination.
Cuts inflammation, decreases pain, increases mobility; reduces swelling and stiffness esp. in knee and hip
Repairs damage
GI Tract
Repairs the mucosal lining; may help resistance to Crohns, and other bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis
Multiple sclerosis
Suppress damage of the autoimmune response; reduce or eliminate symptoms
Type I diabetes
Suppress damage of the autoimmune response; reduce or eliminate symptoms
Immune system
Boosts disease and illness fighting ability; limit spread of viruses within the body
Aids in ability to learn
Aids in secretion
Aids in absorption
Temporomandibular joint arthritis
As effective as ibuprofen in reducing pain
Aids in wound healing

Side effects you might experience include diarrhea, gas, heartburn, bloating and an upset stomach. Caution: if you are sensitive to shellfish or iodine, this supplement may bother you.

Note: I am not a doctor, just a researcher. What you read here is not meant to diagnose or treat any disease. It’s just my point of view on the information. 


  1. N-Acetyl D-Glucosamine is identified by a number of names and acronyms. It is called Chitin and acetylglucosamine. Glucosamine N-acetyl, NAG, Poly-NAG are all names used for this amino sugar.

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