Naturalistic Treatments (positive)

Aspirin--prevents cancer and heart attacks, etc.
Aspirin--prevents cancer and heart attacks, etc.
Testosterone: it boosts quality of life
Natural Estrogen--far better than your doctor has been taught
CoQ10--clearly the best anti-oxidant
Meta-analysis of niacin on cardiovascular events
Studies suggest that niacin is better than statins

 Aspirin (ASA, acetylsalicylic acid) (7/13/13) & more on aspirin at

Reduces risk for cancer of Breast 39%, Colorectal 63%, Esophageal 73%, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 60%, Ovarian 47%, Melanoma 55%, Prostate 39%, Stomach 62%, and other cancers including Bladder, Skin, & Adult Leukemia.  Aspirin increases the survival of stages I, II, & III Cancers, Breast 66%, Colon by 74%, and by extension all adenocarcinomas.  Aspirin reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease 60%, and Heart Attacks 51%, and slows atherogenesis (CVD).  These results are found in medical journal articles cited below. 

Why doesn’t everyone know of these benefits and doctors recommend a 325 mgs of aspirin daily?   The short answer is the corporatization of medicine.  The perception in the press is the opposite of the truth, a truth which was succinctly stated by Harvard Prof. Marcia Angell, MD.:  “If we had set out to design the worst system that we could imagine, we couldn’t have imagined on as bad as we have.”  Doctors are taught by PhARMA a much different story about aspirin, and thus only recommend aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attack in the lowest dose, 82 mgs, and only to those who can’t afford or won’t take patented, blood thinners.  What has happened to a drug whose usage goes back thousands of years, and was for over a half century the most used household for colds, pain, and arthritic  remedy, and at a dose of 1000 mgs (2 pills) followed by 500 mgs as needed?  This change is an example of a pattern of corporate-profits first.

The recorded history of aspirin starts with the ancient Egyptians and Greeks who used an extract of willow bark and leaves which contain the plant hormone salicylic acid.  Hippocrates, the Greek physician, around 420 BC wrote of its use to relieve pain and fever.  The Romans Pliny the Elder, and later Galen added its use as skin and ulcer treatment.  The drug remained thereafter in the European pharmacopeia, and became widely used to treat malaria in the 1760s.  In 1853 a German chemist modified salicylic acid, and in 1899 the dye and drug company Bayer marketed it as “aspirin”. 

In the 1950s, when I was growing up, aspirin was the dominant over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, mild pain, arthritis, and cold remedy.  It came in 500 mgs, and the initial dose was 2, followed by 1 every 3 hours, or as needed.  The standard daily usage for arthritic and joint pain was 2.5 grams per day, with 5 grams as the upper limit—this continued to be recommended by doctors until the 1990s.  Aspirin’s popularity soared based on the relief of inflammation, pain, arthritis, and colds.  “It is the standard against which all rheumatoid arthritis medication should be measured” (Goodman & Gilman’s 11th 2006 Edition, the leading pharmacology text book, page 690).  Annual usage reached a peak in the U.S. of 20,000 tons in 1958.  In the 1950s and thereafter aspirin share of sales fell to the heavily-marketed, costly, newer drugs (acetaminophen 1956 and ibuprofen 1962).  This changed again following the 1973 discovery that aspirin reduces the incidence of heart attacks by reducing frequency of blood clots (thrombi) by acting as a “blood thinner”.   By the 1980s it regained its number 1 position, but not based on colds, pains, and arthritis.  It has now slipped to 6th.  There is now on my bottle of 325 mg coated aspirin over 15 lines of warnings about hazards.  How significant are these risks?  

During the 70s, and probably earlier members of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America the industry’s trade organization (hereafter “PhARMA”) went after aspirin so as to build the sales of PATENTED blood thinners, arthritic medications, and cold remedies.  PhARMA members had by 1980 gained control of research and the production of information.  Aspirin the drug of choice by your parents and grandparents was “shown” to be unsafe based on shoddy published studies.  PhARMA drummed into the public’s and physicians’ heads that aspirin all too frequently caused stomach bleeds and ulcers, and also that it caused Reyes Syndrome in children.  However, as Goodman and Gilman notes (p. 690) “many clinicians favor the use of other NSAIDs perceived to have better gastrointestinal tolerability, even though this perception remains unproven by convincing clinical trial”.  As for Reyes syndrome, diagnosis was based on symptoms.  “Between 1980 and 1997, the number of reported cases of Reye’s syndrome decreased from 555 cases in 1980 to about 2 cases per year since 1994… when genetic testing for inborn errors of metabolism…” Proof is lacking for aspirin’s role:  “in 93% of the cases a viral infection had occurred in the preceding three-week period… and no animal model of Reye’s syndrome has been developed with aspirin” (Reyes syndrome, Wikipedia), yet the FDA’s warns against its usage for those under the age of 19 remains on bottles of aspirin,  along with GI irritation and bleeding.  These warnings are drummed into doctors in the required continuing education classes by PhARMA’s thought leaders.  This removal of usage for children greatly reduces the usage among adults. 


Five reasons a major crimes against the public.  Millions of early deaths from Alzheimer’s disease.  Dramatic increase in Alzheimer’s disease over the last 30 years.  Secondly, cancer aspirin increases survival of stage I, II, AND III adenocarcinoma by over 60%.  Lowers risk of most cancers over 30%.  Third, the alternatives NSAIDs have far worse side effects than aspirin AHA warns.  Except for aspirin, all prescription and over-the-counter NSAIDs with long term usage greatly increase the risk of myocardial infractions (MIs) and cardiovascular disease repeatedly warns the American Heart Association (AHA) because they prolong the formation of plaque once the process starts.  In the APPROVe Study to see if Vioxx, after 2 years, Naproxen increased 50% and Vioxx 200% heart attacks.[1]   Fourth use of anticoagulants Warfarin and Plavix to prevent atherothrombotic and venous embolism were never properly shown to be superior to aspirin.  Fifth prevents atherogenesis thus cardiovascular disease the basis for most heart attacks by affecting inflammation response.          

All NSAIDs (but aspirin) increase MI risk--American Heart association warning also in journal sources. 

ALZHEIMER’S reduced 60% Neurology, 997; 48: 626-632: also Swedish twin matching study showing high dose better than low dose and other NSAIDs.  Note:  also testosterone and estrogen for the elderly also significantly reduce risk.

Atherogenesis slowed:  “strong evidence that atherosclerosis is slowed down with long-term … aspirin,” and stopped. Various mechanisms: By NO endothelial cells from oxidative damage, inhibits leukocyte attacks, cytokinies, & CD36.

BREAST CANCER SURVIVAL UP 66% by stimulating necrosis factor TNF—above. Colon cancer survival increased 74%, others.  Mechanism: COX-2 which is associated with increased prostaglandin biosynthesis which correlates is metastasis and carcinogenesis, and aspirin blocks COX-2, thereby reducing risk, plus promotes death of abnormal cells (below).     

CANCERS VARIOUS TISSUES RISK: aspirin/id28 63% for colon, 39% for breast, 36% for lung, and 39% for prostate cancer. Significant risk reductions were also observed for esophageal (73%), stomach (62%), and ovarian cancer (47%), also.  Initial epidemiologic studies of malignant melanoma, Hodgkin's disease, and adult leukemia also found that NSAIDs are protective; melanoma 55%.  Other studies have shown that aspirin promotes the death of abnormal cells through the natural mechanism of apoptosis by stimulating tumor necrosis factor TNF.  Low dose is insufficient. 

Heart attack deaths lowered 51% for higher dose aspirin by lowering risk of thrombosis.  For the highest risk groups:  unstable angina, a 236% reduction in death, and cardiac event 152%--a 1994 meta-study. 

Pulmonary embolism following general high-risk surgery, reduced 156%:  6% of treated versus 15.4% for untreated--p. 231.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inflammation, and joint pain.  Merck Manual in 1987 edition, p. 960, recommends a dose “from 3 to 7.5 gm, the average 4.5 gm” for RH.  Goodman & Gilman supra calls aspirin “the gold standard” for RA. 

NOTES:  Stomach bleeds:  It should be noted that the typical response of a physician or nurse to a stomach bleed, is for them to blame aspirin when possible.  Most serious stomach bleeds are caused by the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria (pylori cause about 80% of peptic ulcers).   The stomach and intestines are protected by a mucus membrane from the caustic digestive enzymes and bacterial flora.  If the mucus covering is compromised by the pylori bacteria, aspirin, like most other drugs, will potentiate the effect of the hydrochloric acid (HCl) produced in the stomach.  However, the digestive juices excreted into the duodenum are basic and neutralize the HCl and aspirin which is a weak acid.  Since four times as many peptic ulcers arise in the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) than the stomach aspirin is not a significant causal factor for the more common duodenal ulcer. For these 2 reasons aspirin is only a minor causal factor. 

Warfarin and other anti-coagulant drugs have a much higher risk of serious bleeding episodes than aspirin.  Warfarin accounts for an estimated 33,000 hospital admission for hemorrhaging.  Journal articles down-play this risk by counting 2 or more pints of blood.

For minor pain --dose equivalents is important for comparison.  The shift in the 80s to 325 from 500 mg made aspirin less effective than other NSAIDs.  To equal the older standard take three 325 mg aspirin to start, than one every couple of hours or as needed up to 5 grams per day.  The science behind treatment for non-inflammatory pain is weak for all the NSAIDs.  Users often commit the ad post hoc fallacy.  For RA 2.5 to 5 grams per day; for protection from cancer 325 mg is sufficient; and for stage I-III cancer 650 + mgs daily.   JK has been taking one or two 325 mgs per day since 1993 for cancer protection, and he doesn’t get heart burn. 

[1]An FDA analyst estimated that Vioxx caused between 88,000 and 139,000 heart attacks, 30 to 40 percent of which were probably fatal, in the five years the drug was on the market.”   Studies show  a much greater association with higher does given over 2 years (over 3-fold)—as in the treatment of arthritic pain.  After discontinuation of Vioxx, the risk of event would continue to be greater than the control group.     

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