“Just take a Tylenol.”
This might as well be the American mantra. It’s the perspective that we have been indoctrinated to adopt – our bodies are full of annoying symptoms that can be suppressed by drugs. And it won’t be the last time that I warn, there is no free lunch with Pharma.
A new study entitled Over-the-Counter Relief From Pains and Pleasures Alike documents insidious new concerns about acetaminophen use that can only be called “zombification”. While we have our legislative panties in a bunch over 51 lab-confirmed cases of Measles at Disneyland, according to ProPublica,
Adding up the highest estimates of injuries and deaths linked to acetaminophen would result in a total of a little over 110,000 incidents annually.
The toxicity of Tylenol likely stems from its depletion of the body’s most vital antioxidant, glutathione, which is why N-acetylcysteine (an amino acid precursor) is used for treatment in emergency rooms. It has been associated with neurodevelopmental pathology in offspring exposed during pregnancy, and now, authors conclude:
These findings suggest that acetaminophen has a general blunting effect on individuals’ evaluative and emotional processing, irrespective of negative or positive valence.
The implications are that this pharmaceutical’s action influences a single factor that interferes with emotional valuation and processing of both positive and negative exposures, survival mechanisms we have evolved over millions of years. It does all this after one dose, and within one hour. With effective natural pain alternatives, and efforts to get to the root cause of chronic pain, now you have one more reason that this trade off may not be worth it.