The Vitamin Kid

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

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Location: Ankeny, Iowa, United States

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Normal Tylenol doses cause signs of liver toxicity in 2 weeks

Tylenol (or the generic drug acetaminophen, often sold over-the-counter as "Non-Aspirin Pain Reliever") stresses the liver, inhibiting the production of the important antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione is vital in the body's processing of toxins in the bloodstream. After two weeks of Tylenol consumption at the maximum recommended "safe" dose, normal healthy adults had elevations of blood enzymes denoting possible liver disease.

As noted below, alcohol decreases the liver's ability to tolerate toxins like acetaminophen (Tylenol), so even the recommended doses might become unsafe. In addition, the commonly used drugs to lower cholesterol are toxic to the liver, making Tylenol a riskier choice.

ABC News reports:

"Healthy adults taking maximum doses of Tylenol for two weeks had abnormal liver test results in a small study, researchers found, raising concerns that even recommended amounts of the popular painkiller might lead to liver damage.

"There were no alarming liver test results among the people who took placebos. But nearly 40 percent of people [taking Tylenol at the maximum recommended dose] had abnormal test results that would signal liver damage, according to the study that appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

"'I would urge the public not to exceed four grams a day. This is a drug that has a rather narrow safety window,' said a study co-author, Dr. Neil Kaplowitz of the University of Southern California.

"Heavy drinkers should take no more than two grams daily, Kaplowitz said. "


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