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Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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9 Ways Eating Bananas Can Benefit Your Health

If you’re like many people, no trip to the grocery store is complete until you add a bunch of bananas to your cart.

Bananas are inexpensive, tasty, and versatile, but the best reason to eat them is their health benefits. Read on to learn how this curvy, yellow wonder can help you stay well.

1. Tames Your Tummy
If you’ve ever had the stomach flu or food poisoning, you’ve probably been told to eat the BRAT diet during recovery. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Bananas are included in the acronym for good reason. They are bland enough to pass through the digestive tract easily, their potassium helps replenish lost electrolytes, and their fiber adds bulk to your stool to help calm diarrhea.

Some pregnant women report that bananas help ease morning sickness. It makes sense since bananas are high in vitamin B-6. One medium banana provides about 20 percent of your recommended daily intake. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), studies led by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend vitamin B-6 supplements during pregnancy to treat nausea and vomiting. Eating a few raw bananas each day may be a fresh alternative.

2. Helps Lower Blood Pressure
The potassium in bananas may help lower blood pressure. Two medium bananas provide a quarter of your daily allowance.

According to the American Heart Association, potassium helps lower blood pressure by reducing sodium’s effects on the body. They recommend that bananas and other foods containing potassium be part of an overall dietary plan to lower blood pressure. The plan should also include watching your salt, fat, and saturated fat intake.

3. Helps Lower Stroke Risk
The potassium in bananas doesn’t just impact blood pressure. If you’re a postmenopausal woman, it may reduce your stroke risk too.

According to the American Heart Association’s Rapid Journal Report, a study published in Stroke showed that postmenopausal women who eat high-potassium foods are less likely to have strokes and die from them than women who eat fewer potassium-rich foods. The study also suggests a benefit to increasing potassium in the diet before you develop high blood pressure.

4. Provides an Energy Boost
If you need an energy boost during exercise or otherwise, try eating a banana. A study published in PLoS ONE suggested that bananas are as beneficial as sports electrolyte drinks during exercise.

In fact, bananas may be superior. They deliver potassium, carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamin B-6 in an all-natural package. Sports drinks contain nutrients, but also processed sugar and artificial ingredients.

The next time you feel sluggish and need a pick-me-up, reach for a banana instead of a sports drink, soda, or other sugary beverage.

5. Good Source of Magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral that helps every organ and system in your body function normally. According to ODS, magnesium is important to protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, energy production, glucose control, and blood pressure control.

Magnesium deficiency may lead to:

  • loss of appetite
  • migraines
  • osteoporosis
  • nausea and vomiting
  • numbness and tingling
  • heart rhythm issues
  • seizures

Alcoholism, type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and poor diet can increase you risk of deficiency.

Two medium bananas have 16 percent of the recommended daily value. Adding bananas to your daily diet, especially if you have a health condition that depletes magnesium, may help you from becoming deficient.

6. Good Source of Manganese
Manganese isn’t a mineral you hear about often, but it’s critical to good health.

Manganese helps metabolize carbohydrates, cholesterol, and amino acids. It also plays an important role in bone development and wound healing.

Some studies suggest women with osteoporosis have lower levels of manganese than women without the condition. Manganese may also help prevent migraines, reduce the risk of pregnancy complications, and decrease the risk of death after a heart attack.

Two medium bananas have over 30 percent of your daily dietary allowance of manganese.

bananas

7. Good Source of Fiber
Most people don’t get anywhere near the recommended daily allowance of fiber, which is 38 grams daily for men 50 and under, and 25 grams for women. Fiber helps maintain bowel health and keep your bowels moving. It also helps to lower cholesterol and control blood sugar.

Fiber may help you lose weight by keeping you fuller longer. High-fiber foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and oats are lower in unhealthy fats and calories than most so-called diet foods.

Two medium bananas contain 6 grams of fiber, which is about 23 percent of your daily fiber allowance. While you still have some distance to go to meet your goal, adding bananas to your diet helps get you there.

8. Helps Relieve Heartburn and Prevent Ulcers
According to research published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, bananas are natural antacids and work by neutralizing acid.

They also contain a flavonoid antioxidant called leucocyanidin which helps increase the mucous membrane layer in the stomach. This may help prevent stomach ulcers from forming or worsening.

9. Healthy Skin
Don’t throw away those overripe bananas! Use them to make a nourishing face mask.

While evidence is anecdotal, the theory behind the natural beauty treatment is sound. Bananas contain vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for collagen production and that helps limit UV damage. Bananas are also reported to help treat acne, absorb oil, and moisturize dry skin.

To make a banana mask, mash a ripe banana until a paste forms. Apply to clean skin and leave on at least 15 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly. For added moisture, add a teaspoon of honey or plain Greek yogurt. The mask is messy, so keep a towel handy.

Ways to Enjoy Bananas
If you want to enjoy the health benefits of bananas, but you don’t like eating them plain, you’re in luck. Bananas are delicious in milkshakes, smoothies, and parfaits. They are tasty solo or sliced onto whole grain pancakes, oatmeal, and your favorite cold cereals.

Try these healthy banana recipes.

Banana-Oatmeal Smoothie
This healthful treat is great for breakfast, lunch, or snack time. It combines bananas with oatmeal, almond milk, and Greek yogurt. View the recipe.

Maple-Sweetened Banana Muffins
If you’re looking for a healthier banana muffin, look no further. This recipe features mashed bananas, coconut oil, maple syrup, oats, and whole-wheat flour. View the recipe.

Grilled Banana
If you’ve never tried a grilled banana, you don’t know what you’re missing. Grilling fruit brings out its natural sweetness. This recipe tops the banana with a dash of cinnamon. View the recipe.

Chocolate-Banana Ice Cream
Simply blend two frozen bananas and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder. Sweet, creamy, and healthy!

The Takeaway
When it comes to healthy fruit, you can’t do much better than bananas.

They’re low in calories, have no fat, and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Since bananas are inexpensive, portable, versatile, and easily fit into any healthy eating plan, there’s no excuse not to eat them.

To reap their health benefits, simply eat them in place of a couple unhealthy foods or snacks each day.

Article resources
Basic report bananas, raw. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2159?manu=&fgcd=
Digestive Health Team. (2014, December 24). Mom’s advice is still the best for treating diarrhea. Retrieved from http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/12/moms-advice-is-still-the-best-for-treating-diarrhea/
Higdon, J. (2010, March). Manganese. Retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/manganese
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2015, September 22). Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983
Michels, A. J. (2011, September). Vitamin C and skin health. Retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/micronutrients-health/skin-health/nutrient-index/vitamin-C
Nieman, D. C., Gillitt, N. D., Henson, D. A., Sha, W., Shanely, R. A., Knab, A. M., Cialdella-Kam, L., & Jin, F. (2012, May 17). Bananas as an energy source during exercise: A metabolomics approach. PLoS ONE, 7(5), e37479. Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0037479&representation=PDF
Nutrition facts: Bananas, raw. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2
Potassium and high blood pressure. (2014, August 4). Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Potassium-and-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_303243_Article.jsp#.Vr5TJvIrLIU
Sampath Kumar, K.P., Bhowmik, D., Duraivel, S., & Umadevi. M. (2012). Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Banana. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 1(3), 51-63. Retrieved from http://www.phytojournal.com/vol1Issue3/Issue_sept_2012/9.1.pdf
Vitamin B6 fact sheet for consumers. (2011, September 15). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-Consumer/
Vitamins B6. (2011, September 15). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/

Written by Annette McDermott      Medically Reviewed by Natalie Butler, RD, LD on 25 February 2016

 


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Feel Happier By Doing This One Easy Thing Each Day

An easy, everyday activity that makes people feel confident, comfortable, appreciative and reflective.

Taking selfies and sharing them with friends makes people happier, new research finds.

Participants in the study took smiling selfies every day over a couple of ordinary weeks.

Selfies were not the only types of pictures that cheered people up.

The researchers found that sharing images that made the taker feel happy also worked.

So did sharing photos that the taker knew would make other people happy.

Yu Chen, the study’s first author, said:

“Our research showed that practicing exercises that can promote happiness via smartphone picture taking and sharing can lead to increased positive feelings for those who engage in it.
This is particularly useful information for returning college students to be aware of, since they face many sources of pressure.”

The research was carried out on college students, who often feel the strain going to college for the first time.

selfies

Ms Chen said:

“The good news is that despite their susceptibility to strain, most college students constantly carry around a mobile device, which can be used for stress relief.
Added to that are many applications and social media tools that make it easy to produce and send images.”

More confident, comfortable and reflective

The three types of photos people were told to take had subtly different effects:

  • Taking selfies was linked to feeling more confident and comfortable.
  • Taking photos of things that made them happy was linked to a more appreciative and reflective state of mind.
  • Photos that would make others happy made the taker feel calmer and less stressed as well as strengthening social connections with friends.

All the different types, though, made people feel happier.

Professor Gloria Mark, a study co-author, said:

“You see a lot of reports in the media about the negative impacts of technology use, and we look very carefully at these issues here at UCI.
But there have been expanded efforts over the past decade to study what’s become known as ‘positive computing,’ and I think this study shows that sometimes our gadgets can offer benefits to users.”

The study was published in the journal Psychology of Well-Being  (Chen et al., 2016).
source: PsyBlog


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5 Best Vitamins For Stress Relief

There are a number of ways that stress can cause problems for your health. It can cause everything from depression and restlessness to headaches, over-eating, sore muscles, and insomnia. It can eventually lead to even more serious problems like heart attacks, which is why it’s important to talk to your doctor if you do have a lot of stress in your life. You can also start adding more nutritious foods to your diet that contain these stress-relieving vitamins.

1. VITAMIN C

A study presented to the American Chemical Society by Samuel Campbell, Ph.D. in the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1999 revealed that vitamin C can help to normalize the levels of the hormones which are released during stress and that cause many of the health problems mentioned above. The study found that both cortisol and corticosterone levels were reduced with regular consumption of vitamin C.

Foods that contain high levels of vitamin C include mangoes, oranges, leafy greens, and cranberries.

2. VITAMIN A

Vitamin A is well-known for being a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help your body deal with stress and the changes in the body that are caused by stress. By eating foods that are high in vitamin A, you will help your body fight against the stress hormones and get your hormone levels back to normal.

Foods that contain high levels of vitamin A include pumpkin, fish oils, meat, carrots, pink grapefruit, eggs, and halibut.

stress-eating-prevents-weight-loss

3. VITAMIN B1

This vitamin helps with stress relief so much that it’s often referred to as being an “anti-stress vitamin.” What vitamin B1 does is that it helps your body deal with stress by encouraging your body to produce more adenosine triphosphate. This chemical is what carries energy into your cells so that they can function properly. Vitamin B1 can also help strengthen your immune system.


Foods that contain high levels of vitamin B1 include pork, enriched cereals, and wheat germ.

4. VITAMIN B6

Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 helps boost your body’s production of norephinephrine and serotonin. These two hormones are both extremely important mood regulators, and not having enough can lead to stress and depression. Because vitamin B6 actually helps to build serotonin, it’s a vital part of reducing the effects of stress in your life.

Foods that contain high levels of vitamin B6 include carrots, sunflower seeds, shrimp, tuna, turkey, and spinach.

5. VITAMIN B12

This vitamin is an essential component to healthy brain function. It not only helps people cope with depression, but it can also prevent dementia and confusion. Unfortunately, there are many people that suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency such as the elderly, those with gastrointestinal conditions or pernicious anemia, and vegetarians and vegans. The elderly lack sufficient amounts of hydrochloric acids in their stomachs which is what helps absorb this vitamin, and vegetarians and vegans may not be getting enough vitamin B12 since it is found primarily in animal products. Because of its importance, it is recommended that you take a vitamin B12 supplement in addition to including foods that are rich in vitamin B12.

Foods that contain high levels of vitamin B12 include red meat, fish, poultry, milk, eggs, and fortified cereals.


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Research Reveals How A Single Choice Affects Mental Health More Than Medications

“We need to get serious
about the critical role played by nutrition.”

– Julia Rucklidge, Clinical Psychologist

We pretty much all agree that good nutritional habits are vital to good physical health, yes? But what about mental health? Do good nutritional habits translate to a healthier mental state? On the surface, it would make sense. After all, the food that we eat contains nutrients – and these nutrients are transported throughout our entire body via our bloodstream. We already know that the brain requires nutrients to operate effectively…so, yeah, it makes sense.

But is eating right more important to mental health than prescription medicine?

Ah, this is a bit trickier. After all, pharmaceuticals are research-intensive and science-based products that have undergone extensive trial and error, often over a period of multiple years. These same products have earned the coveted “seal of approval” from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…no easy task to say the least.
But, then again, hasn’t food undergone “testing” too? We’ve been “studying” the effects of food for much, much longer than medicine, haven’t we?

Scientists seem to have a pretty good grasp as to what foods are healthy and unhealthy, so why haven’t there been many hypotheses focused on the mental health/nutrition link? Going back to the underlying question, we could attempt to subjectively rationalize a “yes” or “no” answer, and we may come up with an acceptable (maybe even a good) explanation. Or we could call upon that same scientific method to help us out a bit.

What does the science say?

First, we should get this one out of the way: good nutrition is essential for our mental health, and a myriad of mental health conditions can be affected by nutritional habits. This is THE most important lesson of the entire article. Yes, it is interesting that eating healthy may be more impactful than medication; but understanding that food has a direct impact on our mental health is even more crucial.

The Mental Health Foundation – a preeminent, science-based mental health organization, based in the UK – states:

“One of the most obvious, yet under-recognized factors in the development of major trends in mental health is the role of nutrition…the body of evidence linking diet and mental health is growing at a rapid pace, as well as its impact on short and long-term mental health.”

Just as interesting is the following, again quoting from the Mental Health Foundation:

“…the evidence indicates that food plays an important contributing role in the development, management and prevention of specific mental health problems such as depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Alzheimer’s Disease.”

nutrition



So, what do we know, then? Two important things:

  1.  An overwhelming amount of evidence exists proving that food does have a direct effect on our overall mental health.
  2.  That the food we take in can directly contribute – in ways both good and bad – to both potential and existing mental health conditions.

WHY FOOD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MEDICATION

Most rational people accept the notion that medication (e.g. prescription medications, vaccines, etc.) plays an important role – and a positive one – in the prevention and treatment of many different health conditions.

One area that is much more contentious is the impact of pharmaceuticals on mental health. More specifically, whether or not pharmaceuticals simply “mask” symptoms rather than cure the underlying condition – as is the case with many patients suffering from anxiety and/or depression, for example.

Dr. Julia Rucklidge, professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Canterbury, is among the advocates for treating mental health disorders with adequate nutrition, despite having her initial doubts. The research that she has undertaken over years, however, has ultimately led her to a simple, profound conclusion: that “nutrition is a safe and viable way to avoid, treat, and lessen mental illness.”

To emphasize her point, Dr. Rucklidge cites her now-well-known study of ADHD patients. The adult participants were split into two groups: one group received micro-nutrients (i.e. vitamins and minerals), and the second group received a placebo (an inactive ingredient used as a basis of measurement.)

Here’s what she found:

– In eight weeks, twice the number of participants responded favorably in the micro-nutrient group than the placebo group.
– Participants that continued with the micro-nutrient regimen realized positive mental health benefits; the alleviation of symptoms.
– Participants that discontinued the micro-nutrient regimen and reverted back to medication realized worsening symptoms.

Dr. Rucklidge didn’t cease experimental efforts with ADHD patients, and continued testing the impact of micro-nutrients on patients with depression, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and others. Similar to the ADHD study, patients responded favorably to the micro-nutrient regimen.
What does this mean?

It simply means that nutrition is a vital component to not only physical health, but overall mental health. Commonsensical? We’ll let you be the judge of that.

But, if Dr. Rucklidge and her colleagues are correct – and many indicators seemingly point in this direction – it may indeed alter how mental illness is both viewed and treated.

SEPTEMBER 22, 2016


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Fun Fact Friday

Cats are afraid of water because their ancestors lived in an area 
with very few large bodies of water 
and never had to learn how to swim
 
If it takes less than five minutes to do, do it immediately …
your life will instantly become much more 
organized and productive
 
Music can repair brain damage and returns lost memories
 
Over thinking can cause hair loss

overthinking bald

 

4.8 billion people own mobile phones 
whereas only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush
 
Angry people produce more unique ideas faster
 than people in any other type of emotional state, 
according to a study
 
Mosquitoes have killed more humans 
than all the wars in history
 
Lonely people take longer, hotter showers or baths
 to replace the warmth they’re lacking socially or emotionally
 
Everyone has a song in their playlist 
which they always skip, but never delete
Happy Friday  🙂
source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


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Study focuses on precipitating circumstances of suicide in children and early adolescents

Study focuses on precipitating circumstances of suicide in children and early adolescents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 11 in 2014. This was the first time suicide had shown up in the CDC’s top ten leading causes of death for children in this age group.

A recent study from Arielle Sheftall, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital demonstrates that some individual characteristics and precipitating circumstances may be more prominent in children who die by suicide compared with early adolescents who die by suicide. It is the first study to exclusively focus on precipitating circumstances of suicide in children and early adolescents, defined as ages 5 to 14.

“Children who died by suicide were more likely to have relationship problems with family members or friends whereas early adolescents were more likely to have boyfriend or girlfriend relationship problems,” said Dr. Sheftall, first author of the study. “These differences tended to fall along developmental lines given elementary school-aged children are more likely to spend time with family and friends and less likely to engage in romantic relationships, which become more common during adolescence.”

A current mental health problem was present in approximately 33 percent of decedents in the study sample. Among this group, a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD was more common in children who died by suicide compared to early adolescent decedents, who were more likely to be affected by depression or dysthymia.

Dr. Sheftall and her colleagues used the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) and analyzed suicide deaths from 2003 to 2012 in 17 different states, segregating them by age group. The NVDRS database is unique in its inclusion of information from multiple sources including medical examiners and law enforcement reports. This allows more in-depth information to be gathered concerning personal, familial, and social factors surrounding a child’s death.

suicide

“We also found that 29 percent of children and early adolescents disclosed their intention for suicide to someone prior to their death,” says Dr. Sheftall. “Our study highlights the importance of educating pediatricians, primary health care providers, school personnel and families on how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and what steps to take when suicidal intent is disclosed. These warning signs include a child making suicidal statements, being unhappy for an extended period, withdrawing from friends or school activities or being increasingly aggressive or irritable.”

Research indicates that the use of suicide risk screening tools by pediatricians increases the detection of suicide risk in youth 400 percent without overburdening clinical care. Not only do pediatricians potentially see at-risk children on a regular basis, early detection allows the healthcare providers an opportunity to alert parents of potential risks and increases the likelihood of a child receiving mental health services in a timely fashion.

“Although suicide is extremely rare in elementary school-aged children, parents should be aware that children can and sometimes do think about suicide,” says Jeff Bridge, PhD, director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and co-author of the study. “It is important to ask children directly about suicide if there is a safety concern. Research has refuted the notion that asking children directly about suicide will trigger suicidal thinking or behavior. It does not hurt to ask. In fact, asking about suicide leads to hope for at-risk youth.”

The report also notes a recent increase in suicide rates among black children. Suicide by hanging, strangulation or suffocation was more common among black decedents in both age groups. More research is needed to establish whether unique patterns of suicide risk exist, so that prevention efforts might incorporate diverse strategies according to the children’s developmental level, race or ethnicity. The research team is currently investigating the best ways to screen young people for suicide risk in healthcare settings and make treatment recommendations to keep those youth identified as being at risk safe.

September 19, 2016
Source:  Nationwide Children’s Hospital   www.news-medical.net


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Why acetaminophen is the ‘most common cause of liver injury’ in Canada

Health Canada boosts labelling requirements, but some doctors want extra-strength products off the shelves

Dr. Michael Rieder, a pediatric clinical pharmacologist at Western University in London, Ont., says acetaminophen misuse is the most common cause of liver injury in Canada.

Health Canada’s new labelling rules for acetaminophen are not strict enough, and the extra-strength products should be removed from store shelves, some doctors say.

Acetaminophen is one of the most widely used pain and fever relievers in Canada and worldwide. It is safe if used properly, but too much can be dangerous, particularly over time.

“It is the most common cause of liver injury. Period. Full stop,” said  Dr. Michael Rieder, a pediatric clinical pharmacologist at Western University in London, Ont.

Part of the challenge is that the drug is ubiquitous. Acetaminophen is found in Tylenol and more than 400 over-the-counter products in Canada, including combination cold and cough medicines and nighttime products, such as NyQuil and Sinutab.

“It used to be that acetaminophen was just in tablets,” said Rieder. Now it’s found in a range of new products and “you may not know that unless you look at the ingredients.”

Acetaminophen products
You may not know that acetaminophen is in a product
unless you look at the ingredients. 

Doctors and pharmacists may recommend acetaminophen to treat minor aches and pains, such as those from the common cold, viral and bacterial infections, headache, toothache, strains and sprains and menstrual cramps.

Too much of it can damage the liver.

Each year, about 4,500 hospitalizations in Canada occur due to acetaminophen overdose, and about 16 per cent of these are accidental, Health Canada says.

Symptoms depend on how much acetaminophen is in the blood. They can range from none to vomiting and abdominal pain to liver failure and death.

The overdoses are one reason Health Canada will be requiring stricter labelling rules for acetaminophen.

“The challenge for us and for practitioners and for patients and anybody that is using this medication is, how do you manage and balance the benefits of the product with the risks?” said Dr. Supriya Sharma, a senior medical adviser in the health products and food branch at Health Canada.

Severe liver damage and failure

Rieder called Health Canada a “responsible regulator” for imposing the new labelling rules. But he’d like to see only regular strength acetaminophen products on store shelves for consumers to grab.

Dr. Eric Yoshida says he’s had patients die waiting for liver transplants that never came after they suffered inadvertent acetaminophen injury. (CBC)

As a liver specialist at Vancouver General Hospital, Dr. Eric Yoshida regularly sees patients with severe liver failure from accidental acetaminophen overdose.

acetaminophen
‘The challenge for us and for practitioners and for patients and anybody that is using this medication is,
how do you manage and balance the benefits of the product with the risks?’

– Dr. Supriya Sharma, medical adviser to Health Canada

“I’m on call to the liver transplant program for this province. I just got a phone call literally two days ago from another hospital of somebody who was a heavy consumer of alcohol and took Tylenol and now they’re in severe liver injury and they were calling for a transplant or possible transplant assessment.”

There’s a good chance of recovery for that individual, Yoshida said, but the problem is a common one.

Yoshida said he realizes that extra-strength products are big sellers. But he wants consumers to be aware that when they take extra-strength acetaminophen, they’re just getting more of that drug, not a different molecule with more pain-relieving properties.
Inadvertent overdoses

“It’s the inadvertent overdoses that are particularly bothersome to myself,” Yoshida said.

He described a typical scenario of someone taking two tablets every three to four hours and then losing track of how much they took. “Those are the kind of inadvertent uses that can lead to drug-induced liver disease, acute liver injury.”

Like Rieder, Yoshida would like to see the amount of acetaminophen in products restricted to the regular-strength dose of 325 milligrams.

Why is too much acetaminophen so toxic to the liver over time?

In most people, therapeutic amounts of acetaminophen are broken down into non-toxic forms and secreted in the urine.

If our detox systems are overwhelmed by high doses of acetaminophen — five to 10 times the regular amount, Rieder said — then dangerous byproducts build up. If severe enough, it can disrupt how the liver works or cause the organ to stop working.

At the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, critical care physician Dr. Dean Karvellas said he’s seen patients have acute liver failure while taking the maximum daily dose. He’d like to see it lowered from four grams, or eight tablets of extra-strength acetaminophen, to about three grams.

Teens and children affected

The liver toxicity is reversible if mild, Karvellas said, but sometimes the damage can’t be reversed.

It’s the most common cause of drug-induced liver injury in teens, said Rieder, who also chairs the drug therapy committee of the Canadian Pediatric Society.

Health Canada says the risk of liver injuries involving acetaminophen may be higher if you:

  • Have liver disease.
  • Drink three or more alcoholic drinks every day, even if you follow the recommended dose limit.
  • Use acetaminophen for a long time, even at the recommended dose.
    Health Canada’s Dr. Sharma said the regulator heard concerns from patient groups who feared pulling the extra strength products would drive people towards using opioids and other pain medications with more serious side-effects.

As for combining the drug with booze, there’s a feeling alcohol may increase the liver injury, but the jury is out to what degree, Rieder said.

For some vulnerable segments of the population, such as children, taking slightly more than the therapeutic dose over long periods can also result in overdoses, he said.

By Amina Zafar, CBC News    Sep 16, 2016
source: www.cbc.ca