The Vitamin Kid

Avoiding bad medicine and finding non-toxic treatments that actually work

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Location: Ankeny, Iowa, United States

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Take Tylenol -- and gasp for breath???

A new study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine finds that Americans taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) from 6-29 times per month were much more likely to suffer asthma or chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD). In fact, your risk of COPD was nearly doubled if you took Tylenol/acetaminophen frequently. Asthma was 40% more frequent in acetaminophen users.

Acetaminophen lowers the level of an important antioxidant, glutathione, and the epithelial tissues of the lung are especially sensitive to damage from oxidation when glutathione is deficient.

Be careful -- read the fine print. You may not be taking Tylenol-brand acetaminophen. But generics are available in every drugstore, usually labelled "non-aspirin pain reliever" or a similar name.

Antioxidants like glutathione, vitamin E, vitamin C, CoEnzyme Q10, and SOD (superoxide dismutase) are important parts of the body's defense system. Any drug that lowers levels of these substances compromises your long-term chances of staying healthy. That's why statin drugs to lower cholesterol have such a poor record of reducing overall mortality -- because statin drugs lower CoEnzyme Q10. With this new study, we can add acetaminophen/Tylenol to the list of pills that probably do more harm than good.