Americans may be Low in Magnesium

July 26, 2004

A Gallup Poll survey performed on 1,009 U.S. adults conducted in January 2004 shows that nearly 67% of American adults are not getting adequate amounts of magnesium. The poll has a margin of error of 3%.

Experts Debate the Safety of Acetaminophen

Tens of millions of Americans use acetaminophen for pain and fever reduction. Yet every year acetaminophen overdose is linked directly to over 450 deaths from liver failure. Acetaminophen may be implicated in almost half of the incidents of liver failure in the U.S... The article is published in the July issue of Hepatology.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

There is no doubt that acetaminophen is toxic at very high doses. Inadvertent overdoes occurs because patients take higher than the recommendations and they are also ingesting acetaminophen in other products such as allergy, flu, and cold preparations. Acetaminophen is also commonly used in migraine relieving drug combinations and as an addition to narcotic analgesics. To help reduce the risk of overdosing from acetaminophen read product labeling. Also, it may be much easier for an infant or child to overdose. Do not administer acetaminophen containing products to a child or infant unless you are sure another adult has not recently administered a dose. Even just doubling the dose of acetaminophen has caused liver failure and death in some children. The antidote to acetaminophen toxicity is the supplement NAC.

Xenical may increase the Risk of Developing Kidney Stones

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and other centers have found that giving orlistat (Xenical) to rats contributed to the risk of developing kidney stones by significantly increasing the levels of oxalate in urine by 400% to 800%. Patients should probably restrict their oxalate intake while on Xenical. Xenical is used to block the absorption of fat from food. Xenical seems to increase the amount of oxalate absorbed from food. Individuals prone to oxalate-kidney stones may be at particular risk. The study appears in the August 2004 issue of the journal Kidney International.