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Time to rethink daily aspirin therapy

If you haven't had a heart attack, you might want to ditch the aspirin bottle.

A large-scale, clinical trial in Australia showed that a daily, low-dose aspirin has no effect on prolonging life in the elderly, according to USA Today.


For years doctors have been recommending daily aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes in people who don’t have a history of cardiovascular diseases. The study showed there were no benefits for the participants, who were 70 or older. To the contrary, it showed that they were at a higher risk of bleeding and hemorrhaging, especially in the skull and stomach.

If you are one of the 40 million Americans who take an aspirin every day, you should know that in 2014 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reversed its stance on daily aspirin therapy. Today the FDA says that if you have not experienced a heart problem, you should not be taking a daily aspirin—even if you have a family history of heart disease.

It’s estimated that more than 1 in 3 American adults is currently on a daily aspirin regime for cardiovascular disease. The disease encompasses a number of health conditions, including heart attacks, stroke, coronary artery disease and arrhythmias and, all total, is at the top of the list of leading causes of death in the U.S.

The recommendation of a daily dose of aspirin is based on the thought that aspirin slightly decreases your blood's ability to form dangerous clots. However, study after study has disputed this theory.

Mounting evidence suggests that daily aspirin has no benefit for otherwise healthy people who are at low risk for heart attack. And, although the benefits of aspirin therapy may still outweigh the risks for some people, there are safer ways to achieve those benefits without using aspirin.

A more effective way to improve heart health is to reduce excess iron in your system by giving blood and to reduce chronic inflammation through diet, exercise and sensible sun exposure.

High iron is a significant risk factor for heart disease. While aspirin therapy can lower your iron level through intestinal bleeding, a much safer choice is to check your ferritin and, if it’s high, donate blood to lower your levels.

Nattokinase, used for centuries in Japan to lengthen life and improve health, can also be beneficial without harmful side effects when used in place of aspirin.

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