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Aspirin: New Evidence, Known for Over 20 Years

Updated: Jan 22, 2019

An article published in Forbes was recently brought to my attention. Reading it revealed to me some disturbing aspects of our health care model. I comment on portions of it’s content to draw attention to the underlying thinking process inherent in our medical model. I do not recommend wasting your time reading this Forbes article, other than to verify that it really does exist. Here is the link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/harlankrumholz/2018/09/17/news-for-healthy-older-patients-toss-your-baby-aspirin/#576c91315ebb

This author's bio on the Yale University website is extensive, it would blow your mind, and too long to place within the confines of my article. But here is just a partial self description at the end of this Forbes piece: I am a professor of cardiology, epidemiology, and public health at the Yale University School of Medicine, and director of the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation. I also serve on numerous cardiovascular care committees for national organizations, including the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology, an elected member of the Association of American Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Institute of Medicine. I've published more than 500 articles, and am the author of the book, "The Expert Guide to Beating Heart Disease."

With this impressive bio, you would consider him to be a trusted source regarding heart health. He states that as a cardiologist he often gets asked, “Should I take a baby aspirin?” He goes on to say these are usually patients more than 70 years of age, relatively healthy, and wondering what they can do to protect their heart. So these elderly but healthy patients, with no prior cardiovascular incidences, are just asking for some wellness advice on how they can protect their heart. Wait for his answer.

He says most people consider aspirin to be a miracle drug, with many benefits for the heart. Also, being called a baby aspirin further portrays it to be safe to take everyday. At this point I thought he was going to go into the dangers of taking an aspirin everyday, which would have impressed me since I routinely observe cardiologists recommending aspirin like it’s a vitamin. His answer, when faced with this question, goes like this... it’s up to them, and because the risk of heart disease increases with age; it is certainly reasonable to take a daily low dose aspirin. At this point in the article I was feeling my usual cynicism regarding a health based article that further promotes unhealthy information. I see it all the time. So, based on his premise, since the risk of cancer increases with age, it is certainly reasonable to begin chemotherapy. My suggestion, do not ask a doctor trained in disease care, and expect a vitalistic based answer. Read on and you will find out why. But wait, the next paragraph in his article pulled me back in with renewed curiosity. If you decide to read the article, you have to check out the fifth paragraph. I copy and pasted it in it’s entirety. Here it is….

Today, I am rethinking that advice.

That’s it, pretty amazing…. On September 17th he was rethinking his stance on aspirin. Then he goes into the results of a major study that literally just got published in the New England Journal of Medicine on September 16th 2018, just one day ago. So just to recap, here is a highly regarded medical doctor, graduated from Harvard in 1985, and after 33 years of supporting the use of aspirin, (the holy grail of a pill for the heart) completely changes his stance on this common drug, due to some new evidence. Wow, that is rich! How many times in your life, have you completely changed a deeply held belief after reading just a few printed pages? So I had to read this roughly 4000 word study which took about 2 hours. In the study, data was collected from 2010 to 2014 and the good doctor details some of the results in his article. I have a copy of the original article and will email it to you if you request it.

Again, my cynicism came back. There was nothing new in this study. In fact, for over 20 years I have been aware of these new alarming results just discovered in this study. But even more disturbing than the results of the study was how long it has taken for this esteemed doctor to start to see the light. Here is a quick summary of the results, and later in this article I will include far greater detailed information you need to know regarding the use of aspirin.

Aspirin increased the risk of death. Aspirin did not reduce the risk of heart disease, dementia, disability, or cancer. Aspirin increased the risk of bleeding. As the good doctor summarizes, “Overall there was nothing in the plus column for aspirin. And no benefit was found in any particular subgroup. If you are a healthy older adult, like the people in this study, aspirin seems only associated with harm.” In his closing statement he writes, “Today, when people ask me about aspirin, my answer is different than it was last week. If you are healthy, there seems little to gain – and a fair amount to lose. Baby aspirin for healthy older adults is no longer a toss-up – for those people it is time to toss out the aspirin.”

So, just like that, no longer a toss up. In my opinion, the decision to take a prescription drug, OTC remedy, or vitamin/mineral/herbal supplement, should never be considered a toss up. Interesting, and to a large extent unfortunate, how powerful and influential a peer reviewed article can have on a man or woman of science. You are seeing a glimpse of how locked up the minds are of many researchers and doctors. Unable to freely think out of the box that has been constructed for them by the evidence-based scientific establishment. Our current medical system is based on a materialistic model using Newtonian physics, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology. This is the basis used to define our understanding of reality, and the underpinning of conventional western medicine. The message is, therapeutic efficacy of a modality is not true or relevant in a clinical setting, until is has been proven with this scientific method. So how does the good doctor feel about all the inappropriate advice given to his previous health seeking patients over the past three decades? Does he wonder about all the added illness he may have been complicit in creating? Or can he rise above the guilt of violating his “first do no harm” oath because the consequence of his actions did not begin until the scientific community deemed it so with a new study?

Promoters of the current model would say you have to have some structure to establish a truth and to avoid anarchy and chaos of knowledge. Those scientists may be way smarter than me and to them I say, what about quantum physics? It has been around for over 50 years and their principals explain the healings often experienced with Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, Ayurvedic Medicine, Homeopathy, and other subtle energy systems where vital force energy is acknowledged. Chiropractic is unique in that it is encompasses both Newtonian and Quantum physics. Working within the knowledge of anatomy and physiology, while acknowledging the innate life force that animates it’s function. At least this chiropractor does.

I want to finish this article by supplying you with this document: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fkol6ur7psys4wx/Aspirin%2C%20painkiller%20studies_NS.pdf?dl=0

I received it from Dr. Schenker, developer of the Nutri-Spec metabolic system. He is one of my trusted sources for clinical nutrition. He details many more negative health consequences of taking aspirin, using peer reviewed journal citings dating back as far as 1992. Here are some bullet points:

  • Doubles the risk of a fatal heart attack

  • Upper GI bleeding

  • Increases risk of hemorrhagic stroke

  • Can cause formation of a blood clot rather than preventing it

  • Hearing loss

  • Increases incidence of wet macular degeneration leading to blindness

  • Increased incidence of developing kidney and colon cancer

P.S. Aspirin is okay to use occasionally for short term relief of inflammatory pain.

The studies do not support using it long term to protect and strengthen your heart.

© 2018 DR. BRITTAIN. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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