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Friday, December 10, 2010

Is Aspirin really the "cure-all" wonder drug that its being made out to be?

The best patient is the passive one who
accepts a drug or procedure without question. 
There has been a lot of publicity recently about the wonder drug benefits of aspirin.  It apparently prevents everything from heart attack to cancer.

Are we being duped? Is this is a further publicity precursor to sucking the public into accepting the concept of the universal "PolyPill"?  The Holy Grail of pharmaceutical medicine is to develop a pill that can be administered to every person on the planet to prevent a range of common diseases like heart attack and cancer.  This is the pill that wrongly presumes we are all going to be ill and which, thus delivers a preemptive First Strike.  Once in universal use, this pill will bring in billions of dollars to the patent holders, dwarfing the sales of all other drugs.

This pill will most likely include aspirin or aspirin-like compounds and other drugs like harmful statins which are also being promoted as wonder multi-purpose drugs.

However; before a drug of this kind has any chance of success there must first be a softening up of the public.  This can be seen in the regular flow of good news fronted by esteemed health professionals and glitzy presenters who rave glowingly about the health benefits of aspirin or whatever else.

There are statistics and then there are lies and then there are both

If a drug is reported to reduce the lifetime risk of developing a disease by, say, 50%, that sure sounds impressive.  Not really.  Let's say the rate of this disease is 4 per thousand and the study finds those on aspirin have only two cases per 1,000, that's a 50% reduction.  Wow! But that's not impressive and we need a lot more studies to confirm the result as being consistent.  A 50% reduction in this example means we have to hazardously medicate a thousand apparently people to possibly save just two cases of the disease and that's assuming the study is 100% right and not 100% wrong (It could be!).  The cost of medicating thousands of people year after year to theoretically prevent a few cases will never add up as a positive cost-benefit.  And this assumes people will consistently take their pills day after day, year after year.  Most will end up being flushed into our water ways. Dumb medicine, if you ask me.

Prevent one disease: Cause a whole lot more

Contrary to what we are led to believe, aspirin is no harmless drug.  It can be extremely harmful even at low doses:

  • Aspirin can cause ulcerations and profuse bleeding in the stomach and intestines.  
  • People who have problems with blood clotting should definitely not take it without medical advice.  
  • People who exercise strenuously risk bleeds into the brain and other organs.  This applies especially to the older person.  
  • People who do contact sports should not take aspirin.  
  • Aspirin should not be taken by people who bruise easily.  This last one applies to most women.
  • People with stomach ulcers or any other digestive disorders should not take aspirin without medical advice.
  • Aspirin alleviates joint inflammation, while accelerating joint degeneration behind the scenes.

Preventing cardiovascular disease and cancer is best done through lifestyle, diet and exercise.  Attempts to suck us into believing that health and longevity is best achieved by taking a pharmaceutical drug needs to be viewed with sceptism, especially when it is your hard-earned money (and your taxes) that they are looking to get their hands on.

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Unknown said...

It's amazing how naively intelligent we can be at times. The easy way always happens to be the 'best' way...


Hair Loss Product said...

I hear that one of the long-term effects of aspirin is that it can lead to too much thinning of the blood. Is this true?

Gary Moller said...

Aspirin is often prescribed to people with a history of stroke, irregular heart beat, leaky heart valve, blood clots, or a family history of stroke or heart problems. It thins the blood and prevents clotting. But there are healthy alternatives including natural vitamin E, garlic oil and Ginko. I am not aware of a Dr ever prescribing these alternatives.