Have you been taking your daily aspirin for your heart?If yes, you might want to take a look at new research on the safety of this strategy.
I've said for years that the heart benefits attached to aspirin have been greatly exaggerated.
While it's not a bad idea to take aspirin right away if you think you're having a heart attack … the idea that it can serve as a daily dose of prevention … well, that idea came directly from the makers of aspirin tablets. Enough said?
Aspirin and Bleeding Risk
Doctors and researchers have long known of an increased bleeding risk with long-term, consistent use of aspirin. However, the risks were perceived to be small, especially compared to the blood-thinning benefits.
But now a new Italian study reveals an alarmingly sharp increase in bleeding risk.
Alarming because the risk is about 5 times greater than originally thought and because this increased risk occurs with doses as low as 300 milligrams or less.
What does this mean?
Taking a daily aspirin increases your risk of major gastrointestinal or brain bleeding by 55 percent.
Let me show you how the numbers break down on this. I promise you, it doesn't take a math degree to see the significance of this.
Out of 10,000 at-risk heart patients who've never suffered a heart attack before, taking a daily aspirin is expected to prevent 7 heart attacks.
Meanwhile, 5 of those people will suffer a severe problem with a bleeding disorder. Bleeding problems including, but not limited to, a stroke or intestinal bleeding.
So the odds are 2 in 10,000 that a daily aspirin will benefit you at all.
The numbers do go up in favor of aspirin for those who have already suffered a heart attack.
But the idea that normally healthy people should take a daily aspirin as some sort of "heart vitamin" or ounce of prevention has been blown to bits with these findings.
Remember this about aspirin…
Because it's so common and so readily available, most people forget (maybe they never knew?) that aspirin is in fact a drug.
Fewer still know that you can get some of the same blood-thinning properties of aspirin from safer, natural sources like policosanol.