Ibuprofen may have significant impact on the liver

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Ibuprofen, a common over-the-counter painkiller, belongs to a group of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

These drugs are extensively used to treat pain and fever. While it is well-known that ibuprofen can cause heart issues and increase the risk of stroke, its effects on the liver were less clear.

Now, researchers from the University of California Davis have found that ibuprofen may have more significant impacts on the liver than previously thought, with notable differences between males and females.

The Study and its Findings

In their study, the researchers administered a moderate dose of ibuprofen to mice for a week, equivalent to an adult human taking about 400 mg of the drug daily.

They then used advanced mass spectrometry to analyze all the metabolic pathways in the liver cells.

Their findings revealed that ibuprofen induced many more changes in protein expression in the liver than anticipated. Specifically, at least 34 different metabolic pathways in male mice were altered by ibuprofen.

These pathways are involved in the metabolism of amino acids, hormones, and vitamins, as well as the production of reactive oxygen and hydrogen peroxide within cells. Hydrogen peroxide can damage proteins and stress liver cells.

In addition, the scientists found that ibuprofen had different, and in some cases opposing, effects on the livers of males and females.

For instance, the proteasome—a waste-disposal system that eliminates unwanted proteins—responded differently in males and females.

They suggest that other drugs taken with ibuprofen could stay in the body longer in males, a phenomenon never demonstrated before.

Implications and Consequences

The researchers assert that many commonly used drugs, including ibuprofen, may be overused and should not be prescribed for certain conditions, such as mild pain.

In the long term, it’s crucial for the scientific community to start considering differences between males and females regarding drug metabolism and its effects.

If you’re interested in learning more about pain, consider reading studies about a diet that could alleviate neuropathy pain in diabetes, and how a Native American plant medicine can treat pain and diarrhea.

For further insights into pain, review recent studies about what you need to know about chest pain, and research demonstrating how over-the-counter pain relievers could harm your blood pressure.

The study, conducted by Professor Aldrin Gomes and his team, was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

If you care about liver health, please read studies about dairy foods linked to liver cancer, and coffee drinkers may halve their risk of liver cancer.

For more information about liver health, please see recent studies about a new therapy for fatty liver disease, and results showing the Mediterranean diet could cut fatty liver disease by half.

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