What’s Better Than Aspirin?

What's Better Than Aspirin
What's Better Than Aspirin

Yesterday, I wrote of excess arachidonic acid’s (AA) negative impact on our bodies: “Since AA is what our body uses to produce inflammatory compounds, like prostaglandins, an excessive AA level may lead to some truly devastating consequences.”

Like AA, prostaglandins are necessary for the healthy inflammation that helps us fight infection. Producing too much, however, can cause chronic pain, arthritis, and cancer.

So nobody was surprised when, in 1982, British pharmacologist John Vane received the 1982 Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine. Eleven years earlier, he’d discovered that aspirin pills (synthetic salicylic acid) inhibit prostaglandin synthesis. A knighthood followed in 1984.

Add Sir John’s discovery to aspirin’s impressive list of Wonder-Drug properties:  Decreasing pain and lowering the risk of heart attacks, strokes, cancer and (possibly) dementia.

Many elderly people take a low-dose aspirin pill every day for these benefits. Doing so long term, however, is known to cause stomach and intestinal-lining damage and increase the chance of small-intestine or brain bleeds.

Can we get the benefits while avoiding the risks? Looking at research from Scotland’s Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, Dr. Greger addresses that question:

Well, if this aspirin phytonutrient [salicylic acid] is made by plants, we might expect plant-eaters to have higher levels. And, indeed… Some vegetarians had the same level in their blood as people actually taking aspirin pills!”

Did they also experience the gut-devastating side effects?

NO! It turns out, “… vegetarians appear to have a significantly lower risk of ulcers…Because in plants, the salicylic acid may come naturally pre-packaged with gut-protective nutrients…”

Dr. Greger’s conclusion? People who’ve had heart attacks should follow their doctor’s advice about taking aspirin pills.

As for the rest of us? He thinks “… everyone should take aspirin but — in produce, not pill form.”

It seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Eating healthy is far smarter than taking aspirin, especially when healthy foods are known to achieve the same or better benefits.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Related Posts

Fast Food Nation Book Summary

Fast Food Nation By Eric Schlosser

Fast Food Nation Book Summary Early in Fast Food Nation, respected investigative journalist Eric Schlosser confesses, “During the two years spent researching this book, I

2 Major Benefits Of Beet Juice

2 Major Benefits Of Beet Juice

Nitrate-Rich Diet Found to Alter Oral Bacteria for the Better; Linked to Cardiovascular and Cognitive Health   The human mouth is home to billions of

sources of potassium

2 Sources of Potassium: Milk vs. Dried Fruits

The NIH National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) analyzed potassium consumption data from more than 9,000 adults over three years. Its findings?

Americans consume so few plant-based foods that our leading dietary sources of potassium come from what we drink.