A study warns that a common painkiller can harm the heart

United States – A recent study shows that low doses of paracetamol that are usually considered “safe” can affect heart health.

American researchers found that taking the painkiller, also known as acetaminophen, changed proteins in the heart tissue of mice.

Dr Gabriela Rivera, from the University of California, Davis, said: “We found that regular use of acetaminophen at concentrations considered safe, equivalent to 500 mg/day, causes several signaling pathways within the heart to change. “We expected two or three pathways to be changed, but we found more than 20 different signaling pathways affected.”

She added: “These results prompt me to consider using acetaminophen at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest possible duration.”

Previous research has indicated that taking paracetamol in large quantities can cause heart problems.

The recent study, presented at the American Physiology Summit in Long Beach, California, looked at the effects that can occur at different doses of the painkiller.

The team gave a group of mice plain water, while another group was given water containing the equivalent of 500 mg of paracetamol per day in an adult human.

They then analyzed the heart tissue to see how proteins had changed, an indicator of how well the organ was functioning.

After seven days, mice given paracetamol showed significant changes in levels of proteins associated with biochemical pathways involved in a range of functions.

These changes include energy production, antioxidant use, and breakdown of damaged proteins, the researchers said.

They added that long-term use of medium to high doses can cause heart problems as a result of oxidative stress or accumulation of toxins that are produced during the breakdown of paracetamol.

Dr. Rivera explained that while our bodies can usually get rid of these toxins before they cause harm, it may be difficult for the body to keep up with consistently taking moderate to high doses over time. But she pointed out that the study was conducted on mice, so more research on humans is needed.

Source: The Sun

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2024-04-17 01:59:34

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