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Babyaspirin

According to a large-scale study of elderly Italians in Chianti, red wine shows no benefit to health. Oh, chocolate does zero as well.  Not to mention the benefits of olive oil, nada benefito… Wait, hold on, red wine is good for you.  Sorry, I just saw a study done on hobo’s riding rail trains in the midwest, confirming a large majority of wine-o’s rarely see doctors.

In the last three years of blogging and reading health headlines, I have become relatively immune to the constant tug of war of studies yanking readers one way or the next. I am convinced 99% of all food and drug studies are initiated to manipulate; run by marketing departments looking for third-party stories to prop up their product. Ok. We get it. Don’t believe the hype.

What about Aspirin? The single most effective drug ever invented. “Take two and call me in the morning“. It seems everyone in the world takes a baby aspirin before bed. I do.

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Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused a labeling request by Bayer AG, the original German aspirin manufacturer. The FDA restricted Bayer AG from labeling their product’s value of preventing heart attacks and strokes in people who have not had cardiovascular disease.  I was quite surprised when I read the FDA’s new stance against aspirin.  Especially, since it has been the most recommended drug in history.  Aspirin is well-known for its blood thinning effectiveness. In the 1980’s the FDA acknowledged aspirin use as a preventative drug for heart attacks.

Bayer is making a big move towards becoming a the major player in the consumer OTC market. May 6th, Bayer agreed to buy Merck’s consumer-health unit for $14.2 Billion! At the same time, they sold a medical device division to Boston Scientific; a device that removes blood clots from veins & arteries. This puts Bayer second to Johnson & Johnson in the global consumer market. With Aspirin as the foundation for their consumer market sales, it is no wonder that they asked the FDA to approve labeling it as a prevention drug for heart disease.  Bayer also has a stake in 2011 FDA approved blood thinner, Xarelto; on track to be a multi-billion dollar blockbuster.

Compared to the blockbuster drugs, Aspirin is cheap.  It is available OTC and it is estimated 40 million Americans self diagnose with a daily dose of Aspirin.  Are we being guided away from Aspirin towards the $$$$?  Just sayin…

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“Those risks are what the FDA considered when Bayer, maker of low dose aspirin, asked the agency to consider re-labeling its product to include a recommendation for preventing heart attacks and strokes. But while aspirin is relatively safe, it does come with a cost – an increased risk of bleeding, both in the stomach and intestines, as well as in the brain. The FDA found that the evidence showing that otherwise healthy people who take aspirin could prevent a first heart attack is not as strong as that for avoiding recurrent heart problems, so when compared to the bleeding risk, FDA officials felt recommending the drug for healthy people wasn’t justified.” Who Should and Who Shouldn’t Take Daily Aspirin.

According to the FDA; If you have not had a heart attack, you don’t need to take it. Why would the FDA take such an aggressive stand against the world’s greatest drug?  In fact, all the blood thinners prescribed to patients have equal risk for bleeding.  In fact, Pradaxa, FDA approved in 2010 had so many reports of gastrointestinal and brain bleeds, the FDA had to re-evaluate it, which it did in 2012. (They stood by their initial approval)  The dangers of thinners are well-known as generations of people have died as a consequence of thin blood, not blood clot prevention.

I am confused.  I had quadruple bypass surgery, but no heart attack?

It is no secret, I dropped all my drugs last summer; no more statins or blood pressure medication.  I had to make a choice and I choose a lifestyle plan versus a prescription plan.  But I continued to take my daily baby aspirin.  I did not particularly feel it was a drug, more of a simple, effective, all-encompassing solution.  I honestly, felt all the research had been done on Aspirin, it has been around for 100 years!?

Aspirin as we know it has had quite a history. Before Bayer started selling it in 1899, people were using medicines derived from willow trees back as far as 2000 BC. saliciylate-rich plants were used prior to chemists creating modern-day, salicylic acid.

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Click image for Wikipedia definition of SA

When in doubt, I like to fall back on my foundation.  I am Plant-Based, so why not run a little background on Salicylic acid (SA).  Salicylic acid is a phenolic phytohormone and is found in plants.  In fact it is vital to a plants health.  SA is produced in plants when they are threatened by infection or other danger.  It acts as a signal molecule that kicks off a series of reactions that help defend the plant against external threats.

Hey, that is exactly what I am looking for, a of warning signal to fire up the body’s defensive system.

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Foods that are high in Salicylic acid include many spices such as curry, cayenne pepper, ginger, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, licorice, and peppermint. Fruits high in salicylates include raisins, prunes, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, and strawberries. 

I have been very happy juicing my Inflammation Buster; seems to me the ginger & turmeric have been supplying me with a good source of “natural aspirin”.

-My inflammation buster concoction

-My inflammation buster concoction

For now, I am going to drop the daily baby aspirin and rely on my intake of salycic acid from natural resources.  Why be duplicative?

 

I am curious when Bayer will make a comment regarding this recent denial by the FDA.   

 

Ian

 

Disclaimer:  My approach is exactly that, my approach.  I make broad decisions based on non-medical facts and gut instinct.  I choose to address my particular health problems with a nutrition based course of action.  To date, I have not found a general practitioner that is entirely supportive of this decision.  Please weigh your personal circumstances carefully before applying my blog advice as medical expertise.  For a very thorough discussion on the benefits versus the risks associated with taking aspirin, please visit: Aspirin Risks and Benefits: Science Based Medicine

 

 

 

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