I grew up in a family where, for generations, the most common cause of death was heart-related. By the time I turned 30, this reality had hit me hard. For 30 years, I had done nothing to defy my genetics. My lifestyle was the same as my parents. We’d get fast food when we were busy – which was more often than I’d like to admit. Before turning to a holistic approach, I went in to consult my family doctor about what I can do. My doctor suggested taking a low-dose of aspirin daily.
This was the last time I visited this doctor – and for a good reason. There’s a lot of big pharma doesn’t want you to know about this popular drug developed over a century ago is no exception. Time and time again, studies pop up decrying aspirin and its negative effects. But Aspirin continues strong as one of the most popular painkillers and blood thinners. When it comes to the prevention of heart attacks or strokes, one of the most popular suggestions is taking a baby aspirin.
Why is Baby Aspirin Given as a Recommendation?
One of the major risk factors that lead to heart disease and stroke is the excessive clumping together of platelets in the blood. When this happens, blood clots form in the arteries and veins. Blood clots typically happen when you’re hurt, but when it happens too much, your body needs help clearing out these clots. That’s where blood thinners like aspirin come in.
As an “anti-platelet” aspirin works by reducing the stickiness of platelets that creates clumping. Considering how heart disease is the leading cause of death globally, finding ways to reduce our risk should be a priority. But studies have found that taking aspirin daily does more harm than good! Even the low-dose variant, often called “baby aspirin” are harmful to the body. Two studies published in the European Heart Journal have found that there is no scientific support to taking a low-dose of aspirin.
Studies: No Reliable Evidence to Support Taking Baby Aspirin
The first study looked at the effectiveness of aspirin therapy for both primary (first-time) prevention of heart attacks and secondary prevention. It was found that for primary prevention, the benefits of taking a baby aspirin daily is uncertain when weighed against the risks.
Similarly, the second review looked at current clinical trials on the use of aspirin for primary prevention. The study conducted by Dr. John Cleland found that no reliable evidence taking a daily low-dose of aspirin is of any benefit. The FDA echoed this warning when it stated that “the benefit has not been established but risks such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach are still present.” So just what does taking aspirin daily do?
Side Effects Of Baby Aspirin
Many studies have looked at the side effects of daily aspirin. Some of the most jarring ones are:
- An increased risk of internal bleeding in your stomach or brain
- The destruction of the lining of your stomach and intestines
- Ulcers as a result of a weakened gastrointestinal lining
- Increased risk of kidney failure
- Hearing loss
- Cataracts and blindness
Taking aspirin daily has no proven benefits – but all these terrible side effects! Luckily, there are natural and healthy alternatives to baby aspirin.
Just incorporating 15 minutes of exercise per day has been shown to add three years to your life. So it goes without saying, incorporating exercise into your daily routine is essential for your heart’s health. Baby aspirin tries to address clotting when it happens. Exercise addresses it even before it happens! Exercise maintains a healthy heart by keeping your insulin and leptin levels reasonable.
A Heart-Healthy Diet
Unsurprisingly, the best alternative to baby aspirin is improving your diet. If you’re already living the healthy holistic lifestyle, you’re already on track to a healthier heart and body. Together we’ve taken control of our health by doing away with processed foods, inflammatory foods with gluten, trans fats, and refined sugars.
But for those just getting started, a holistic heart-healthy diet is one based on:
- Replacing trans and saturated fats with monounsaturated fats like olive oil.
- Eating fiber-rich plant-based foods.
- Eating organic and raw foods that are low on the glycemic index (GI).
- Keeping a balanced level of low-density lipoproteins (LDL, the bad cholesterol) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL, the good cholesterol).
- Cutting out refined sugars and artificial sweeteners
- And incorporating some of these superstar ingredients in your daily diet:
- Garlic has plenty of compounds which prevent oxidative damage and inflammation.
- Turmeric is the miracle spice confirmed to be as effective as 14 drugs. Turmeric has been found to prevent diabetes by lowering high blood sugar. This property comes from curcumin the pigment that gives it its orange-yellow color.
For some of us, making changes to your diet and fitting in some exercise can be difficult. But when you think of just how bad taking aspirin daily can be on your health, it’s well worth the effort!