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

Eat To Live Book Review

Eat To Live By Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Eat To Live Book Review Fuhrman, M.D. I just read yet another book about the amazing ability of whole, plant-based foods to dramatically improve health

Diet Vs Exercise What Matters Most To Lose Weight

Healthy Diet And Exercise

Healthy Diet And Exercise This morning, my brother and I had another conversation about his weight loss challenge. He and his friends are using the

Ex-vegan recovery story

Going 100-Percent Plant-Based: My Ex-Vegan Saga

So what accounted for my change in attitude?

What led me from resisting veganism for the first nine years of my marriage to running a 100-percent plant based restaurant for the second nine years