If you’re over the age of 60 and have never taken aspirin, you may want to reconsider starting. That’s because a new report from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests “the balance between the potential benefits and possible harms of using aspirin changes” after age 60.
As you age, you become more susceptible to disease. It also means you become more susceptible to the side effects of drugs. And aspirin is no exception.
The lead author of the report, Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, chairwoman of the USPSTF and a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, gives more detail. She said, “As people get older, they face an increased risk that aspirin use will result in bleeding in the gut. Moreover, people may not live long enough to realize the benefits of aspirin as a preventive for colorectal cancer.”
In other words, if you haven’t started aspirin by the time you turn 60, then it’s unlikely to help you prevent colon cancer. This is one of the main reasons doctors recommend taking low dose (81 mg) aspirin. So the only other reason they would recommend you take it is for your heart.
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Aspirin thins your blood, which helps prevent clots and heart attacks. It also can help prevent some strokes. But this report suggests the risk of bleeding in the gut is so much higher when you’re over the age of 60, that the benefits might not be enough. The report did say you would still benefit from taking aspirin. It also said that taking aspirin in your 50s gives you much greater benefits and less risk. That’s the age at which it will give the greatest protection against colon cancer. However, even taking it in your 50s can cause bleeding.
What’s more, taking aspirin can increase your risk of hemorrhagic stroke, which the task force considered in its recommendations. But one risk they didn’t mention is liver toxicity, which is a known side effect of aspirin.
Aspirin has been around seemingly forever. We know about its benefits and we know about its risks. If you’re in your 50s, it might be worth the risks to take it daily. If you’re over the age of 60, though, the risks increase substantially and you may want to reconsider taking it.
But why take aspirin at all? I’ve told you before that nattokinase has the same health benefits and none of the negative side effects. It prevents blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. There’s even some who think that it can help fight cancer, though this research is just beginning. And it’s completely safe for those over the age of 60.
So if you’re over 60 or you just don’t want to risk the side effects of aspirin, then try nattokinase. You can find it in any health food store and online. But I recommend taking it with other nutrients that give you additional cardiovascular benefits. Circutol is a formula that features six nutrients (Chinese Salvia, nattokinase, hawthorn berry, reishi, cordyceps, and L-carnitine) that benefit your heart and circulation.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND