The Mythical Benefit of Aspirin Leads to Ulcers

You know about that popular mythical benefit of aspirin -- taking one a day prevents stroke and heart attack -- but at the expense of your stomach. A bleeding stomach isn't your only concern, however. Low-dose use of aspirin also causes some patients to develop peptic ulcers, and with no symptoms either.

Australian researchers examined the health of some 190 patients taking aspirin doses ranging from 75-325 milligrams per day for a month by giving them endoscopic examinations. Close to 11 percent of the patients examined had ulcers measuring at least 3 millimeters.

After repeating the endoscopic procedure three months later, about 7 percent who hadn't developed peptic ulcers during the first test had done so after the second one. And that bumps up the annual ulcer rate to 28 percent, according to the study.

Other factors that may have affected tests results: Age (seniors over age 70 were more prone to have ulcers) and the presence of a bacterial infection with H. pylori.

Just a reminder, based on a USA Today report I posted here, had aspirin been launched today, many scientific experts believe it never would've been approved for over-the-counter use.

One of your best alternatives to taking aspirin -- taking a high quality fish or cod liver oil daily -- is also one of your safest too.

Yahoo News December 12, 2005

Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Vol. 22, No. 9, November 2005: 795-801

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