Aspirin Does Little or Nothing for Hard Arteries

Volume 7    |    Issue 72

If you're taking an aspirin every day, you're probably hoping it will prevent a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiac event. But what if you found out it wouldn't prevent any of these events — would you keep taking it?

Well, a new study has found that aspirin may provide little or no benefit for people who have narrowed, hardened arteries. This probably isn't much of a surprise to you. I told you a few weeks ago that aspirin was completely ineffective at treating peripheral artery disease. And we know that aspirin doesn't actually improve the health of your arteries. So if your arteries are diseased, aspirin won't change that.

Aspirin is good for two things — thinning your blood and treating acute strokes and heart attacks. If you're having one of these events, then by all means, take a buffered aspirin. It could save your life. There's evidence that the magnesium in the buffering will do more for you than the aspirin. But that doesn't really matter. Just make sure you have some buffered aspirin around just in case.

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In this study, researchers showed that aspirin has very little benefit beyond that. They tracked 33,000 patients with atherosclerosis (narrowed, hardened arteries). Taking aspirin was marginally beneficial for those who had already suffered a heart attack, stroke, or other blood-flow issues. But for those who had never had one of these acute events, aspirin didn't help at all. There was zero benefit.

The lead researcher was Anthony Bavry, MD. He's an associate professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine's department of medicine and a cardiologist at the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Gainesville. He said, "Aspirin therapy is widely used and embraced by cardiologists and general practitioners around the world. This takes a bit of the luster off the use of aspirin."

The only group who received any substantial benefit from taking aspirin were the people who already had a coronary bypass or stent, but no history of stroke, heart attack, or arterial blood-flow condition. Other than this group — and those currently suffering an acute event — the aspirin wasn't worth the risk of side effects. Aspirin is known to cause bleeding in the gut, which can be serious, and even bleeding in the brain (though less frequently).

If you have any concerns about having a stroke, heart attack, or other blood-flow issue, taking aspirin isn't going to help. It won't make your blood vessels healthier. So make sure you're taking nutrients to help with both. Nutrients such as vitamin K2 and D3 can help reduce atherosclerosis. And Circutol can help keep your blood and entire cardiovascular system healthy. And if you want to avoid a stroke, take 2,000 mg of niacin nightly along with some fish oil or other omega-3 oil.

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