What do sunlight, alcohol, and ibuprofen have in common? In small doses, they can be helpful, though some can take none at all; in large doses or taken for too long, they can be lethal.
The importance of ibuprofen
Just as sunlight strengthens bones and soothes certain skin conditions, whilst wine may be good for the heart, ibuprofen’s impact on period pain, fever and flu, swelling and stiffness, headache and backache, and bone pain in cancer is often impressive.
Broadly speaking, ibuprofen works to reduce inflammation, fever and pain by lowering levels of hormone-like agents known as prostaglandins.
Released by nearly every tissue in the body, prostaglandins have potent positive effects, helping in healing, safeguarding the stomach from acid attack and causing contractions in labour. They can be pesky though: fever results when they reset your body’s thermostat; their ability to sensitize nerves and widen blood vessels triggers pain and inflammation.