New York, Sep 27 (UNI) Consuming coffee and paracetamol at the same time can increase the risk of liver damage, a recent research said.
Caffeine triples the amount of a toxic by-product created when the pain killer is broken down. The toxin is the same as the one responsible for liver damage and liver failure in toxic reactions involving alcohol and paracetamol, Scientists said.
Consumers have been warned by the health experts for years that drinking excess alcohol while taking paracetamol can trigger a toxic interaction and could cause liver failure, or even death.
However, this is the first time scientists have reported a potentially harmful interaction if the painkiller is taken with caffeine, according to the American researchers.
A study published in the ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology journal suggests that people taking paracetamol should limit the amount of caffiene.
The study tested the effects of paracetamol and caffeine on E coli bacteria genetically engineered to express a key human enzyme in the liver that detoxifies many prescription and non-prescription drugs.
''People should be informed about this potentially harmful interaction,''ACS journal's author and chemist Sidney Nelson said.
''The bottom line is that you don't have to stop taking peracetamol or stop taking caffeine products, but you do need to monitor your intake more carefully when taking them together, especially if you drink alcohol,'' he added.
People who drink a lot of alcohol were also at higher risk because alcohol can trigger the production of another enzyme that also produces the liver toxin, study suggested.
The researchers are currently studying how the toxic interaction occurs and say they are considering human studies in the future.