- For adults, the maximum recommended daily dose of paracetamol is 4 g (i.e. two 500 mg tablets taken in four times).
- People with selenium deficiency may find it difficult to eliminate paracetamol quickly enough to keep their liver healthy.
People with low selenium content can quickly overdose on paracetamol, even if they follow the recommendations on the box. These are the findings of research from the University of Bath (United Kingdom).
Often consumed as a candy to relieve pain and fever, the paracetamol is however a major cause of liver failure. Naomi Musenga, the 22-year-old girl mocked by a SAMU operator when she called for help in December 2017, has died “Of intoxication with paracetamol absorbed by self-medication over several days”.
Difficulty eliminating the drug quickly enough
For adults, the maximum recommended daily dose is 4 g (i.e. two 500 mg tablets taken in four times). Based on these figures, the British researchers found that selenium, a micronutrient, affects the rate at which the pain reliever is eliminated from the body. In this case, swallowing 4 grams of paracetamol in one day is dangerous for your health.
“People with selenium deficiency may find it difficult to eliminate the drug quickly enough to keep their liver healthy., explains Dr. Charareh Pourzand, director of research. They can overdose even if they follow dosage guidelines ”, she continues.
70 tablets per year
Paracetamol is a drug widely consumed around the world: an average person swallows 70 tablets per year. “For most people, paracetamol is safe up to the dosage stated on the boxes. But if you are frail, malnourished, or elderly your selenium levels may be somewhat lowered, and for those people I think it is a bad idea to take paracetamol at the level currently considered safe, “ estimates Charareh Pourzand.
It can be tempting to increase selenium levels through dietary supplements, but too much micronutrient can be just as dangerous for the body as a deficiency. On the other hand, a balanced diet makes it possible to maintain the selenium levels in the body, and therefore to better support paracetamol, especially in the context of chronic pain.