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Is Aspirin Really Good for Heart Disease?

The Boston Globe interviewed a number of physicians including me on this topic and I'll bet most of you can guess what I told them. If you read my post in October you will already know that there are far more effective strategies than aspirin to radically lower your risk for heart disease. One of the most important ones would be to take cod liver oil at this time of year. I see a number of patients from out of state and many are confused about the need for cod liver oil versus fish oil at this time of year. They believe that just because they don't live in cloudy and cold Chicago like I do that they only need fish oil if they live in Texas, Florida or California.

Well, this simply is not true. At this time of year there isn't enough UVB radiation reaching the earth even at Florida latitudes. So even if you were out in a bikini all day long in sunny Florida you aren't going to get enough sun to make adequate vitamin D. The other consideration is that you would actually have to be outside and get sun exposure on bare skin for it to work. So, even if you were at the equator and you stayed inside all day long, as many people do, then you will still not have enough UVB exposure. So, you can be rest assured that most people this time of year need cod liver oil. However, it is also quite important to recognize that the notion of just taking cod liver oil to compensate for low vitamin D levels is NOT TRUE. The majority of my patients are taking supplemental vitamin D in addition to cod liver oil. They, of course, are also having their vitamin D levels monitored to avoid any toxic effects.

Boston Globe December 16, 2003

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