Aspirin (ASA, acetylsalicylic acid) (7/13/13) http://healthfully.org/rc/ & more on
aspirin at http://healthfully.org/aspirin/
risk for cancer of Breast 39%, Colorectal 63%, Esophageal 73%, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 60%,
Ovarian 47%, Melanoma 55%, Prostate 39%, Stomach 62%, and other
cancers including Bladder, Skin, & Adult Leukemia. Aspirin increases the
survival of stages I,
II, & III Cancers, Breast 66%, Colon by 74%, and by extension all adenocarcinomas. Aspirin
reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease 60%, and Heart Attacks 51%, and slows atherogenesis (CVD). These results are found in medical journal articles cited below.
everyone know of these
benefits and doctors recommend a 325 mgs of aspirin daily? The short answer
is the corporatization of medicine. The perception in the press is the opposite
of the truth, a truth which was succinctly stated by Harvard Prof. Marcia Angell, MD.: “If we had set out to design
the worst system
that we could imagine, we couldn’t have imagined on as bad as we have.” Doctors are taught by PhARMA a much
different story about aspirin, and thus only recommend aspirin to reduce the
risk of heart attack in the lowest dose, 82 mgs, and only to those who can’t
afford or won’t take patented, blood thinners.
What has happened to a drug whose usage goes back thousands of years,
and was for over a half century the most used household for colds, pain, and
arthritic remedy, and at a dose of 1000
mgs (2 pills) followed by 500 mgs as needed?
This change is an example of a pattern of corporate-profits first.
The recorded history of aspirin starts with the
ancient Egyptians and Greeks who used an extract of willow bark and leaves
which contain the plant hormone salicylic acid.
Hippocrates, the Greek physician, around 420 BC wrote of its use to
relieve pain and fever. The Romans Pliny
the Elder, and later Galen added its use as skin and ulcer treatment. The drug
remained thereafter in the European
pharmacopeia, and became widely used to treat malaria in the 1760s.
In 1853 a German chemist modified
salicylic acid, and in 1899 the dye and drug company Bayer marketed it as
In the 1950s, when I was growing up, aspirin was the
dominant over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, mild pain, arthritis, and cold
remedy. It came in 500 mgs, and the
initial dose was 2, followed by 1 every 3 hours, or as needed. The standard
daily usage for arthritic and
joint pain was 2.5 grams per day, with 5 grams as the upper limit—this
continued to be recommended by doctors until the 1990s. Aspirin’s popularity
soared based on the
relief of inflammation, pain, arthritis, and colds. “It is the standard
against which all
rheumatoid arthritis medication should be measured” (Goodman & Gilman’s
11th 2006 Edition, the leading pharmacology text book, page
690). Annual usage reached a peak in the
U.S. of 20,000 tons in 1958. In the
1950s and thereafter aspirin share of sales fell to the heavily-marketed,
costly, newer drugs (acetaminophen 1956 and ibuprofen 1962). This changed again
following the 1973
discovery that aspirin reduces the incidence of heart attacks by reducing
frequency of blood clots (thrombi) by acting as a “blood thinner”.
By the 1980s it regained its number 1
position, but not based on colds, pains, and arthritis. It has now slipped to
6th. There is now on my bottle of 325 mg coated
aspirin over 15 lines of warnings about hazards. How significant are these risks?
During the 70s, and probably earlier members of the
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America the industry’s trade
organization (hereafter “PhARMA”) went after aspirin so as to build the sales
of PATENTED blood thinners, arthritic medications, and cold remedies. PhARMA
members had by 1980 gained control of
research and the production of information.
Aspirin the drug of choice by your parents and grandparents was “shown”
to be unsafe based on shoddy published studies.
PhARMA drummed into the public’s and physicians’ heads that aspirin all
too frequently caused stomach bleeds and ulcers, and also that it caused Reyes
Syndrome in children. However, as
Goodman and Gilman notes (p. 690) “many clinicians favor the use of other
NSAIDs perceived to have better gastrointestinal tolerability, even though this
perception remains unproven by convincing clinical trial”. As for Reyes
syndrome, diagnosis was
based on symptoms. “Between
1980 and 1997, the number of reported
cases of Reye’s syndrome decreased from 555 cases in 1980 to about 2 cases per
year since 1994… when genetic testing for inborn errors of metabolism…” Proof
is lacking for aspirin’s role: “in 93%
of the cases a viral infection had occurred in the preceding three-week period…
and no animal model of Reye’s syndrome has been developed with aspirin” (Reyes syndrome,
Wikipedia), yet the FDA’s warns against its usage for those under the age of 19
remains on bottles of aspirin, along
with GI irritation and bleeding. These
warnings are drummed into doctors in the required continuing education classes by
PhARMA’s thought leaders. This removal
of usage for children greatly reduces the usage among adults.
Five reasons a major crimes against the
public. Millions of early deaths from Alzheimer’s
disease. Dramatic increase in Alzheimer’s
disease over the last 30 years. Secondly,
cancer aspirin increases survival of
stage I, II, AND III adenocarcinoma by over 60%. Lowers risk
of most cancers over 30%. Third, the
alternatives NSAIDs have far worse side effects than aspirin AHA
warns. Except for aspirin, all prescription
and over-the-counter NSAIDs with long term usage greatly increase the risk of
myocardial infractions (MIs) and
cardiovascular disease repeatedly
the American Heart Association
(AHA) because they prolong the formation of plaque
once the process starts. In the APPROVe Study
to see if Vioxx, after 2 years, Naproxen increased 50% and Vioxx 200% heart
use of anticoagulants Warfarin and Plavix to prevent
atherothrombotic and venous embolism were never properly shown to be superior to aspirin. Fifth prevents atherogenesis thus
cardiovascular disease the basis for most heart attacks by affecting
All NSAIDs (but aspirin) increase MI risk--American
Heart association warning also
in journal sources.
997; 48: 626-632: also Swedish
twin matching study showing high dose better than low dose and other
NSAIDs. Note: also testosterone and estrogen for the elderly also
significantly reduce risk.
“strong evidence that atherosclerosis is slowed down with long-term … aspirin,”
and stopped. Various
mechanisms: By NO endothelial cells from oxidative damage,
BREAST CANCER SURVIVAL UP 66% by
stimulating necrosis factor TNF—above. Colon cancer
survival increased 74%, others. Mechanism:
COX-2 which is associated with increased prostaglandin biosynthesis which
correlates is metastasis and carcinogenesis, and aspirin blocks COX-2, thereby
reducing risk, plus promotes death of abnormal cells (below).
CANCERS VARIOUS TISSUES
for colon, 39% for breast, 36% for lung, and 39% for prostate cancer.
Significant risk reductions were also observed for esophageal (73%), stomach
(62%), and ovarian cancer (47%), also. Initial epidemiologic studies of malignant
melanoma, Hodgkin's disease, and adult leukemia also found that NSAIDs are
55%. Other studies have
shown that aspirin promotes the death of abnormal cells through the
natural mechanism of apoptosis by stimulating tumor necrosis
factor TNF. Low dose is insufficient.
attack deaths lowered 51%
for higher dose aspirin by
lowering risk of thrombosis. For the highest risk groups: unstable angina,
a 236% reduction in death,
and cardiac event 152%--a 1994 meta-study.
general high-risk surgery, reduced 156%:
6% of treated versus 15.4% for untreated--p. 231.
arthritis (RA), inflammation, and joint
pain. Merck Manual in 1987 edition,
p. 960, recommends a dose “from 3 to 7.5 gm, the average 4.5 gm” for RH.
Goodman & Gilman supra calls aspirin “the
gold standard” for RA.
NOTES: Stomach bleeds: It should be noted that the typical response
of a physician or nurse to a stomach bleed, is for them to blame aspirin when
possible. Most serious stomach bleeds are
caused by the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria (pylori cause
about 80% of peptic ulcers).
The stomach and intestines are
protected by a mucus membrane from the caustic digestive enzymes and
bacterial flora. If the mucus covering is
compromised by the pylori bacteria, aspirin, like most other drugs, will
potentiate the effect of the hydrochloric acid (HCl) produced in the stomach. However,
the digestive juices excreted into
the duodenum are basic and neutralize the HCl and aspirin which is a weak acid. Since
four times as many peptic ulcers
arise in the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) than the
stomach aspirin is not a significant causal factor for the more common duodenal
ulcer. For these 2 reasons aspirin is only a minor causal factor.
and other anti-coagulant drugs have a much higher risk of serious
bleeding episodes than aspirin. Warfarin
accounts for an estimated
33,000 hospital admission for hemorrhaging.
Journal articles down-play this risk by counting 2
or more pints of blood.
equivalents is important for comparison.
The shift in the 80s to 325 from 500 mg made aspirin less effective than
other NSAIDs. To equal the older
standard take three
325 mg aspirin to start, than one every couple of hours or as needed up to
5 grams per day. The science behind
treatment for non-inflammatory pain is weak for all the NSAIDs. Users
often commit the ad post hoc fallacy. For
2.5 to 5 grams per day; for protection from cancer 325 mg is sufficient; and
for stage I-III cancer 650 + mgs daily. JK has been taking one or two 325 mgs per day
since 1993 for cancer protection, and he doesn’t get heart burn.
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