Aspirin not only prevents pain but also promotes recovery

According to a new study published online in PNAS, aspirin has a dual role in acting on pain. Not only does it prevent inflammation and pain but also hastens the end of inflammation.

According to the study, the drug kills cyclooxygenase, thus preventing production of the prostaglandins that cause inflammation and pain and also prompts the enzyme to generate another compound that hastens the end of inflammation, returning the affected cells to homeostatic health.  Edward A. Dennis said that aspirin causes the cyclooxygenase to make a small amount of a related product called 15-HETE and during infection and inflammation, the 15-HETE can be converted by a second enzyme into lipoxin, which is known to help reverse inflammation and cause its resolution – a good thing.

Aspirin not only prevents pain but also promotes recovery

The researchers found that macrophages contain the biochemical tools to not just initiate inflammation, a natural part of the immune response, but also to promote recovery from inflammation by releasing 15-HETE and converting it into lipoxin as the inflammation progresses.

Here are some other amazing facts about aspirin you should know:

1. It is the most widely used drug: Aspirin, chemically known as acetylsalicylic acid, is truly a boon to the medical world. This wonder drug was first brought to the pharmaceutical industry in the year 1899, when it was introduced for the treatment of rheumatic fever and gout. Since then it is the most extensively used therapeutic chemical and is still the first choice of treatment for minor pains and fever.

2. Most people take the drug without even realising it:  Most people don’t realise that they are actually taking an aspirin because it is not only found as a single ingredient but is also present in combination with other prescribed and over-the-counter drugs. Most drugs containing aspirin have it labelled as ASA or spelled out as acetylsalicylic acid.

3. It is used for relieving more than 50 symptoms: The role of aspirin in treatment of various conditions has been studied. Aspirin is most commonly used for symptoms like heartburn, fever, arthritis, stomach ache, sleep disorders, migraine headaches and symptoms of common cold.

4. Aspirin could benefit 11 different cancers: Aspirin has a significant ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. A new aspirin drug showed to curb the growth of cancer cells including that of colon, pancreatic, lung, prostate, breast and leukemia.

Source: The health site

Daily aspirin ‘cuts bowel and stomach cancer deaths’

Taking aspirin every day can reduce the chance of developing or dying from bowel and stomach cancers, a review of all available evidence suggests. And scientists predict if everyone aged 50 and above in the UK took the drug for 10 years, some 122,000 deaths could be prevented over two decades.

Daily aspirin 'cuts bowel and stomach cancer deaths'

But they warn aspirin can cause internal bleeding and say medical advice must be sought before using it. The Queen Mary University of London report is in the Annals of Oncology.

Weighing up benefits
Scientists examined some 200 studies investigating the benefits and harms of taking aspirin – an area of continuing medical debate. They found the drug reduced the number of cases and deaths from bowel, stomach and oesophageal cancer by some 30-40%. There was weaker and more variable evidence that the drug reduced deaths from breast, prostate and lung cancer too.

And the study found people needed to take the drug for at least five years to see any benefits. Prof Jack Cuzick, at Queen Mary University of London, who led the research, urged all healthy people aged 50 and above to consider taking a small dose (75mg) of the drug every day for a decade.

Researchers predicted if 1,000 individuals aged 60 took the drug for 10 years, a further decade later there would be:

16 fewer deaths from cancer
One fewer death from heart attack
Two extra deaths from bleeding
Prof Cuzick, who has been taking aspirin for four years, said: “Whilst there are some serious side-effects that can’t be ignored, taking aspirin daily looks to be the most important thing we can do to reduce cancer after stopping smoking and reducing obesity, and will probably be much easier to implement.”

Individual risks
They found benefits continued even when people stopped taking the drug, but say it is unclear exactly how long people should use it for. As the risk of internal bleeding rises as an individual gets older, they suggest a cut-off point of 10 years. There is still uncertainty whether other doses of the drug could offer more protection.

Aspirin’s well known possible side-effects include bleeding in the stomach and the brain. And while the study suggests 122,000 lives could be saved if everyone in the UK aged 50-64 took the drug, this is balanced against the estimated 18,000 deaths from side-effects.

Experts warn anyone at high risk of bleeding, including people with blood disorders who take blood thinning medication, or are frequent smokers or drinkers, are more likely to suffer these side-effects. They recommend anyone considering daily medication should speak to their doctors to discuss individual risks.

Dr Julie Sharp, at Cancer Research UK, said: “Aspirin is showing promise in preventing certain types of cancer, but it’s vital that we balance this with the complications it can cause. “Before aspirin can be recommended for cancer prevention, some important questions need to be answered and tests need to be developed to predict who is likely to have side-effects.”

Exactly how aspirin protects against cancer is unknown. Scientists suggest it may reduce inflammation or act on blood cells that would otherwise encourage the spread of the disease.

Source: bbc news

An Aspirin a Day? Don’t Dose Yourself, FDA Says


Taking an aspirin a day may help prevent heart attack or stroke in some people, but it’s not for everyone — and the common drug can have serious side effects that offset the benefits.

That’s the reminder Monday from health officials at the federal Food and Drug Administration, who have finally told giant drugmaker Bayer Corp. not to expect the agency to give the go-ahead for labels listing aspirin as a drug for primary prevention of heart attacks and other problems.

Instead, the recommendation for daily doses of therapeutic aspirin remains the same: It should be used only in people at high risk for heart attack and stroke, and then only under a doctor’s care.

“You should use daily aspirin therapy only after first talking to your health care professional, who can weigh the risks and benefits,” said Dr. Robert Temple, the FDA’s deputy director for clinical science.

Some studies have shown that taking doses ranging from an 81-milligram baby aspirin to a 325-milligram full-strength tablet can be helpful and aspirin therapy is recommended for those who’ve had a heart attack or who are at high risk for one.

But no one should be taking daily aspirin just because they think it’s a good idea, said Dr. Richard Chazal, vice president of the American College of Cardiology.

“There’s been sort of a conception that since aspirin is so good that maybe it would be a good idea if everyone took it,” he said. “But the data don’t really support that.”

Aspirin is a blood thinner, which helps with heart attack and stroke, but also carries risk of dangerous bleeding in the stomach or brain. People need individual assessment of their health condition to determine whether aspirin is right for them.

Bayer asked the FDA in 2003 to allow label changes, citing studies that showed daily low-dose aspirin appeared to cut the risk of cardiac problems and stroke. The agency finally sent the firm an answer on Friday, saying that subsequent studies don’t show a significant benefit of aspirin for primary prevention uses.

But both FDA and Bayer officials acknowledged that there are a number of ongoing, large scale clinical studies under way to test the use of aspirin for primary prevention of heart attack and stroke. Bayer officials said the results of aspirin use in more than 50,000 patients are expected in the next few years.

One caveat: If you’re already taking aspirin under a doctor’s orders, don’t stop without checking. It can be life-threatening to abruptly halt your dose, said Dr. Steven M. Goldberg, a cardiologist at North Shore Cardiology and Internal Medicine in Great Neck, N.Y.

Source: nbc news

The Shocking Truth About Aspirin – It Doesn’t Work!

Aspirin has been around for over half a century. It’s primary and “original” use was for pain relief. But when Tylenol and NSAIDs (such as Advil) took over the pain relief field, the aspirin industry “bigwigs” pulled out the “big guns” and went after: heart disease.

What the heck, they figured. After all, a billion-dollar medicine has to go somewhere. And like most businesses, you have to keep growing and finding new “revenue streams” to increase revenue and profits. The “big killer” of heart disease seemed like a natural avenue to go down. So aspirin decided to acquire “new indications” as a blood-clot fighter and is already widely used to treat and prevent strokes and heart attacks.

It Didn’t Work For Apples
Just about every male I know over the age of 60 (including younger men) and many women (BOTH my parents in fact) are taking “an aspirin a day to keep the doctor away.” Well, it didn’t work for apples and I don’t think it works for aspirin either. But that isn’t stopping its promoters from telling people it will do that and a whole lot more.

Crazy Claims
Take a quick look at some of the other claims the “Aspirin Institute” is making about its product. The “Institute” strongly hints (“studies suggest that…”) that this “miracle drug” cures, decreases, alleviates, or prevents:

  • Breast cancer
  •  Migraine headaches
  •  Hodgkin’s disease Alzheimer’s disease
  •  Prostate cancer
  •  Cancer of the pancreas
  •  Colon cancer Birth defects
  •  Leukemia Immune disorders, including AIDS

And that’s just a partial list, But geez … take a look at the last one – AIDS! Wow, if Aspirin really could do that, it would be a “miracle” drug, right? …

So the “experts” seem to think that at least 95 percent of the population needs aspirin on a daily basis. But the dangers associated with extensive use of aspirin are downright horrifying.

Aspirin Does The Opposite
Researchers have reported that aspirin might, in fact, increase your risk for stroke, heart attack, macular degeneration (blindness), and cataract formation! You didn’t hear anything about these findings because no one reported on them in the popular press. So if you don’t read medical journals in your spare time, you probably missed these REAL bits of news.

Here’s what the researchers have to say:

  •  40% of people who regularly take large doses of aspirin actually demonstrated an INCREASED risk of both stroke and heart attack.
  •  Regular aspirin users have a significantly increased risk of macular degeneration with blindness!
  •  Aspirin use also puts people at a 44% increased risk of cataracts.

Of course, there’s always the widely known increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding that accompanies aspirin too. And these sorts of findings weren’t published in some lowly rag. No, the highly respected prestigious rags, like the British Medical Journal, Lancet, and the Journal of the American Medical Association, came to a similar conclusion: aspirin shows no benefit in the prevention of heart attacks!

Source: self growth