Don’t Take Aspirin to Prevent Heart Attack
Newport Natural Health Reader,
I hope you’re sitting down, because you may be shocked by what I’m about to tell you.
The FDA has just done you a favor!
Yes, you read that right – the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), well known for its total support of Big Pharma, just reversed its recommendation on daily aspirin as a way to prevent a heart attack in individuals without existing heart disease.
I consider this good news. Popping aspirin like candy to protect your heart ignores the damage aspirin does to your stomach and brain.
Earlier, the FDA had said that anyone who wanted to avoid a heart attack should take a low-dose (75 to 81 mg) “baby” aspirin daily. But now the group is reversing that decade-long advisory, and telling only patients with existing heart disease or other cardiovascular issues, such as a history of strokes, to take aspirin.
Why the change? Because, as I’ve been telling my patients for years, aspirin is a drug. Like any other drug, it has side effects.
Here is a partial list of what can happen to you when you take aspirin:
- Stomach bleeding
- Rhabdomyolysis (rapid breakdown of muscle fibers)
- Kidney problems
- Aspirin-induced asthma attacks
- Brain hemorrhage or brain swelling
- Agitation and confusion
- Hearing loss
- Vision problems
Approximately 100,000 people are hospitalized each year due to nasty side effects from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen, and about 15,000 of them die. And those figures could be the tip of the iceberg. Some experts estimate the death toll from NSAIDs at closer to a jaw-dropping 300,000.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear – when it comes to protecting your heart, aspirin is not the lifesaver you might think it is.
One recent study, for example, found that prescription NSAIDs, such as Celebrex and its generic version, celecoxib, as well as ordinary NSAIDs, actually increase the risk of serious cardiovascular events and death. (The only exception was naproxen, which has other unwanted side effects.)
And that’s not the only research showing the harm these drugs can do. A second study, reported last year in the prestigious British journal The Lancet, found that NSAIDs nearly doubled heart failure risk.
To be fair, aspirin alone isn’t responsible for all those incidents. And more recent research shows that a daily aspirin dose of 75 to 100 mg could cut risk of developing certain types of cancer by as much as 50 percent.
To get those benefits, however, you need to be between the ages of 50 and 65 and take aspirin daily for at least five to ten years.
So aspirin isn’t all bad. But you should be aware of the dangers. Even the researchers who found aspirin reduces cancer risk noted a substantial increase in stomach bleeding with long-term intake.
In fact, some health experts insist that aspirin is so dangerous that if it had to go through today’s drug approval process, it would never make it to store shelves. (Aspirin has been in the marketplace since the late 1890s, when it was first synthesized from willow tree bark. So it has never gone through FDA testing and approval.)
My point is this – there’s no need to take a potentially dangerous drug to protect your heart when there are better solutions.
If you’re dealing with pain due to inflammation (any disorder that ends in “-itis,” like arthritis, gastritis, etc. involves inflammation), my first recommendation is curcumin, an extract of the spice turmeric.
Chronic, low-grade inflammation sets the stage for a host of ailments, including diabetes, cancer, and painful joint problems, like arthritis.
Earlier this year, a study involving more than 360 patients with knee arthritis compared the effectiveness of ibuprofen (1,200 mg daily) with 1,500 mg of curcumin. After one month, researchers concluded that curcumin was just as effective at relieving pain, with significantly fewer incidents of abdominal pain and discomfort.
And that’s just one example. Curcumin has proven its inflammation-fighting abilities in hundreds of other studies.
In addition, curcumin also improves circulation by helping blood vessels dilate, combats damaging rogue molecules known as free radicals, protects the kidneys and liver, eases depression, improves heart health, and fights debilitating neurodegenerative disorders, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
As a result, the only time I recommend aspirin is in the event of a heart attack. If you or someone you’re with might be experiencing a heart attack, immediately chew and swallow a regular, full-strength aspirin (not a low-dose, baby aspirin) and drink a glass of water. Aspirin is helpful in this situation because it thins the blood. But when it comes to pain relief, you can do better!