COVID-19 and Tylenol. Tylenol is one of the most widely used over-the-counter medications in the world. Its main ingredient, acetaminophen, is also in hundreds of prescription medications.
If you have COVID-19 is it safe to take Tylenol? A growing body of research suggests that it’s not.
COVID-19 and Tylenol are a bad combination, here’s why:
COVID-19 is a viral lung infection. Like other viral lung infections, it causes oxidative stress and damage to lung tissue. Your body’s own immune response to fight the infection also unleashes a large amount of reactive oxygen species (such as superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl radicals). This multiplies the oxidative stress and damage to the lungs (and other) tissues.
While that sounds a little worrisome, it usually isn’t. Under normal healthy circumstances, your body will produce superoxide dismutase, glutathione, and catalase. These are among the body’s most important antioxidants. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals and repair any oxidative damage.
The body makes glutathione from three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. Glutathione requires vitamin C to be recycled.
Are you still with me? We’re coming to the problem with COVID-19 and Tylenol.
Depleting the body of glutathione
Acetaminophen produces a toxic by-product when the liver breaks it down. Normally, this toxin is neutralized by a substance called glutathione, but excess acetaminophen may overwhelm glutathione stores, allowing the toxin to build up and damage the liver.”
In a typical year, acetaminophen is known to cause at least 150 deaths in the United States, as well as tens of thousands of non-fatal poisonings. The antidotes for acetaminophen toxicity are N-Acetyl Cysteine and/or glutathione. If you can replenish your body of glutathione you can stop the poisoning caused by too much Tylenol.
Indeed, when hospitals in China started giving their COVID-19 patients IV vitamin C, survival rates increased and hospital stays decreased by two or three days. Why does vitamin C seem to help so much? Vitamin C helps your body reprocess glutathione by converting oxidized glutathione back to its active form.
Likely Chinese COVID-19 patients did so well because they were able to recycle their glutathione. Doctors in the United States and many other countries have had similar positive results treating sick patients with IV vitamin C. Clinical trials testing the efficacy of IV vitamin C are ongoing.
Saved by glutathione
Some COVID-19 patients with severely impaired lung function have made seemingly miraculous recoveries thanks to glutathione. This New York mom’s story is a case in point. As reported by the New York Post, her son James Bruzzese, a 23-year-old medical school student, called his mentor while his mom was very ill. Dr. Richard Horowitz, M.D., a Lyme disease specialist in the Hudson Valley who knew the family well, had an idea.
He suggested trying glutathione, an anti-oxidant produced by the liver that has been used to reduce inflammation in those suffering from the tick-borne illness.
“When you get a viral infection with a huge amount of inflammation you don’t have enough glutathione to be able to protect your very sensitive lung tissue,” Horowitz said.
James did not hesitate to give his mom the nutritional supplement, which they had in the house for Julia. After one 2,000-milligram dose, the family witnessed a miracle.
“Within an hour my breathing got better. It was amazing. I sat up, I got up,” Josephine Bruzzese recalled. She even started to make her bed. “I went and I took a shower.”
She took the pills for five days and had no relapse, her son said.”
Doctors may be harming patients by combining COVID-19 and acetaminophen
The standard of care in hospitals is to give all Covid-19 patients acetaminophen. Doctors do this believing it will help. They believe (falsely) that the body’s fever should be suppressed. Yet there is a strong argument for letting fevers run their course.
In addition to impairing the immune system’s ability to fight the infection by suppressing the fever, acetaminophen also depletes glutathione, which limits the body’s ability to repair the oxidative damage to the lungs. See the problem? Combining COVID-19 and Tylenol is so potentially harmful that it may qualify as medical malpractice.
Tylenol potentially harms the lungs during a time when we need to do everything we can to support and repair them. Lungs severely damaged by high amounts of oxidative stress do not function well.
What if the reason we are seeing a disproportionate number of deaths from COVID-19 in America is medical mismanagement? COVID-19 patients should NEVER take acetaminophen. They SHOULD, however, take vitamin C, N-Acetyl Cysteine, zinc, and vitamin D. Safe and effective treatments for coronavirus save lives. Safer and more natural alternatives to Tylenol, treatments that are not toxic to the liver, abound. Moreover, intravenous glutathione may also be a safe and effective treatment for those with impaired lung function.
It’s time for the American public to wake up to the harms of Tylenol. Doctors must stop recommending this drug for patients with COVID-19. When our bodies have the nutrients we need to fight infection and overcome oxidative stress, we can quickly recover our health.