Gerald H. Smith, DDS, DNM
Tens of millions of Americans take an aspirin a day, mainly for one of two reasons: The most common indication for the widespread use of aspirin is to prevent the clotting of the blood, to help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Second, aspirin is anti‑inflammatory and used in the primary prevention of diseases that are thought to be caused by chronic inflammation, including colon cancer.
Six Studies Reveal the INEFFECTIVENESS of Aspirin
A study, published in 2010, comes from the journal Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. The researchers studied the role of aspirin in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes. These patients were diabetic but had no history or evidence of heart disease. The fact that they had diabetes put them at high risk for heart disease, and aspirin was studied as a low-risk, low-cost primary prevention therapy. The study concluded that “aspirin was ineffective in preventing cardiovascular disease in patients who had diabetes but no existing heart disease at the time.
The second study, also from 2010, comes from the prestigious Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study was designed to determine the outcome for patients who were taking aspirin prior to having a coronary event. The researchers noted the existing “controversy” regarding whether prior aspirin use predicts worse outcomes in patients who go on to experience acute coronary events. The study concluded: Taking aspirin had worse outcomes and a higher risk of having a heart attack than those not taking aspirin—exactly the opposite of what the doctors told them.
The third study, appearing in 2005 in the gold-standard New England Journal of Medicine, examined whether aspirin use lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease for women in general. The study concluded: the researchers found a lowered risk for one type of stroke (ischemic, or blood clot, strokes), but aspirin did not affect the overall death rate from cardiovascular events. This study found no clear evidence that aspirin helped prevent hemorrhagic (bleeding) strokes, while another study in the journal Stroke identified clear evidence that, in women, taking aspirin daily increased the risk of both types of strokes. The conclusion stated: at least in women older than age sixty-five, daily aspirin use was shown to increase the risk for strokes.
Studies show that aspirin is far from a benign drug. For example, a 2010 study published in The American Journal of Medicine showed that “Regular use of aspirin, NSAIDs [nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs], or acetaminophen (Tylenol) increases the risk of hearing loss in men, and the impact is larger on younger individuals.”
A 2009 study from the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion found that even low-dose aspirin therapy is associated with significant gastrointestinal toxicity: “Data suggest that acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin causes significant gastroduodenal damage even at the low doses used for cardiovascular protection.>
A 2011 study in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics linked daily aspirin use with the development of Crohn’s disease (CD), an illness becoming increasingly prominent in our medical landscape. The authors reported “a strong positive association between regular aspirin use and CD” (but not ulcerative colitis).
The only difference between taking arsenic vs. aspirin on a daily basis is that aspirin will kill you more slowly.
Are there alternatives to low-dose aspirin therapy? Many natural medicines inhibit platelet aggregation, thin the blood and reduce inflammation without any of the risks incurred from low-dose aspirin therapy.
- Nattokinase or lumbrokinase, both enzymes have shown anti-clotting effects as well as heart-strengthening properties.
- A 1999 study showed that pycnogenol, the French pine bark extract, not only inhibited platelet aggregation in smokers (a high-risk group) as effectively as aspirin, but also did it without adversely affecting bleeding time.
- Zymessence: Pharmaceutical grade systemic enzyme that digests all foreign protein in the blood. It is also anti-inflammatory with no side effects.
- Cayenne pepper
- Cassia cinnamon
- Ginkgo bloba
- Grape seed extract
- Vitamin E (delta tocopherol)
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats