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Protection from Heart Disease

New research suggests that paracetamol may help to protect from changes leading to hardening of the arteries, a condition that contributes to many deaths per year from stroke, heart attacks and other forms of cardiovascular disease.

The research indicates that use of paracetamol at recommended doses inhibits the oxidation of certain low-density lipoproteins which carry the 'bad' form of cholesterol, preventing one of the main processes involved in the formation of arterial plaque and hardening of the arteries.

Research is continuing into these properties of paracetamol and how it may protect against cardiovascular disease.

Protection from Ovarian Cancer

Early studies have shown a significant protective association between paracetamol use and ovarian cancer. The effect was apparent after use of paracetamol weekly for a period of six months but was most apparent for women who used paracetamol on a daily basis and who had been using it for more than ten years. There was no similar significant effect from the use of other pain relievers that are available over the counter.

Further research is continuing before any kind of public health recommendations can be made for this apparent protective effect of paracetamol.

For Further Information:

  1. A A Taylor et al.; 1998 (July 29); Acetaminophen inhibits both chemical- and cell-mediated human LDL oxidation in vivo and in vitro; Baylor College of Medicine - Abstract from Munich Meeting (Thirteenth IUPHAR Congress of Pharmacology)

  2. Daniel W Cramer et al.; 1998; Over-the-counter analgesics and risk of ovarian cancer; The Lancet; 351; pp104-107

  3. Daniel W Cramer et al.; 1998; Basal hormone levels in women who use acetaminophen for menstrual pain; Fertility & Sterility; 70(2); pp371-373