Many doctors prescribe an aspirin a day to prevent heart attack and stroke. But the hazards may not be worth the benefits. The thinking behind a daily aspirin is to thin the blood. There are other, safer, more natural ways to accomplish that, which I’ll share in a moment.
What many people don’t realize is that taking aspirin daily long term can result in becoming “aspirin-resistant.” So even though you continue taking them, you no longer get any benefit. And if you continue taking them and you have become aspirin resistant, you increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke! As a matter of fact, in a study published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, aspirin-resistant, stable heart patients continued with a daily 325 mg. dose of aspirin. After 2 years almost 25% suffered a heart attack, stroke or died. It was more than twice the number in the control group.
There is some disagreement among doctors and experts as to how common this is, but my feeling is that even if the risk of becoming resistant is small, the other, more commonly known side effects still tip the scales in favor of passing on this.
Those serious problems associated with daily aspirin hemorrhagic stroke, ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney failure, heartburn, asthma attacks and an increased risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration and even blindness.
On May 2, 2014, the FDA rejected Bayer’s request for approval to market aspirin as a means to prevent heart attacks in people who have no prior history of heart disease. So what are some natural alternatives?
Omega 3 fish oils are one which most people are familiar with. Garlic is another – seriously what can’t garlic do? Nattokinase, vitamin E and Bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple. One you may not have heard of is pycnogenol – French maritime pine bark. As this article details:
“In 1999, a remarkable study published in the journal Thrombotic Research found that pycnogenol was superior (i.e. effective at a lower dosage) to aspirin at inhibiting smoking-induced clotting, without the significant (and potentially life-threatening) increase in bleeding time associated with aspirin use.”
As you will see this supplement also has other health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation, known cardiovascular health risks.
Have you been advised to take a daily aspirin to keep your heart healthy?
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