We hear it all the time: Aspirin isn’t bad for you and it even prevents heart attacks. But is this claim really true? Is aspirin truly safe?
Well, the truth is that this is not a safe claim (pun intended) to make and Tedd Koren recently filled me in on the truth about aspirin.
While some (though fewer and fewer) believe that aspirin prevents some first heart attacks, its fatal side-effects result in a higher death rate and its non-fatal side-effects such as internal bleeding and cataracts may appear only after years of aspirin use.
Surprisingly, the major study that doctors rely on to “prove” aspirin effectiveness didn’t give patients aspirin alone but buffered aspirin; the calcium and magnesium in buffered aspirin may have been responsible for some of the beneficial heart effects.
However, don’t worry, you can get real heart help from taking supplemental magnesium and vitamin E which been shown to be more effective than aspirin in lowering heart attack rates as well as overall death rates. Also, supplemental magnesium and coenzyme Q10 have been shown to be more effective than aspirin in treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Kaufman J. Should you take aspirin to prevent heart attacks? Scientific Exploration. 2002;14(4).
To all you DC’s and Doc’s reading this, click here for patient literature that discusses this topic and the “safety” of other OTC drugs.