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Aspirin

Although aspirin is not a micronutrient, and cannot be sold in combination with vitamin supplements, the evidence of the value of taking an aspirin for those at risk for heart attack is so compelling that it is included here. The benefits of aspirin were so evident in a trial of 22,071 physicians that the longest and one of the biggest clinical trials in history was halted, because it was judged immoral to continue to give half the test group placebo when the benefits of taking aspirin were so clear. Latest reports also suggest aspirin may be protective against Alzheimer's. Risks include gastric irritation, ulcers, and occasionally, kidney damage.

Recent evidence relates to those who take a baby aspirin every day, because it upsets the stomach less. However, a study not cited below which I recall found that the higher dose of an adult aspirin is required at least twice a month. For upset stomach, be certain you are not infected with the bacterium Heliobacter, which is now known to be the cause of ulcers. It not only causes ulcers, but also is considered the likely cause of stomach cancer, and other cancers. You can be treated for Heliobacter with a simple antibiotic regimen, and then the stomach aches may disappear permanently! The drugs doctors and advertisements push to treat upset stomach may treat the short-term problem, but are likely to leave the bacteria present leading to cancer!! If you have regular stomach aches, please see a doctor and ask about Heliobacter pyloris infection.

See the essays on aspirin dosage and Perhaps take no aspiring.

References:

Harvard Women's Health Watch, April, 1998

Recent studies indicate that...long-term use of aspirin may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's by reducing inflammation of the brain. Not only did daily use protect against dementia, but also that risk continued to drop as the duration of NSAID use increased. Results were the same in women and in men.

Hornbach-Torres, T., "Physicians' Health Study Shows Beta Carotene Supplements to be Without Benefit or Harm", Press Release, Report on Women's Health Study, Jan. 19, 1996, [617-732-5008]

The longest primary prevention trail of cancer and one of the largest, 22,071 male physicians, 12 year trial. "The randomized aspirin component ended early, after five years, primarily because of a statistically extreme benefit of aspirin on risk of a first heart attack." 325 mg aspirin every other day were taken.

Steiner, M. , Glantz, M. , and Lekos, A., "Vitamin E Plus Aspirin Compared With Aspirin Alone In Patients With Transient Ischemic Attacks", Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 62(suppl): 1381S-4S (1995)

"...results show a significant reduction in the incidence of ischemic events in patients in the [400 IU] vitamin E plus aspirin group compared with patients taking only aspirin". This study also shows the natural ratio of two important closely related antioxidants. a-tocopherol is vitamin E. g-tocopherol is a closely related molecule also critical to preventing LDL oxidation. They naturally occur in a ratio of 5:1. According to a private conversation with Dr. Bruce Ames, a world-famous expert at UC-Berkeley, one problem with commercial vitamin E is that it usually contains only a-tocopherol, and that when taken, this displaces the g-tocopherol in LDL. Thus, a formulation containing 5:1 a- to g-tocopherol is preferable to one containing only a-tocopherol.

2001
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