It’s spring, and time for my annual tirade against Tylenol.
I have told you many times never to take Tylenol for anything. Ever. Period.
However, millions of people still take it every day for aches and pains. It baffles me why, since studies show it doesn’t work for common pain — like back and joint pain.
One study I reported even showed it prolonged pain and suffering from acute low-back pain by an extra day. Researchers said the extra day of pain associated with Tylenol was “not significant.” But try telling that to someone suffering from acute low back pain!
Avoiding Tylenol is also easier said than done. Many people unwittingly take it because big pharma adds it to more than 600 different combination medications. Most notably, they add it to opiates, like oxycodone, which really are effective against pain. That sneaky tactic just sells more Tylenol, while hiding its ineffectiveness.
Plus, nobody actually knows just how Tylenol works. If we were talking about a natural remedy, mainstream minions would object that we don’t understand everything about the “mechanism of action,” explaining how it works. Yet this has never been an issue with Tylenol. They recommend it at every turn, regardless of having no clear knowledge of its mechanism of action for pain. (Probably because there isn’t one.)
Furthermore, evidence links this less-than-worthless drug to more than 110,000 injuries and deaths per year. In fact, it is the leading cause of fatal liver failure in the U.S.
But Tylenol’s dangers go far beyond the liver…
Tylenol crosses blood-brain barrier
Scientists now know Tylenol gets past the protective blood-brain barrier. Once there in the brain, it depletes a biochemical called glutathione, an antioxidant required for brain health. So — they may not know how it works as a treatment (if indeed it does work as a treatment). But they do know it is a metabolic poison.
Plus, a recent study showed that people who took Tylenol had increased risks of GI bleeding, heart damage, kidney damage, and overall risk of dying. There was also a dose-response effect. In other words, the more Tylenol a person took, the more organ damage suffered.
Tylenol also affects mood. After taking 1,000 mg, people had blunted positive emotions and showed less empathy for others. (No wonder the drug was actually developed in Nazi Germany nearly 100 years ago!)
Of course, that dose — 1,000 mg (one gram) — seems very high.
I never recommended any dietary supplement ingredient in amounts that high, unless we get into food quantities for constituents that essentially are foods, like fish oil.
Unfortunately, 1,000 mg of Tylenol (far from being any kind of food) is just two “extra-strength” Tylenol tablets. They claim the “safe” dose is up to 3,000 mg per day. (“Extra-strength” is just another way of selling more of this useless and dangerous drug.)
Parents, who often administer this drug to their young children, should be particularly concerned. Research shows that children exposed in the womb have long-term problems with behavior, communications, and motor skills, including ADHD symptoms.
NSAIDs linked to host of dangers too…
If you think you’re safe taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) instead — such as ibuprofen — think again. Research shows NSAIDs interfere with normal ovulation, especially progesterone levels, after only 10 days of use. They can also cause GI injury.
In one study, 71 percent of NSAID users showed damage in the small intestine, compared to only 10 percent of non-users. This kind of damage has been linked to symptoms of “leaky gut,” including ADHD, allergies, and depression, and it can cause damage to your normal intestinal microbiome.
Fortunately, you have many natural alternatives to all these drugs.
As I discussed last time, turmeric is the yellow root found in curry powder. It contains curcumin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.
Unlike many anti-inflammatory pain relievers, it doesn’t suppress the normal immune response. In fact, turmeric exhibits increased activity against infections as well as many other health benefits.
One study showed turmeric works as well as ibuprofen to alleviate pain from osteoarthritis of the knee. Another study showed it alleviates pre-menstrual syndrome.
Of course, curcumin is just one of many safe, natural solutions for pain. For more details on all the non-drug alternatives for pain, check out my online Arthritis Relief and Reversal learning protocol.
“Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts in patients with knee osteoarthritis,” J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):891-7
“Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea,” J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Feb;15(2):129-32
“This common pain reliever may reduce empathy, study says,” CBS News (www.cbsnews.com) 5/11/2016
“Study Shows Long-term Use Of NSAIDs Causes Severe Intestinal Damage,” Science Daily (www.sciencedaily.com) 1/16/2005