The Vitamin Kid

Avoiding bad medicine and finding non-toxic treatments that actually work

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Location: Ankeny, Iowa, United States

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Dangers of aspirin / natural alternatives

Dr. David G. Williams, in the April 2004 issue of his Alternatives newsletter, raked aspirin over the coals. The immediate and potential preventive effects of aspirin are widely touted. Many of the statistical risks ordinary people run by taking this drug daily are rarely mentioned. Here's a summary of Dr. Williams' findings:

The FDA recently reviewed 55,000 aspirin-takers in 5 different studies. In the next five-year period, 3 percent of "moderate-risk individuals" could expect to have a heart attack. With low dose daily aspirin therapy, that risk could be reduced to 2 percent. But the death rate from heart attack would not be reduced by aspirin. The risk of a stroke caused by arterial blockage would not be reduced. On the other hand, risk of stroke from a ruptured blood vessel in the brain would increase.

The US Preventive Services Task Force looked at the same five studies and concluded that in a group of 1,000 moderate-risk men and women taking daily aspirin, in a five-year period, eight non-fatal heart attacks might be prevented, but one stroke and three cases of major gastrointestinal bleeding would be caused. Again, the effect on mortality would be nil. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Get the point?

In a large study of 88,000 female nurses, those taking at least 2 aspirin tablets per week developed 58 percent more cases of pancreatic cancer, which is virtually incurable by conventional means. This is by no means insignificant. It is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in the United States.

Long-term aspirin use is associated with a 44 percent increase in posterior subcapsular cataract. (Opthamology Vol 98, No. 105, p. 1751-1758)

Aspirin is a common trigger for asthma attacks. (Chest Vol. 118, No 5, p. 1420-1476)

72 percent of older people taking from 1/4 tablet to 1 full tablet (325mg) aspirin daily had a measurable decrease in kidney function, which began to appear in as little as two weeks after starting to take aspirin. (American Journal of Medicine Vol 115, No 6, p. 462-466)

Aspirin in combination with alcoholic beverages (even moderate consumption) increases the risk of liver disease and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Are you beginning to doubt the unquestioned "wonder drug" status of aspirin?

Can we get the benefits of aspirin without the risks? That will be the subject of part II of this report.

Dr. Williams newsletter can be ordered here (a subscription for current issues or individual back issues, including the April 2004 issue, from which this information is taken):


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