MAY 23, 2000
Several ongoing studies point to acetaminophen — found in Tylenol — as being a protector against hardening of the arteries.
“We found that acetaminophen blocks the activity of myeloperoxidase,” says Phillip Greenspan, an associate professor in the College of Pharmacy at The University of Georgia. The co-author of the study says, “This is one of the chief enzymes involved in coronary artery disease.”
Greenspan’s research adds to earlier studies in humans and animals that link the use of acetaminophen with LDL cholesterol levels. He says mounting evidence suggests that “acetaminophen may block a critical pathway in the development of coronary heart disease.”
Results of the study were presented this week at the Conference on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology in Denver. They showed that acetaminophen inhibits an enzyme linked to the disease-causing properties of low-density lipoproteins. This keeps LDLs from transforming into particles that contribute to hardening of the arteries.
Atherosclerosis — hardening of the arteries — contributes to stroke and coronary heart disease. According to American Heart Association statistics, heart disease is the number one cause of death for Americans and stroke kills 160,000 every year.