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Avoid the Dangers of Aspirin

February 6, 2009 by  

Avoid the Dangers of Aspirin

Aspirin is the most widely used drug to combat heart disease. Yet, aspirin doesn’t lower cholesterol. It doesn’t lower blood pressure. It doesn’t lower high blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes and it doesn’t reduce excess body fat. But it seems to work, or many people and their doctors think that it does.

I have always been opposed to aspirin, as any drug, but continuous study dilutes some of my hard conviction against aspirin. We should let our body decide when we have marginal conviction. It is possible that in some instances pharmacology can work with what Robert Atkins called complementary medicine.

No doctor knows how we feel better than we do. If our body tells us that we are better or worse, we need to listen. Sickness or wellness is always a case of biochemical individuality. This is to say “what’s one man’s meat is another man’s poison.” Simply stated, we have to find what works for us.

Enter good and bad eicosanoids (pronounced eye-kah-sah-noids). You have probably never heard of them. I know that you have never seen them. Eicosanoids are like master hormones that are totally controlled by diet. They are both good and bad.  We should strive to over-balance the bad with the good, and try to keep them in balance.

Aspirin works its wonders by affecting eicosanoids.

Eicosanoids “are a gang of at least 100 powerful hormone-like substances that control virtually all physiological actions in your body.”  (Protein Power by Michael R. Eades, M.D.)

According to your biochemical individuality, bad eicosanoids can cause many dangerous health conditions including heart disease and cancer. And guess what, eicosanoids can be balanced only with diet—no drugs, please.

Any food or drug that increases insulin levels increases bad eicosanoid production.  So, bad eicosanoid production overwhelms any relief of symptoms experienced by so-called drug therapy.

Food and bad eicosanoids? Yes, the American high-carbohydrate diet causes a dominance of bad eicosanoids followed by diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, insulin resistance, heart disease and any other disease known to man.

On the contrary, good eicosanoid balance promotes vasodilatation, so that instead of narrowing blood vessels, blood vessels actually widen, blood pressure goes down and so does the risk of heart disease.

So it appears strongly that we should get on low-carbohydrate diet to reduce insulin resistance and heart disease. But there seems to be one thing critically missing, and that is to make sure that our eicosanoids are balanced in favor of the good. If the over-production of bad eicosanoids is reduced, then the likelihood of having a heart attack is greatly reduced.

Remember above that we talked about biochemical individuality. This simply means that everybody is different and “what’s one man’s meat is another man’s poison.”  Some people are genetically predisposed to a high insulin response to carbohydrates, and in these same people, disturbance of normal eicosanoid balance is the primary molecular cause of heart disease. So a low-carbohydrate diet may not totally protect against a bad eicosanoid balance.

What’s all this got to do with aspirin? Aspirin is a potent inhibitor of eiconsanoid synthesis. Aspirin works against bad eiconsanoids and in fact, aspirin’s only effect is on eiconsanoids.

Aspirin reduces the production of bad eicosanoids that prompt platelet aggregation such as thromboxane A2. It also works against good eiconsanoids, but on balance it may give an edge in favor of preventing heart attacks.

If one has all the threats of heart attack like abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, shortness of breath or even angina, I would ask my doctor about taking a baby aspirin a day. Most heart doctors will say yes, and we agree. But in truth, the best remedy for our overall health is diet. Diet is our best medicine.

Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • Klee Rogers

    Krill or other fish oils are much better than Asprin, no side effects, lower blood pressure, combat heart disease, lower cholesterol, and on expensive drup company advertisements on TV!!!!!!!

  • Eldon Dahl

    Hello.
    White Willow Bark has been the pain killer used for many centuries, with no harmful side affects. It wasn’t until Bayer copied it artificially that all these problems came about. They can cause stomach ulcers, deteriation of the cartilege in the knees and hip joints and other problems. My brother was on the aspirin-a-day for his heart, as it was so widely advertised for this. The aspirins blew his eyes. He cannot see well enough to drive a car. Dr. David Williams says that this is one of the things that aspirin can do, He publishes the Alternatives newsletter. For The Health Conscious Individual. (drdavidwilliams.com)
    Eldon.

  • James

    If anyone would care to check, the use of low-dose aspirin was never claimed to reduce cholesterol, combat heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower high blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes or reduce excess body fat. The reason it is used is for its anti-coagulation effects, which reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes. It is only used this way in people demonstrably at risk for those things.
    If anyone can post a credible source who has made a claim that aspirin does all of those other things, I would like to see it. It unfortunately diminshes the credibility of this website to throw up a straw-man argument like that when it is not being used that way in the first place, at least not documenable on-label uses.
    I would be curious to see the research demonstrating the effects of aspirin on eiconsanoids.
    And regarding Klee’s claim of no side effects for fish oils, that is incorrect. There are fewer side effects for the average person, and no side effects for many users, just as is true with aspirin, but in this world, there is no free lunch, and to say substance X has no side effects for anyone, anywhere, is simply false.

    • George

      James, I agree with you 100%. Thanks for your posting.

    • Berean

      Hello. Aspirin is also very good for helping to make the body more acidic. In fact it’s used in hospitals for alkalinity conditions in patients.

      • James

        Is that an on-label use or off-label use? I have never heard of that, but then, there are a lot of things I have never heard of. :)

        • Berean

          In hospitals many drugs are commonly used for off-label conditions. Seizure medications are a very good example that some people can relate to. Yes, in emergency hyper-alkaline states patients can be given aspirin to help normalize pH. Aspirin has many off-label uses. But little peer-reviewed research can be found because of the enormous amount of money it takes to conduct their experiments. Consequently, you won’t find these well known facts about aspirin on the back of the bottle. Take care, Berean.

  • Ben D

    That is a very fine post by James. My doctor increased my dosage of aspirin from .81mg to .325 when I had a mini-stroke in Oct for specificially the reason he mentions in his comments. He also told me to quit drinking beer and that broke my heart but I have not had one since the stroke.

  • CLETUS STOCK

    I CANNOT TAKE ASPIRIN SINCE I BEEN A CHILD.IT GAVE ME PAIN IN THE CEST MY DOCTOR THEN TOLD MY MOM NOT TO GAVE TO ME.SINCE THEN NEVER TOOK I TRYED ONCE AND GOT PAIN I WENT TO EM ROOM TOOK TEST THEY SAID DONNOT TAKE THEM AT ALL.

  • Victor H.

    James must be a Lawyer, or a politician or both.
    There was no mention in Bob Livingston’s article that aspirin ever claimed to reduce cholesterol, combat heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower high blood sugar.
    In fact he made it clear that it does none of these.

    Bob just wanted to make you aware of eicosanoids. (not eiconsanoids)?

    Sorry James.
    Vic

    • James

      Vic,

      Actually, I am neither, but rather a prosthetist (design and fit people with artificial limbs. Allow me to copy the first paragraph of the article:

      Aspirin is the most widely used drug to combat heart disease. Yet, aspirin doesn’t lower cholesterol. It doesn’t lower blood pressure. It doesn’t lower high blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes and it doesn’t reduce excess body fat. But it seems to work, or many people and their doctors think that it does.

      One of my questions was where Bob got the idea that it does or is supposed to do any of those things. That is why I mentioned the straw-man argument. What do you think Bob meant by the last sentence? As I asked before, give me a reference from a credible doctor who thinks that aspirin does those things.

      • Bob Livingston

        James,

        You took my statement out of context. My statement is that Asprin is the most widely used drug to combat heart disease. HOWEVER, it does not lower cholesterol, BP, blood sugar or reduce body fat… all of which are major contributors to heart disease. So, since it does not affect these contributors (or markers) for heart disease… it’s not really all that effective against the real causes of heart disease, and certainly not the cure-all that many think it is. –Bob.

        • Eli M.

          Bob, a number of years ago, my doctor suggested that I take a baby aspirin once a day with a meal in order to defend against the possibility of colon cancer which runs on both sides of my family, though no other members of my immediate family ever had it. My circulatory system has been and remains fine, possibly because I exercise regularly and eat a rather healthy diet [although certainly not ideal] plus take some supplements. I suspect a high fiber diet is a better defense against colon cancer, but can you comment on the uses of low dose aspirin as a preventitive for colon cancer. BTW, I really don’t stick to that baby aspirin regimen very well anyway.

        • James

          Bob,

          I don’t think I took it out of context, but I will rephrase an earlier question. Can you produce a credible source that can document that the regular use of aspirin combats heart disease? I assume when you use a word like combat, you mean to prevent, limit, or reverse, as distinctly opposed to reducing the downstream consequences. There is documenable evidence that aspirin will reduce the incidence, and in some cases the severity, of heart attacks and strokes in people who already have heart disease, and are therefore at particular risk for those consequences. If we are going to lump the disease with its consequences, then I would suggest you are misusing the word combat. If you can provide a source that demonstrates that aspirin in some way fixes the disease itself, in the same way, for instance, that Vitamin D can make a difference in the case of ricketts, I would be interested to see it. I am not saying that it doesn’t exist, just that I haven’t seen it.
          I would agree with you that it is not effective against the underlying causes of heart disease that you list, but I haven’t seen a claim to that effect in a reputable publication. I also don’t who the “many” are that you refer to that think it is a cure-all, because I haven’t heard a credible source make that claim, either, but I certainly agree that it is not a cure-all, just like everything else in the universe.

          On another topic, I thought your response to Eli was very good. I am leery of generalizing the more minor effects of drugs when clear risk is not present, for there is no way for an individual to do a reasonable cost/benefit analysis with respect to the adverse effects of the drugs, and even if one could know ahead of time that the colorectal tumor subtype you might get could potentially be suppressed with aspirin, you still don’t know if it will suppress yours. The more probable side effects of aspirin, on the other hand, are well documented.

  • Bob Livingston

    Eli,
    I personally would definitely opt for the fiber for colon cancer prevention rather than aspirin. There is a high risk of internal bleeding with aspirin for a relatively minor chance of reducing the risk of colon cancer for those who don’t have a history of colon cancer.

    Aspirin inhibits the COX-2 enzyme (which is why it is useful for treating pain and inflammation). New England Journal of Medicine, investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Womens Hospital all reported that regular aspirin intake only reduced the incidence of colorectal tumors that overexpress COX-2. COX-2 is present in some (but not all) colorectal tumors, but not in normal colon tissue.

    I don’t think curent evidence supports generally recommending aspirin therapy to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer for people who have no history of the disease. I think it is worth discussing with your doctor if you have a history of colorectal cancer in which case it may be worth the bleeding risk to increase your odds of not having a reoccurrence of cancer. Bob.

  • Mike Stafford

    To All Still Reading This Post:

    Ginger: Common Spice and Wonder Drug by Paul Schulick; 3rd ed.; Hohm Press explains that and how (with documentation) the wonderful old spice, ginger, in almost any form unravels the inflammatory physiological disturbances in the eicosanoid cascade caused by all NSAID’s and defective dietary habits. It has powerful detox, anti-inflammatory, pro-homeostatic and curative effects with none of the dark side damage brought on by drugs. An alimentary system affect is to increase assimilation of substances during digestion, good and bad. Given its plethora of benefits it is probably as much a panacea as is available. Thus it is public enemy number one to the FDA and dyshealth system whose ministrations effectively bring downstream, difficult to document and diagnose disturbances which occaision increased testing, therapeutic interventions/symptom suppression/business. Just look at Celebrex, Vioxx, et al.
    So, you still think you want FDA sanctioned imposition of a national disease dissemination (“health” care) system? Our systematized health maintenance industry’s simple intent is to “maintain” the status folks are in which brings us to its ministrations. Ever notice, the word “cure” is largely disused?
    Might it be wise to seek any verifiable, sensible means of health augmentation and protection available? Think of this culture as existing in a “health bubble” similar to the pre-September, ’08 “financial services bubble”. Remember October.

    A Michigoose

  • DONDI

    I always carry a bottle of Aspirin with me to work because you never know, also, drink a small amount of apple-cider vinigar at night to help out also.

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