Tylenol and Autism Link- What’s the Real Cause of Autism?

by ProfKeith

You know I have been saying for decades that autism is NOT caused by mercury. That theory is dead.

Mr. Nasty—Marc Sircus of Medical Veritas used that statement to call me a madman and accused me online of being in favor of mercury, that I was stupid and had sold out (see link below) — all sitting comfortably in Brasil, where he thinks he’s safe from a libel suit. 1 Sircus has no meaningful medical qualifications but he’s highly opinionated.

He does all his “research” on Google and proceeds to slag off doctors he doesn’t like from a safe distance.

Trouble is with people like Sircus, he doesn’t let mere facts from experts get in the way of his theories.

I have the last laugh however: because I have been a cutting edge physician for nearly 40 years, with a strong science base, and full-on clinical experience. I was one of the first EVER to write about autism and start treating it in the early 1980s. I am left the satisfaction—yet again—of being proved right.

The fact is Sircus is completely wrong: Some kids have autistic symptoms before their first vaccine. Kids get autism who have never even had a vaccination, never mind the mercury burden.

Scientists who disagree with non-medically trained fact-shy theorists like Sircus are not all rogues involved in a conspiracy. Andrew Wakefield, a real doctor who I find I can admire, seemed to be on the right lines when he found a rogue measles virus loose in the guts of many autistic kids.

But now even I am shocked by a revelation which might be the real reason kids get autism and how Tylenol and autism link. The science is very compelling on a topic where science is very difficult to interpret and the waters are very muddy.

In 2013 a landmark paper was published in The Journal Of Restorative Medicine by William Shaw, PhD, director of the Great Plains Laboratory, gathering evidence of a definitive link between acetominophen / paracetomol and autism. I should remark I was shocked mainly because this drug (known as Panadol) was in the UK 20 years ahead of the widespread use of Tylenol in the USA.

The abstract almost speaks for itself. Let me walk you through the key findings:

It appears that the marked increase in the rate of autism, asthma, and attention deficit with hyperactivity throughout much of the world may be largely caused by the rise in the use of acetaminophen in genetically and/or metabolically susceptible children, and the use of acetaminophen by pregnant women.

Toxicity of acetaminophen may cause autism by overloading the defective sulfation pathway catalyzed by phenolsulfotransferase, which is deficient in autism, leading to overproduction of the toxic metabolite N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI). Increased levels of NAPQI reduce the ability to detoxify a host of toxic chemicals in the environment, increasing oxidative stress, which leads to protein, lipid, and nucleic acid damage from free radicals.

We know for certain that autism in kids (which I was treating successfully as early as 1982 with a holistic dietary and detox approach), are susceptible to toxic overload. So anything which clobbers the ability to detox will result in a rapid and nasty toxic accumulation in these kids (including mercury, where present, but not confined to it).

Epidemiological evidence also supports the association of increased acetaminophen usage with autism, asthma, and attention deficit with hyperactivity. The marked increases in the incidences of autism, asthma, and attention deficit disorder in the United States coincide with the replacement of aspirin by acetaminophen in the 1980s.

Do bear in mind that association does not mean causation. But if you have a model which would explain the findings, then it becomes the current number one hypothesis, as in this case.

The characteristic loss of Purkinje cells in the brains of people with autism is consistent with depletion of brain glutathione due to excess acetaminophen usage, which leads to premature brain Purkinje cell death.

This is one of the characteristic effects of acetominophen / paracetomol. Pile of pills, copy space top

Glutathione (a very important antioxidant) is depleted with excess intake of any toxin. Roughly, it’s one molecule of glutathione lost, for every toxic molecule got rid of.

The anomalous hair mercury concentrations of children with autism are consistent with exposure of growing hair proteins to NAPQI derived from acetaminophen, which competitively inhibits the reaction of mercury with hair sulfhydryl groups.

This is why people think that mercury is involved in causing autism. But as I said, kids without any mercury have autism. It’s not mercury, it’s the build up of any toxins. Heavy metals (don’t forget lead causes severe brain damage) are just part of the picture. That’s why no statistical correlation is found. It’s not the problem, whatever out-of-date fact-shy theorists want to believe.

Finally, large-scale faulty production of acetaminophen products, such that the labeled values were exceeded by the true concentrations, in addition to contamination with bacteria and tribromoanisole, may have greatly increased the chances of children receiving overdosages of acetaminophen and potential toxins for perhaps as long as a decade.

One of the puzzling aspects of autism is the marked increase in the incidence of autism that began in the United States in the early 1980s and has appeared to increase continuously since then. The highest incidence of autism has been reported to be South Korea, where the incidence is said to be one in 38 boys. It has been definitively proven not to be due to more aggressive diagnosis; it’s a real increase.

This is where epidemiology is important: making the right connection between disease appearance and causative agent is important.

One of the most notable cases of serious adverse effects caused by a pharmaceutical agent was the terrible developmental epidemic of the birth of children with seal-like arms and legs (phocomelia) that was linked to the maternal use of the sedative thalidomide 20–35 days after conception.

One of the clues that led to the discovery of thalidomide as the causative agent of deformed limbs was that it was much more commonly used in Europe than in the United States.

Is there a geographic region in the world in which the incidence of autism was much lower than that in the United States, so that a comparison of medical or dietary differences might provide a significant clue to the major cause of autism?

Yes there is: Cuba. The incidence of autism in Cuba is 0.00168% of the population compared with an estimate of as high as 0.50% of the US population. That’s over 400 times higher in the U.S! Yet vaccines are compulsory in Cuba, which has one of the most highly vaccinated populations in the world (99.7%).

So once again, that’s the death-knell to the vaccination and mercury theory of mercury. It is simply not supportable by any intelligent thinker (and no, for people like Sircus who love to twist other people’s words, I am not saying mercury is non-toxic).

What is highly significant is that, here in the USA doctors routinely advise acetominophen / paracetomol as a prophylactic for the fever that commonly accompanies vaccination, even up to five days beforehand. In fact, some kids get their first autistic symptoms before vaccination.

If high fever continues after vaccination in Cuba for more than 2 days, the parents are advised to visit the physician’s office where the drug metamizole is most commonly prescribed and NOT acetominophen / paracetomol.

Here’s the bottom line from the published article: there is clear evidence that increased acetaminophen use in genetically vulnerable children appears to be a major cause of the epidemics of autism, attention deficit with hyperactivity, and asthma.2

Mercury does not show up and there is no correlation with mercury levels in children, because it’s just one of thousands of toxins which can accumulate. Blood levels don’t count: it’s how fast the child can remove toxins and with a detox system poisoned by acetominophen / paracetomol, the child is in big trouble.

You can read the full Journal Of Restorative Medicine article (which has 83 relevant citations) for more facts. But I’d like to add this. Even after the paper was submitted for publication, yet another study came out, supporting Shaw’s research and also making the connection between acetominophen / paracetomol and autism:

Bauer and Kriebel, working at University of Massachusetts- Lowell, reported that prenatal use of acetaminophen was strongly correlated with autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder prevalence (r = 0.80) using all available country-level data (n = 8) for the period 1984 to 2005. In addition, the authors found that after acetaminophen became commonly used to treat circumcision pain after 1995, there was a strong correlation between country-level (n = 9) autism/ASD prevalence in males and a country’s circumcision rate (r = 0.98). A very similar pattern was seen among US states and when comparing the three main racial/ethnic groups in the US.3

They keep saying the jury is out. Well, it’s time the mercury dodos were ousted and replaced by intelligent dispassionate citizens. We need real answers, not pet theories.

Prof. Keith Scott-Mumby


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