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22 July 2024

A study warns of a common pain reliever that could harm the heart

Published
By E247

A recent study has shown that low doses of paracetamol, usually considered "safe," can affect heart health.

According to Al Bayan Newspaper , American researchers found that taking the pain reliever, also known as acetaminophen, led to changes in proteins in the heart tissues of mice.

Dr. Gabriela Rivera of the University of California, Davis, said, "We found that regular use of acetaminophen at safe concentrations, equivalent to 500 mg/day, results in changes in many signaling pathways within the heart. We expected changes in two or three pathways, but we found more than 20 different signaling pathways affected."

She added, "These results lead me to consider using acetaminophen at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest possible duration."

Previous research had indicated that taking large amounts of paracetamol could cause heart problems.

The recent study, presented at the American Physiological Society's summit in Long Beach, California, looked at the effects that different doses of the pain reliever could have.

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

They then analyzed the heart tissues to see how the proteins changed, which is an indicator of organ function.

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

The researchers said these changes included energy production, antioxidant use, and breakdown of damaged proteins.

They added that using medium to high doses over the long term could cause heart problems due to oxidative stress or the accumulation of toxins produced during paracetamol breakdown.

Dr. Rivera explained that while our bodies can usually eliminate these toxins before they cause damage, it may be difficult for the body to keep up with consistently taking medium to high doses over time. However, she noted that the study was conducted on mice, so further research on humans is needed.