Q: I'm hearing news about the dangers of taking too much acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.).
I thought it was the safest pain-reliever. Would you comment?
A: Acetaminophen, the popular over-the-counter pain and fever remedy, possesses a Jekyll and Hyde personality.
At recommended doses it's one of the safest drugs. In excessive doses, it seriously can damage the liver.
In fact, acetaminophen overdose is the No. 1 cause of acute liver failure.
A recent analysis found that, over a six-year period, the incidence of acetaminophen-induced liver failure spiked dramatically, going from 28 percent to 51 percent of all cases. A striking number of these cases were intentional overdoses (suicide attempts), underscoring how lethal excessive amounts are.
Accidental overdoses, on the other hand, were responsible for almost half the cases. These involved people taking two or more acetaminophen-containing products at the same time or prescription narcotic pain relievers containing acetaminophen.
Of those with acetaminophen-induced liver failure, 35 percent died, including some who had undergone a liver transplant.
Clearly, people need to sharpen their acetaminophen antennae.
It may help to know how Dr. Jekyll morphs into Mr. Hyde. At recommended doses, things proceed without a hitch: The liver breaks down acetaminophen for removal from the body.
Excessive doses, however, can overwhelm the liver, causing it to shift to an alternate breakdown route.
This secondary route produces a liver-toxic compound. Ordinarily, a protective body substance called glutathione rides to the rescue and muzzles the harmful compound. But the acetaminophen overload rapidly depletes the available glutathione, allowing the toxic chemical to build up.
At what level does acetaminophen pass from the safe zone into the danger zone? The generally recognized cut-off point is 4,000 mg over 24 hours.
To stay in the safe zone, avoid taking more than 4,000 mg at one time, or taking lower doses several times daily that exceed a total of 4,000 mg. Over-the-counter "extra-strength" acetaminophen pills contain 500 mg, so eight pills takes you to the ceiling limit of 4,000 mg.
Toys R' Us launches its own baby products
Toys "R" Us is banking on the power of the Babies "R" Us brand name to sell infant formula, diapers, wipes, laundry detergent and bottled, purified water in its stores.
The Wayne-based retailer officially announced the creation of the branded line of products recently after quietly introducing them into its stores at the end of last year.
Add flavor to a nutritious chicken dish
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts may be great nutritionally speaking, but they can fall pretty flat when it comes to flavor.
Consider that a plus, a healthy blank canvas on which other flavors can shine.
- Veterans Corner I hope this day finds you enjoying our way of life in this United States. We are able to choose for ourselves what we will do today because of the veterans in your community. Let all of these heroes know that we appreciate the sacrifices that they made while serving this nation.
Venison a tasty variety for steak lovers
These assertively seasoned venison steaks also can be made using bison or beef. Like most game, venison is lean; keep it rare to avoid drying it out.
Venison steaks over smashed cauliflower
Start to finish: 30 minutes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and ground black pepper
1 to 1 1/2 pounds venison loin or tenderloin, cut into 4 steaks
Two 1-pound packages frozen cauliflower
2 tablespoons water
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and ground black pepper
In gallon-size zip-close plastic bag, mix the brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, thyme, oregano, garlic powder 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Army Reserve Capt. Jonathan M. Lawson is returning to the U.S. after a deployment to Iraqi or Afghanistan in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom, respectively.
The soldiers return to Fort Dix, N.
- Long love: Study examines successes of lengthiest marriages SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- At the statistical intersection where increased life expectancy balances out the divorce rate, there is a surprising new cultural demographic: More Americans are reaching and exceeding the 40th wedding anniversary.
outdoorsing can be hard on the body
outdoorsing is awfully good for the soul, but it can be hell on the body.
The former is the stuff of February daydreams. The latter -- all that pain from hauling and bending, raking and pruning -- fades in winter.
Experiment takes aim at genetic learning disorder
WASHINGTON -- A pill to ease a type of mental retardation? An experiment is under way to develop one, aimed at a genetic disorder that might unravel some of the mysteries of autism along the way.
Chances are you've never heard of the target -- Fragile X syndrome -- even though it's the most common inherited form of intellectual impairment, estimated to affect almost 100,000 Americans.
Ask a dietitian
Q: How much calcium do I need each day? Are there other foods besides diary products that contain calcium?
A: Calcium is an essential nutrient that helps build bones and teeth and maintains bone mass throughout the life cycle.
- Veterans Corner This weather certainly has put a damper on our ability to serve veterans at the Goldsby Community Center on Thursdays. There were only 44 who ventured out last Thursday morning. We were able to work all of them and to close our doors by 8:30 a.
- More Food Headlines
- Toys R' Us launches its own baby products Toys "R" Us is banking on the power of the Babies "R" Us brand name to sell infant formula, diapers, wipes, laundry detergent and bottled, purified water in its stores.