5 Things Aspirin Can Do for Your Health
Most doctors would rather we solve our health issues by making lifestyle changes rather than popping a pill. However, new research shows that one over the counter drug in particular may be worth taking.
A recent study reported in the journal Cancer found that people taking more than two nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (think aspirin and ibuoprofen) had a 15% lower risk for squamous cell carcinoma and 13% lower risk for malignant melanoma than those taking fewer than two. Those who took the NSAIDs over a long period or often had an even lower risk! Scientists speculate that NSAIDs may help you prevent cancer by suppressing certain enzymes that are involved in carcinogenesis.
This definitely isn’t the first time aspirin has been called a cure-all. Studies show it may:
- Reduce blood clots: Aspirin has anti-platelet activity, meaning that it prevents platelets from clumping together and stops blood from clotting. Studies have show that taking an aspirin each day can be beneficial for those people who have had a heart attack, have had coronary bypass surgery, or are at high risk for a heart attack. Though aspirin was originally thought to protect against heart attack and stroke, recent research found that some people may be resistant to it.
- Prevent asthma. A 2008 study shows that taking aspirin every other day may reduce the risk of asthma over time. However, it is worth noting that taking aspirin made some patients’ symptoms worse.
- Reduce deep vein thrombosis. Just this year, a study found that taking an aspirin a day nearly cut the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis in half as compared to taking a placebo pill.
- Ward off Parkinson's disease. Taking aspirin at least twice a week may cut your risk of Parkinson's by 40%, according to a 2007 study.
Though studies talk it about the benefits of daily aspirin, it also has the potential to cause scary side effects such as stomach ulcers, allergic reactions, and even hearing loss. The research on aspirin is still ongoing, so before stocking up at your local pharmacy, it’s important to consult your doctor.
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