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Why Aspirin Doesn't Protect You From Cardiovascular Troubles

Earlier this summer, I warned you about the myth that taking a baby aspirin can protect you from cardiovascular problems, because any benefit may be offset by the risk of gastric bleeding.

Apparently, evidence is growing that some patients aren't responding to the anti-coagulant action of aspirin at all. In fact, taking aspirin regularly will not protect patients from cardiovascular events, according to an Australian study. Scientists offered two explanations for aspirin-resistance. For one, high cholesterol levels can promote coagulation in the bloodstream, which means a normal dose of aspirin has little effect on anti-clotting. Also, a patient's genetic make-up may alter his or her response to aspirin resistance.

Not surprisingly, the study came up with a drug-related answer in the form of clopidogrel, better known as Plavix, the anti-stroke drug that can harm your stomach.

Fortunately, there are effective alternatives to aspirin. Simple lifestyle changes, such as taking a high quality fish or cod liver oil daily and exercise can have a tremendous effect on your cardiovascular system.

EurekAlert August 9, 2005

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