Can You Take Berberine and NAC Together?

Berberine and NAC are two separate supplements that are often taken together, but observing and following the correct dosage is essential for safety and effectiveness. Before we dive into the blog post, we recommend you speak to a clinician or other healthcare professional before taking berberine and NAC, or any new supplements, for that matter.

But with that out of the way, the remainder of this blog post will explain what each supplement is, why you may wish to take berberine and NAC together, and then we’ll finish up with a short FAQ.

What is berberine? 

Berberine is a chemical found in certain plants (Oregon, grape, tree turmeric, and others). It’s a chemical thought to kill bacteria, improve blood sugar regulation, reduce swelling, improve acne, and maybe even play a role in strengthening the heart.

Many people take berberine in supplement form, with possible uses including canker sores, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. 

Are there any side effects?

Side effects of berberine are individual. For example, one person may experience no side effects, while another person may encounter a mix of unpleasant side effects. Nonetheless, the side effects (if you are to experience them) are seen as mild. These include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • An upset stomach

If you experience multiple side effects, feel weird, or run into other issues, stop taking berberine right away and seek medical advice. 

What is NAC?

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a semi-essential amino acid created naturally by the body. You can also find cysteine in high-protein foods such as cheese, meat, and eggs.

But N-Acetyl Cysteine is the supplement form – this is often taken orally by capsule or tablet.

Regular supplementation of NAC may provide several health benefits, such as improved brain health, improved oxidative stress, and fewer respiratory issues, and it may even prove as a useful supplement for people suffering from mild-severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

The results look promising, but the research on the supplement is still early days. 

Are there any side effects?

Similarly to berberine, some people will experience side effects, and others will not. Potential side effects of NAC include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Unpleasant odor 
  • Drowsiness

If you experience multiple side effects, feel weird, or run into other issues, stop taking NAC right away and seek medical advice. 

Can you take berberine and NAC together?

So, can you take NAC and berberine together? The answer is yes – it should be safe. But we’d always suggest checking with a healthcare professional before beginning supplementation.

But the two supplements should complement each other – perhaps reducing blood pressure, limiting swelling, and perhaps improving recovery from certain respiratory issues (alongside other potential benefits). 

Related: TUDCA vs. NAC: what’s the difference? 

To conclude 

There are many reasons why you may wish to take berberine and NAC supplements together.

For example, a stack including both supplements may help reduce oxidative stress, improve ovulation, and insulin sensitivity, and offers many other potential benefits.

But before you begin supplementation, we highly recommend you seek the advice of a medical professional. They will let you know the correct dosage, whether or not the supplements are right for you, and present you with further advice and guidelines for safe supplementation.

Shop the GridIron Nutrition Berberine supplement.

Shop the GridIron Nutrition NAC supplement.


What can you not take with berberine?

Avoid medications and supplements that may slow clotting and increase the risk of bruising or bleeding. Such medications may include aspirin, dalteparin, heparin, clopidogrel, and others. Please ask your doctor before beginning supplementation.

What is the best time to take berberine?

Typically, berberine is taken three times a day before meals. It has a half-life of several hours, so it does not stay in your system for very long – that’s why you’ll typically need to supplement it three times a day.

However, our berberine supplement should only be taken once daily. Always read the guidelines for each supplement before taking them. 

What is the best time to take NAC?

Take NAC thirty minutes before eating or two hours after you’ve finished eating for the best results.

Does NAC lower insulin resistance? 

A 2015 study found in the journal of endocrinology found NAC to improve whole-body insulin resistance. It also reduced the circulation of GSH caused by short-term lipid infusion. 

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