Is Tylenol doing more harm than good?

Does anyone else live of Tylenol, also known as Acetaminophen, in one form or another? It is in so many over the counter pain meds like this migraine one I use to take all the time as well as in so many of our cold medicines.

Let’s talk about one of our most staple over the counter drugs and it’s effect on one of our bodies largest antioxidants, or in normal terms, one of your body’s largest clean up cells.

Let’s start with the G word, glutathione. Glutathione is our body’s most important endogenous antioxidant. Endogenous means that the body produces it which is unlike most other antioxidants. Antioxidants are our bodies clean up cells helping get rid of free radicals which can damage our cells and DNA. Basically in the most normal of terms think of glutathione like your bodies internal mop, an essential biochemical that your body needs to bind with toxins and escort them out of your system. Glutathione also supports our immune system, helps assist with regular cell death (a process known as apoptosis) which is important to prevent cancers, as well as it helps transport mercury out of the brain.

Unlike most other antioxidants glutathione is especially important because it is active in the brain. Imagine what would happen if you deplete glutathione in the brain? You end up with free radicals damaging your brain, inflammation and brain injury. Ummmm not cool!

When we’re stressed out, training hard, chronically ill, exposed to chemicals or toxins, experiencing nutrient deficiencies, or taking drugs that use up our glutathione the likelihood of glutathione deficiency increases.

Ok so here is where Tylenol comes in. Tylenol AKA acetaminophen, but for the sake of this blog lets just call it Tylenol, actually depletes glutathione in our bodies. Tylenol uses large doses of your bodies own glutathione cells to covert Tylenol into a less toxic chemical. It literally depletes our bodies best fighter cell when it comes to cleaning up free radicals. So for my medical junkies who like to know the drug pathways like me, here you go. We we take tylenol the liver produces small amounts of a potentially harmful compound called NAPQI (N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine). The liver uses glutathione quickly to neutralize the harmful compound and thus decreases or even can deplete you’re glutathione in your body.

Most of our Western Medicine hasn’t picked up yet on the new research showing how Tylenol depletes glutathione and why that even matters which is why it is still one of our top recommended over the counter pain medications or fever reducing medication to date. I want to share with you some fascinating research studies and articles I have found about Tylenol depleting your glutathione and what it can do to our bodies and even more so what it can do to genetically vulnerable population.

By sharing this research PLEASE don’t take this personally as healthcare is evolving and even I, working in healthcare, had no idea what glutathione even was before I started doing my own research on my health journey. So do not feel bad if you take Tylenol or give it to your kids! We all are learning and we can’t do better till we know better. So take a deep breathe! You are an incredible person and amazing parent and you are embracing your own health and owning the journey to improve it. That is powerful and you are amazing!

. . . . . . . Ok back to Tylenol and glutathione, there are studies coming out showing where when infants/kids take Tylenol before vaccines they had higher correlations with autism. It makes sense though right? When you are given one of our immunizations that has aluminum in it that bypasses our GI tract and thus goes straight to the blood stream the aluminum can travel to your brain. If our bodies best clean up cells aren’t available and thus can’t get rid of the aluminum in your blood stream and brain then the aluminum can build up in our tissues and brain. We all know what aluminum can do right? It is neurotoxic meaning it can damage your brain. Who knew that what is soo commonly prescribed for kiddos to take when getting vaccines to prevent fevers may not be the best choice? Obviously more research needs to be done and more pediatricians need to be open to this research coming out, but I found this research fascinating while diving into my own journey to improve my health.

Just some food for thought as I have learned so much through doing my own research on improving my health through our infertility journey, preventing more miscarriages, decreasing my chronic pain, and researching hot topics so we can provide the best care for our little miracle rainbow boy. I hope someone else finds this research fascinating and maybe even empowering as you are on your own health journey making the best decisions to improve your health and families health.

There are soo many articles on pub-med on Tylenol and glutathione if you want to dive more into this research. I’ll share acouple of the links below to different articles or research studies I found super helpful!

This article is written by a Natropath who was one of the first providers I heard this from that made me start digging and doing my own research on it to make sure this wasn’t just someone else’s opinion but valid research. Turns out it is just the scientific pathway of how Tylenol works on our cells and not just someone’s belief. It is science.

Just say “NO” to Tylenol (Acetaminophen linked to autism?)

This research study is fascinating as it talks about how in 1980’s asprin was no longer recommended for kids because of the increased risk of Reyes Syndrome so thus Tylenol was then recommended. At this same time our pediatric asthma and autism rates started to steadily rise with two time periods when both asthma and autism rates stalled for a period of time. They stalled during the exact same time when providers stopped recommending Tylenol or parents stopped using it because it was laced with cyanide and causing deaths. Maybe it is total coincidence or maybe it’s a strong correlation? We need more studies but until then I am going to factor on the side of safety.


This article talks a lot about what Tylenol can do to your body and what it can do to the health of genetically vulnerable children.


Let me be clear. . . are these articles or my blog saying that Tylenol is the cause of brain inflammation, asthma, or autism? Definitely NOT! But it could be another piece to the puzzle and I am all about finding little nuggets and putting the pieces together to improve my health and the health of those around me. After all if I wouldn’t have taken accountability for my health and started searching for different pieces to my health puzzle I would not be pregnant in the first place, I would probably have miscarried again, and I would still be dealing with chronic migraines 4-5x a week. Don’t be afraid to do your own research when it comes to your health or your families health and start looking out side the box because you are stink’n worth it friend!!

I hope this was helpful! And sweet friend do not feel bad if you take Tylenol or give it to your kids. I have taken soo much Tylenol over my years and took plenty of it with my first pregnancy too. Let it go! We are learning together and when we know more we can do better.

Let me know in the comments if you have heard about glutathione before and what it does for your body.



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