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acetaminophen and autism…. really?  yes, really!


Acetaminophen Autism

Meet the new boss.  Same as the old boss. The Who from 1971’s Who’s Next (We Won’t Get Fooled Again)

Although I cannot remember exactly what year it was, I vividly remember the feeling when I read about the link between OTC pain relievers and antibiotics to autism.  By 2011, Peter Good had set things in motion by writing a letter to the editor of the Neuropsychology Review (Does Fever Relieve Autistic Behavior by Improving Brain Blood Flow?).  After providing statistics and studies, Good made the following point concerning the relationship between fever and autism.

“Implicit in this evidence is a simple argument: In a disorder characterized by low brain blood flow, can high-level cortical functions like speech and social interaction become almost normal without more blood to the brain? Fever increases cerebral blood flow (CBF) for nutrients and cooling, which can improve well-being and performance in persons whose cerebral circulation is compromised. The obvious inference is that fever may improve speech and social behavior in autistic children largely by increasing brain blood flow.”

Who is Peter Good and what makes him qualified to make a statement like this?  Good is interesting to say the least.  He is a self-educated autistic, who has been studying both MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS & AUTISM for thirty years.  But not having letters behind his name makes being taken seriously as a scientific researcher difficult to say the least.  Naturally, with no credentials, the premise of his letter was refuted. 

Two months later, the same journal carried another letter to the editor by a pediatric neurologist / cognitive neuroscientist from Oxford, Dr. Marcel Kinsbourne (he’s a renowned autism researcher who co-authored the paper Good responded to in the first place) called The Immune System’s Moderating Response to Inflammation Relieves Autistic Behavior: Response to Peter Good.

Dr. K essentially said that the autism-modulating effects of FEVER did not come from the fever itself, but the inflammation (or more accurately, the anti-inflammatory response to the inflammation associated with the fever).  Kinsbourne said that simply inducing fever in autistics does not get the job done without having the necessary INFLAMMATORY CYTOKINES PRESENT

In other words, the fever cannot be artificially induced, but must come from an inflammation-producing ‘disease process’ to be effective.   Listen to these cherry-picked words from Kinsbourne’s response concerning something I’ve written about extensively on my site, SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE (the Sympathetics promote the ‘fight or flight’ part of the ANS — Autonomic Nervous System — while the parasympathetics promote the ‘rest and digest’ portion).

“Much autistic behavior appears to be a compensatory reaction to chronic pathologically heightened arousal. Sympathetic hyperarousal in autism is also well documented. Vargas discovered neuroinflammation in people with autism, both in vivo and at autopsy. An outpouring of cytokines from activated microglia, the central nervous system counterparts of macrophages, involves the excessive release of glutamate, the preponderant excitatory neurotransmitter, increasing the brain activation toward hyperarousal. By subduing neuroinflammation, the CAIS (vagal cholinergic anti-inflammatory system) would down-regulate arousal and enable adaptive behavior to emerge.”

What he’s saying is that  INFLAMMATORY RESPONSES in the brain cause a Sympathetic Dominance of the ANS, MICROGLIAL ACTIVATION to clean up the mess caused by the inflammation (remember that inflammation always leads to fibrosis — HERE), as well as causing the body to dump copious amounts of the neurotransmitter glutamate into the equation (think MSG / Monosodium Glutamate). 

Pay attention because Dr. Kinsbourne shows what decreasing levels of neuroinflammation does — IT STIMULATES THE VAGUS NERVE (a Cranial Nerve that is both majorly Parasympathetic, and, according to Dr. Kharrazian, controls most of your DIGESTIVE & GUT processes because 90% of the brain’s motor output is funneled to the Vagus via the Pontomedullary Reticular Formation or PMRF).

“By fostering parasympathetic (vagal) predominance, the CAIS might ameliorate the fearful sensory rejection and urge toward isolation and inward shift of attention that characterizes the autistic state.  In controlling inflammation and sympathetic predominance, the CAIS may lower arousal level.  Inflammatory reaction with its sympathetic activation is buffered by the vagal cholinergic anti-inflammatory system (CAIS).  Electrical vagal stimulation is used to treat inflammatory diseases, including depression, which features neuroinflammation. Vagal stimulation also increases heart rate variability, as autonomic tone veers from sympathetic toward parasympathetic dominance.”

Pay attention because this is huge — especially if you or someone you love has autism.  Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is how ANS tone (Sympathetic -vs- Parasympathetic) is measured (higher is better), and is such a simple technology that there are dozens of free apps for your phone (HERE). 

And as for stimulating the Vagus Nerve (stimulating the Parasympathetic side of the ANS); what if I told you that there are ways to do this without surgically installing a Vagus stimulator? (see the earlier link on SD)  All of this is super cool information, but not really where I want to go today.  I want to talk for just a moment about what led Good to write his letter, and the work he did after said letter.

A year and a half prior to Good’s letter to the editor (July 28, 2009), Dr. Kerry Scott Lane, an Obstetric Anesthesiologist and Pediatric Pain Specialist from Florida, testified before a joint meeting of the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee, and the Anesthetic and Life Support Drugs Advisory Committee, that ACETAMINOPHEN (Tylenol and similar — it’s other generic name is “Paracetamol”) was a significant factor in America’s ongoing “AUTISM EXPLOSION“. 

As you might imagine, his presentation (Acetaminophen, Glutathione Depletion, and Regressive Autism) was none too well received by the don’t-upset-the-apple-cart establishment.  Here is a cherry-picked summary.

“Acetaminophen toxicity in the liver is well established. One of the known toxic effects of this commonly used drug is depletion of the most important antioxidant, glutathione. Disease states linked to depletion of glutathione and excessive amounts of oxidized glutathione, versus reduced glutathione, include Diabetes, Atherosclerosis, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH), and others. 

Acetaminophen, by exacerbating an already depleted glutathione antioxidant system due to a preexisting condition, triggers autism in the peri-vaccination period by reducing glutathione levels to below a critical level.  It appears acetaminophen alone is not enough to cause Autism. The co-morbid patho-biology is due to the creation of a state of abnormal gastrointestinal biology due to antibiotic administration to the infant. This allows the replacement of the normal GI flora with……”

If you have been following my site you already know the answer.  I talked about this very thing just yesterday concerning Parkinson’s Disease (HERE).  The answer, of course, is DYSBIOSIS and is no surprise considering 80% of your entire immune system LIVES IN THE GUT

When healthy flora (your MICROBOME — the good critters that live in and on your body, but mostly in your Gut) are replaced or have their ratios significantly altered (ANTIBIOTICS, NON-ANTIBIOTIC DRUGS, and even — gulp — VACCINATIONS do this, while sugar and high glycemic carbohydrates feed the beast — HERE), the result is overgrowths of any number of pathological organisms.  Although Dr. Lane specifically mentioned CANDIDA to the FDA, he spoke of “others“. 

These could have been H. PYLORI, C. DIFF, STREP, EBV/CMV, or who knows what else — the potential is almost unlimited. Naturally, Dr. Lane issued a warning.  “The enclosed attachments from peer-reviewed articles are a roadmap to the above described pathobiology. I suggest the FDA act with all due haste to make this material public so the autism epidemic can be properly managed.” 

Unfortunately, unless you happened to click on my earlier link on Acetaminophen, most are totally unaware of this — exactly how BIG PHARMA likes it.  Scared of fever but think Tylenol is safe.  In the words of John Lee Hooker, it’s a Crazy Mixed Up World!  And it gets even crazier.

Later that year, Good published his first article on the subject in the Alternative Medicine Review (Did Acetaminophen Provoke the Autism Epidemic?).  I’ve talked here at length about the propensity for various sorts of vaccines (FLU INCLUDED) to cause both inflammation and neuro-inflammation. 

Good quotes peer-review showing that when children were given Acetaminophen instead of Ibuprofen after their MMR, they “were significantly more likely to become autistic“.  This itself brings up yet another interesting phenomenon addressed by Good, the use of Acetaminophen instead of ASPIRIN. Acetaminophen?

“Interestingly, no parent in the survey reported giving aspirin after a child’s MMR vaccination. This may reflect awareness that aspirin is no longer considered safe for infants and young children, after being implicated in Reye’s syndrome (liver and brain damage after viral infection) in the 1980s.   Orlowski et al offered compelling arguments, however, that aspirin was not the cause of Reye’s syndrome.

Although salicylates like aspirin have been used to alleviate fever and pain since the beginning of the 20th century, Reye’s syndrome was not reported until the early 1950s. Furthermore, Reye’s syndrome disappeared from countries like Australia that had not given aspirin to children since the 1950s, as well as from countries like France and Belgium that continued to give aspirin through-out the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.

Closely examining U.S. Public Health Service studies between 1980 and 1987 that associated aspirin with Reye’s syndrome, Orlowski found serious problems in all – even doubting the researchers were actually studying Reye’s. They noted other studies worldwide that showed no association between aspirin and Reye’s syndrome. As for the argument that Reye’s disappeared after aspirin use declined in infants and young children, Orlowski showed the incidence of Reye’s syndrome was already falling by 1979.”

You know what his incidence-already-falling statement reminds me of?  I can’t help but think about the way that vaccines have been sold to the American public as something that “saves lives”.  While this argument can certainly be made for antibiotics (which today they are both grossly overused and abused), numerous governmental organizations, including the CDC and WHO), have published articles and graphs (HERE and HERE respectively) clearly showing that this is not the case. Better “HYGIENE” is what is now believed to have halted the death toll from many, if not most, infectious diseases.

In 2010, the Townsend Letter (not to be confused with a letter to PETE TOWNSEND) published a piece by Jule Klotter called Acetamenophen’s Role in Autism.  Klotter writes;

Since children are not born autistic, researchers began looking at environmental factors as possible causes. Bernard Rimland suspected that widespread use of the MMR vaccine, which occurred in 1978, might be the cause.  Childhood vaccines were already on his radar screen because of years of parental reports about children regressing after vaccination with the DPT vaccine. 

Vaccines, however, were not the only change that occurred around 1980.  Parents began giving acetaminophen (aka Tylenol or paracetamol) to their children instead of aspirin after the US Public Health Service and CDC warned, in 1980, that aspirin was linked to Reyes syndrome, a potentially fatal disease in young children….. Current evidence that suggests that acetaminophen used to treat pain and fever in children may be a cause of autism.” 

Once again (see previous link for numerous examples), we see our government making recommendations that destroy lives and health on a broad scale.

Say what you want about Good, but the guy is smart (brilliant might be a better description) and he’s as persistent as Drifter, my first pit bull!  In August of 2012, Good published another review — this one in Medical Hypotheses — called Does Infectious Fever Relieve Autistic Behavior by Releasing Glutamine from Skeletal Muscles as Provisional Fuel?   He asked the question based on the fact that autistics tend to have high levels of ammonia in their blood — a byproduct of the breakdown of protein. 

There is, however, a class of metabolic diseases (inborn urea cycle disorders or UCDs) that “cannot detoxify ammonia in the liver, inducing plasma ammonia concentrations 5 times greater than in liver failure, high brain glutamine, astrocyte swelling and intracranial pressure, and impaired cognition.”  Sounds terrible.  “Yet children with UCD rarely show autistic behavior.” What might be protecting them?  Read the study to get the long answer (the short answer is “fever“).  If you have an autistic child, I strongly recommend you read Good’s well-bibbed (175 sources) study.

2013 was a big year for studies of this sort.  In a study that was actually picked up by Reuters (Kathryn Doyle’s Too Much Tylenol in Pregnancy Could Affect Development in November), we saw this issue starting to garner some mainstream attention. 

As far as peer-review, in May of 2013, Environmental Health published Prenatal and Perinatal Analgesic Exposure and Autism: An Ecological Link; and then in December, the International Journal of Epidemiology published Prenatal Paracetamol Exposure and Child Neurodevelopment:  A Sibling-Controlled Cohort Study.  In the latter study from Norway, nearly 50,000 children were studied. 

The results might shock you.  “Children exposed to long-term use of paracetamol during pregnancy had substantially adverse developmental outcomes at 3 years of age.”  What does the word ‘substantial’ mean here?  Try 70% on for size!

In the first study, researchers from the Department of Work Environment at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, concluded, “This ecological analysis identified country-level correlations between indicators of prenatal and perinatal paracetamol exposure and autism / ASD. Biologic plausibility is provided by a growing body of experimental and clinical evidence linking paracetamol metabolism to pathways shown to be important in autism and related developmental abnormalities.” 

I really can’t say much other than FUBAR!  Good also had a great deal to say in still another literature review; this one again published in the journal Medical Hypotheses (Does Infectious Fever Relieve Autistic Behavior by Releasing Glutamine From Skeletal Muscles as Provisional Fuel?).  Good came to these conclusions after reviewing 176 books and studies.

“First reported formally in 1980, the frequent ability of infectious fever to relieve autistic behavior, often dramatically (and rarely aggravate), has long tantalized parents, practitioners, and researchers – yet its physiology and biochemistry have never been investigated, to judge from the literature. Fever is a complex interplay of immune, metabolic, and stress responses, yet its benefit in autistic disorders (ASD) may derive largely from a single response – release of the amino acid glutamine from skeletal muscles as provisional fuel.

This proposal is based on evidence of low blood and brain glutamine in ASD children and adults, notable lack of autistic behavior in children with high brain glutamine from urea cycle disorders, and other events that elicit dramatic improvements – fasting, panic, pain, and the corticosteroid prednisone – that release or synthesize glutamine. Glutamine released from muscles is metabolized by the intestines like ingested glutamine. If glutamine released by fever rarely aggravates autistic behavior, why would supplemental glutamine?”

I’m not going to comment on supplementing with glutamine yet because the first thing that really caught my eye was Good’s statement about fasting having a propensity to improve autistic behavior.  If you have read my material on KETOGENIC DIETS (or even better yet, watched the video by Dr. Thomas Seyfried — HERE), you are aware that there are ways to get your body to metabolically mimic the effects of fasting without actually having to fast.

In 2015, Good was back for the attack with a self-published scientific paper called A Critical Clue to Fever’s Dramatic Relief of Autistic Behavior (If he had not talked extensively in this paper about “remedies,” he would have likely gotten this 150 peer-reviewed sources creature published in a journal).  While I am personally a fan of remedies, the establishment wants “EVIDENCE” even though much of it is total crap (see link).

“Why would glutamine relieve autistic behavior? Glutamine is precursor (via citrulline) of arginine – required to detoxify ammonia to urea in the liver, synthesize creatine, and the only substrate for the vasodilator nitric oxide. Blood ammonia is often high in these children from intestinal bacteria and yeast, glutamine consistently low, yet urinary orotic acid (orotate) tests rarely detect chronic high ammonia. High plasma ammonia and low glutamine without high urinary orotate was reported in children with propionic acidemia. Brain glutamine facilitates entry of tryptophan (precursor of serotonin).”

Good went on to talk about countries that have low rates of autism that vaccinate but don’t routinely give Tylenol to children because it’s a prescription drug. He also commented on other’s research (HERE).  Naturally, it didn’t take long before people were writing articles saying, “Look; I told you it wasn’t vaccines that were causing autism!”  One such article was written for Reset by Dr. Jennifer Margulis (Could A Common Painkiller Cause Brain Inflammation — And Even Autism — In Children?). 

Here’s what’s so fascinating about this debate.  Just weeks ago I wrote a post on this very topic called INTERESTING NEW INFORMATION ON THE AUTISM / VACCINE LINK, showing that few people believe vaccines are the only cause of Autism, although a large and growing segment of the population (scientific community included —- HERE) feels they play some kind of role.

I bring all of this up to talk about the scientific review that Good put out just days ago in Clinical Nutrition ESPEN (Evidence the U.S. Autism Epidemic Initiated by Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is Aggravated by Oral Antibiotic Amoxicillin / Clavulanate (Augmentin) and Now Exponentially by the Herbicide Glyphosate (Roundup)).  Take a gander at the CHERRY-PICKED abstract….

“Because certain hereditary diseases show autistic behavior, and autism often runs in families, researchers seek genes underlying the pathophysiology of autism, thus core behaviors. Other researchers argue environmental factors are decisive, citing compelling evidence of an autism epidemic in the United States beginning about 1980. Recognition that environmental factors influence gene expression led to synthesis of these views – an ‘epigenetic epidemic’ provoked by pervasive environmental agents altering expression of vulnerable genes, inducing characteristic autistic biochemistries in many mothers and infants.

Two toxins most implicated in the U.S. autism epidemic are analgesic/antipyretic acetaminophen (Tylenol) and oral antibiotic amoxicillin/clavulanate (Augmentin). Recently herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) was exponentially implicated. What do these toxins have in common? Acetaminophen depletes sulfate and glutathione required to detoxify it.

Oral antibiotics kill and glyphosate inhibits intestinal bacteria that synthesize methionine (precursor of sulfate and glutathione, and required to methylate DNA), bacteria that synthesize tryptophan (sole precursor of neuroinhibitor serotonin), and bacteria that restrain ammonia-generating anaerobes. Sulfate plus glutathione normally sulfate fetal adrenal androgen dehydroepiandrosterone to DHEAS – major precursor of placental/postnatal estrogens. Glyphosate (and heavy metals) also inhibit aromatase that turns androgens to estrogens.

Placental/postnatal estrogens dehydrate/mature brain myelin sheaths, mature corpus callosum and left hemisphere preferentially, dilate brain blood vessels, and elevate brain serotonin and oxytocin. Stress-induced weak androgens and estrogen depletion coherently explain white matter asymmetry and dysconnection in autism, extreme male brain, low brain blood flow, hyperexcitability, social anxiety, and insufficient maternal oxytocin at birth to limit fetal brain chloride/water and mature GABA.”

Allow me to unpack this amazing piece of work for you.  The first several sentences have to do with something I’ve been hollering about on my site for a very long time — that in most cases, epigenetic factors are way more powerful than genetic factors when it comes to disease states (HERE).  Furthermore, I’ve already provided you with a link showing how antibiotics screw physiology up in ways that one cannot even begin to fathom — all of them having to do with the unmitigated destruction of GUT HEALTH.

GLUTATHIONE is important because among other things, it helps keep your DETOX PATHWAYS and ENERGY PATHWAYS running smoothly.  Not enough of this most-powerful-antioxidant in the body, and you’re in deep trouble.  GLYPHOSATE (the active ingredient of the popular and almost ubiquitous herbicide Roundup) and COMMON METALS (such as those found in vaccines) destroy the myelin covering of the nerves (can anyone say MS?) as well as acting as hardcore ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS.

As Good and many others have shown you, the result is an explosion in autism and related disorders.  And here’s the thing folks; none of this is new.  Click the links and you’ll see that people have been talking about this for a very long time; Good simply connected the dots and put it together in a single coherent piece.  And really; why should it be hard to believe Good’s assessment is spot-on in light of the studies that came out earlier this week linking exposure to diesel exhaust / traffic pollution with a dramatically increased chance of developing ALS?

If you like what you are seeing on our site (and because both acetaminophen and autism are both dog common and getting more so every day), be sure and check out our FACEBOOK PAGE as well.  And if you are one of the myriads of people struggling with chronic conditions, be sure and take a look at my post of potential solutions (HERE).


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