Aspirin Therapy Revisited
This will be
published at the site shortly, but our newsletter readers always get
This is something we’ve talked about at this site, but new
information from recent studies has forced us to take a closer look
at Aspirin Therapy.
When Aspirin Therapy first came about, it was aimed simply at
keeping platelets from sticking together, or clotting. With the
recent revelations that CVD (cardiovascular disease) and most heart
attacks are actually the result of inflammation, Aspirin Therapy
became even more popular because aspirin is an anti-inflammatory.
There is quite a bit of concern over the action of aspirin,
acetylsalicylic acid; whether it is the actual chemical makeup that
prevents blood from clotting, or whether it’s the ingredient that
aspirin is “buffered” with that prevents the clotting.
Here is the actual science, put into understandable terms:
Aspirin inhibits an enzyme that makes the body synthesize specific
prostaglandins that cause inflammation and other prostaglandins that
cause platelets to get sticky and form clots. [J.
Scientifc Exploration 2000:14(4):623-641]
There have been hundreds of studies showing the efficacy of aspirin
therapy preventing heart attacks by preventing clotting. Aspirin
does not “thin the blood;” it merely prevents clotting.
What most of the studies don’t tell you is that the studies used
buffered aspirin, and it is now thought that the calcium and
magnesium in the buffering pretty much contributed to the positive
outcome in all these studies. In fact, the article (above) points
out: “Supplemental magnesium and vitamin E have been shown to be
more effective than aspirin in lowering heart attack rates as well
as overall death rates.”
Excuse the digression, but I, like most people, like to bounce
around WebMd once in a while to get their take and I discovered
NSAIDs reduce inflammation and relieve
fever and pain by blocking enzymes and proteins made by the body.
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen block a protein (called
prostaglandin) that makes heavy menstrual bleeding worse. Aspirin
does not block this protein." http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/nonsteroidal-anti-inflammatory-drugs-nsaids
We just published (above): “Aspirin inhibits an enzyme that makes
the body synthesize specific prostaglandins that cause inflammation
and other prostaglandins that cause platelets to get sticky and form
Scientifc Exploration 2000:14(4):623-641]”
I left them a note that in 1982, John R. Vane was awarded the Nobel
Prize for showing exactly how aspirin inhibits the enzyme
cyclooxygenase, preventing the cells of the body from making certain
Prize dot Org]
Everyone makes mistakes. Make no mistake about that.
Downside to Aspirin Therapy
There is a downside to aspirin therapy. Aspirin is classified as a
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). And one thing we know
about these drugs today is their continued use leads to CVD
(cardiovascular disease) and Heart Attacks (myocardial infarction,
But I’m getting ahead of myself, because you should know that
Naproxin and Aspirin are the two safest (as far as CVD is concerned)
However, “Aspirin and NSAID’s reportedly contribute to over 16,000
deaths each year, largely as a result of induced G.I. bleeding.” [EDTA
and Chelation Therapy: History and Mechanisms of Action, an Update]
Now we should already be aware of the fraud perpetrated upon the
public concerning cholesterol and statin drugs. Cholesterol does not
cause heart disease; eating saturated fat does not cause heart
disease; and taking statin drugs won’t prevent heart attacks. In
fact “A meta-analysis of 50 cholesterol-lowering interventions,
including diet, resins and lovastatin, lowered cholesterol levels an
average of 10%, but there was a 1% increase in overall mortality.” [J.
Scientifc Exploration 2000:14(4):623-641]
In other words, more people died using the cholesterol lowering
drugs than the control group.
In fact, here is a flyer advertising Lipitor along with a paragraph
“blown up” from the ad. As you can see, Lipitor will not protect you
from a heart attack.
And get this:
A meta-analysis of trials of calcium
channel blockers, even tho they really do lower blood pressure,
showed possibly harmful effects overall. In addition, two new
antiarrythmia drugs approved by the FDA, encainide and flecainide,
clearly suppressed arrythmias, probably as seen by
electrocardiograms, as the surrogate endpoint. However, it was found
that 3 times as many patients in the drug group died as in the
placebo group. [J. Scientifc Exploration 2000:14(4):623-641]
Because of known problems with aspirin therapy, the recommendation,
from conventional medicine and alternative medicine is a smaller
dosage. A famous study known as PHS 89 used the magical dosage of
81mg per day with a meal.
Were there problems with the study? Well, fewer heart attacks, but
more hemorrhagic strokes, and in the end, the people on the aspirin
died at the same rate as the control group.
In other words, the people on aspirin died from other things, other
than heart attacks, so there was no upside to using aspirin.
There’s another downside to aspirin that has recently come to light.
If you’re going in for surgery, doctors recommended their patients
on aspirin therapy quit taking aspirin about a month or so prior to
the surgery. After surgery, you’ll want your blood to clot to help
heal all that damage the scalpels cause.
There was one huge problem noted in these people quitting their
aspirin a day therapy: half of them died before the operation. You
had a 50% chance of a heart attack before the surgery if you quit
taking an aspirin a day.
Doctors are now re-thinking this advice, but for brain surgery, you
have to be off of your anti-clotting meds because the simplest bleed
can kill you.
Or, let’s face it; you could always take a little magnesium and a
good vitamin E daily.
And now the most recent information started coming out about two or
three years ago, when a Dr Orr from the Royal College of Surgeons
(England) performed a cohort study that went like this:
Software was used to analyze 10,000 patients registered with a large
primary care facility who fit the following profile:
- Over 50 years old.
- Had been prescribed NSAIDs in the
- Was previously diagnosed with ischemic heart disease,
diabetes mellitus and/or hypertension.
And their findings?
By “All NSAID regimens” is meant, aspirin too. And this is contrary
to the accepted position. Aspirin is supposed to protect against
major coronary events. [Aspirin
and ibuprofen proven to cause heart attacks]
- Heart failure risk was roughly doubled
by all NSAIDs.
- All NSAID regimens increased upper gastrointestinal
- Major vascular events were increased
by about a third by a coxib [Cox-2 inhibitor], chiefly due to an
increase in major coronary events.
- Ibuprofen also significantly increased major coronary
events, but not major vascular events.
In England around the turn of the century, they performed an RCT
using three groups in what was known as the Wafarin/Aspirin Study in
Heart Failure (WASH). Each of the 279 subjects had experienced
either a heart attack or a stroke brought on by thrombosis (a blood
As we said, they were divided into three groups: one got a standard
dose of Wafarin, one got 300 mg of aspirin, and the third group got
Over two years later, follow up uncovered that neither the aspirin
nor the wafarin provided any greater protection against nonfatal
strokes, nonfatal heart attacks, or death than the placebo. And in
the group taking aspirin, they were twice as likely to to suffer a
heart attack or stroke as those who took wafarin (or the placebo).
And then there are the usual gastrointestinal problems associated
with aspirin prompting Dr John G F Cleland, the lead researcher in
the study to proclaim that theoretical benefits of aspirin be
damned, because the real evidence points to it just doing harm.
Now Hear This
Most recently this has come to light: If you have an upper
respiratory infection, such as a cold or flu, taking aspirin therapy
could bloody kill you.
Yes, taking an aspirin or any NSAID when you have a cold (or upper
respiratory infection such as the flu) triples your risk of a heart
attack. And it’s even higher (seven times higher than with no cold
or flu) if the painkiller is taken intravenously.
The study, first published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases,
was conducted at by Dr Cheng-Chung Fang, MD who examined nearly
10,000 patient records of those who had been hospitalized for a
heart attack over a six year period. [Common
pain relievers may increase heart attack risk during respiratory
As we’ve pointed out a few times in our research, it’s very hard to
prove causation. Correlation is not causation, and causation is very
difficult to “prove” in medicine.
However, these results have moved physicians to reconsider their
prescribing habits, and take into consideration more factors when
prescribing NSAIDS for acute respiratory infections.
And, if I could prescribe, I’d say a good magnesium and a good
vitamin E complex with mixed tocopherols and mixed tocotrienols, and
no synthetics to keep your blood from forming dangerous clots. Or
you could take a look at our article:
Nutrients and Supplements for Preventing and Reversing
Cardiovascular Disease for supplements that inhibit platelet
aggregation that can form clots.