ASPIRIN

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What Aspirin Does.

Why doctors prescribe aspirin for heart attack prevention

Some Articles:

..........Article #1 Does Aspirin Prevent Heart Attacks? Don't Believe It!

..........Article #2 Second Thoughts About An Aspirin a Day to Prevent Heart Attacks

..........Article #3 The Blinding Truth About an Aspirin a Day

..........Article #4 Aspirin and False Advertising

..........Article #5 Bayer Bribery

..........Article #6 Bayer and War Crimes

..........Article #7 Aspirin Use May be Associated with Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

..........Article #8 ***** All NSAIDs May Be Linked to MI (Heart Attack) Risk ****

..........Article #9 The Dangers of Acetaminophen

Notes and Warnings

Alternatives to Aspirin

Reducing Inflammation with Diet and Supplements

Nattokinase



What Aspirin Does

Here is a brief explanation of a piece of the puzzle when it comes to cyclooxygenase and the prostaglandins that it inhibits. Cyclooxygenase is an enzyme that helps break down arachidonic acid to prostaglandins. Aspirin stops this enzyme from doing its job. The cells in your body respond to various stimuli in order to bring about a reaction that will help rectify or signal what is going on. Cells respond to activating stimuli by remodeling their cellular membranes to generate biologically active lipid mediators that serve as short range signaling agents. Each prostaglandin and thromboxane that is produced serves a purpose. For example, PGI2 causes vasodilation and inhibits platelet aggregation. TXA2 causes vasoconstriction and promotes platelet aggregation,which is the belief doctors have about it use and heart attack prevention. They feel if you inhibit this from being formed that it will keep the blood thinner and keep it from clotting. As one can see there are many other things inhibited that are beneficial. PGD2, PGE2, and PGF2 are involved in vasodilation and causing of edema. PGE2 and PGI2 are involved in the production of mucus in the stomach, which protects it from ulceration. The other side of the equation shows leukotrienes. LTC4, LTD4, and LTE4 are involved in vasoconstriction, bronchospasm and increased permeability. They also increase secretion of bronchial mucus and produce wheal and flare reactions in skin. One of the potential negative effects of aspirin and its inhibition of cyclooxygenase is that it can redirect the breakdown of arachidonic acid throught the other side of the equation which will lead to higher production of the leukotrienes and the action that they potentiate. The most common adverse effect from therapeutic anti-inflammatory doses of aspirin is gastric upset. Chronic use results in gastric ulceration, upper gastrointestinal bleeding (a loss of as much as a teaspoon of blood per day), and renal effects, including acute renal failure and interstitial nephritis. Aspirin increases bleeding time also. Some people may experience asthma because of the cascade redirection. Depending on how much aspirin you take you may experience tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo, hyperventilation, and respiratory alkalosis. It has also been known to cause metabolic acidosis, dehydration, hyperthermia, collapse, coma and death. Children with viral infections are at risk of develping Reye's syndrome (hepatic fatty degeneration and encephalopathy) if given aspirin.

Given this information you can now arm yourself with information to better question your doctor. Below I have included some interesting information pertaining to aspirin and its use in heart attacks. Educate yourself to help decide if this is the proper treatment or advice for you. I am confident that after learning all you can about he issue you will not chose this road that so many have been blindly lead down.

At the end of the articles I have included some alternatives to the use of aspirin.



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Why do Doctors Prescribe Aspirin for prevention of heart attack?

Doctors are pushing aspirin because it thins the blood, keeping it flowing smoothly so dangerous clots don't form. It's the right idea, but there are safer and better ways to accomplish this. Anyone that understands the physiology and pharmacology of what aspirin does should understand that the blockade of the production of important prostaglandins is more harmful than beneficial. Simply stating that aspirin thins the blood and reduces platelet aggregation is being irresponsible to the patient and shows the lack of understanding on the doctor's part.

MILLIONS OF AMERICANS are being urged to take an-aspirin-a-day to prevent a stroke and heart attack. But a major research study in Canada found this actually increased the risk of stroke and heart attack in 40% of the people who took it! Three other studies from Germany, Britain, and here in the U.S. support the finding.

But that's not the worst of it. New research shows that such long-term aspirin use can make you blind by increasing your risk of macular degeneration, and even increasing your risk of cataracts by up to 44 percent! Those are bad odds. Macular degeneration is already the leading cause of blindness in people over 55 in our country, and doctors still have no effective treatments. If this current aspirin-a-day craze continues, we could be looking at a wave of blindness in the years to come.


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Does aspirin prevent heart attacks? Don't believe it!

The drug companies that make and market aspirin have tried hard to convince people that "an aspirin a day keeps the heart attack away."

But, another study has come along to blast a hole in that myth. According to British researchers, the daily aspirin regimen might actually do more harm than good.

Researchers at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London identified more than 5,000 U.K. males, between 45 and 69 years-old, who were at increased risk of coronary heart disease but had not previously had heart trouble.

The men had been randomly divided into four different treatment groups to accurately establish the effect of aspirin.

The men with higher blood pressure not only weren't protected by the aspirin, but they risked possible serious bleeding. Even in men with low blood pressure, the benefit did not necessarily outweigh the risk of bleeding.

In 1988, a research study found that some high risk men who took daily aspirin had fewer heart attacks -- but more strokes. Even the researchers never recommended the once-a-day aspirin regimen.

However, the pharmaceutical industry immediately began a massive press release campaign which distorted the research report. The press releases gave the impression that the daily aspirin was a sure-fire way to prevent heart attacks. The news was picked up by most newspapers and even medical doctors began "prescribing" aspirin as a preventative measure.

Thanks in part to this deceptive marketing campaign, Americans now take more than 25 million aspirin tablets every day, despite the fact that:

1,600 children die each year from allergic reactions to aspirin;


patients with blockage of arteries to the brain are three times more likely to have a stroke if they are taking aspirin;


dyspepsia and gastrointestinal hemorrhage occur in 31% of those taking 300 mgs. of aspirin per day;


even low doses of aspirin can increase the risk of brain hemorrhage; and


other side effects can include anemia, bleeding ulcers, confusion and dizziness and numerous other problems.

SOURCES: "Determination of who may derive most benefit from aspirin in primary prevention: subgroup results from a randomised controlled trial," British Medical Journal, July 1, 2000.

"FDA warns aspirin makers." Science News, March 12, 1988 v133 n11 p165(1).

"The preliminary report of the findings of the aspirin component of the ongoing Physicians' Health Study; the FDA perspective on aspirin for the primary prevention of myocardial infarction." Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) June 3, 1988 v259 n21 p3158(3).

"Don't jump the gun with aspirin; there are surer ways to help prevent (heart attacks), ones that don't increase stroke risk," Medical World News, May 23, 1988 v29 n10 p50(1).

"High-risk pain pills: though their use is regulated, many common pain remedies can be dangerous, particularly if combined with alcohol or other drugs," The Atlantic, Dec. 1989 v264 n6 p36(5).


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SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT AN ASPIRIN A DAY TO PREVENT HEART ATTACKS


A baby aspirin a day keeps a heart attack away. This widely accepted health practice was seriously undermined at an advisory committee meeting of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA, held in December 2003. The FDA advisory committee voted overwhelmingly to reject a petition from the Bayer Corp. to approve aspirin for reducing the risk of a first heart attack.

Though an estimated 20 million Americans already take low-dose aspirin daily to prevent a heart attack, this is an off-label use—that is, the aspirin manufacturers have not received FDA approval for this particular indication. FDA approval is required, however, once an aspirin manufacturer plans to advertise the drug for this use. And once approval is granted, the drug's packet insert must be rewritten to inform consumers of the new indication.

Bayer's petition made the FDA Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee take a critical look at the five trials (One trial compared aspirin with vitamin E) in which people without heart disease took either aspirin or a placebo (a dummy pill). Altogether there were more than 55,000 participants at anywhere from low to high risk for a heart attack. Here is what the cardiologists and other experts on the committee found in the way of benefit: Aspirin produced about a 32% reduction in non-fatal heart attacks. [Translation: An estimated 3% of all moderate-risk people will have a heart attack in the next five years. Daily low-dose aspirin therapy will reduce their odds to about 2%.] The benefit is given in terms of a five-year period because the trials lasted four to seven years.

Several things troubled the FDA committee members about the results of these trials: Aspirin did not have any mortality reduction benefit; nor did it reduce the odds of having an ischemic stroke, which is, arguably, the most feared consequence of heart disease. Yet aspirin has the potential for causing another, less common type of stroke called hemorrhagic stroke, which is a rupture of a blood vessel in the brain.

One committee member who voted to reject Bayer's petition is Steven Nissen, MD, Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Cardiovascular Coordinating Center. In a telephone interview, Dr. Nissen explained, The data [from the five trials] were terribly weak. You always have to weigh the trade- offs , he said, referring to hemorrhagic stroke as the major concern.

But the aforementioned 32% reduction in non-fatal heart attacks applies to the combined total of all the study participants, most of whom were men with differing levels of risk. The committee hit a snag once it came to individuals. Dr. Nissen said that he and other committee members were concerned that daily aspirin, if taken by people at a low enough risk, could cause more harm than good. Asked to define low enough risk, he explained that there was too much uncertainty to answer the question. No one in the world can answer the question of who benefits and who doesn't, and if there is no answer, then how could I vote to approve? he asked.

The fact that women were underrepresented in the five trials (only 20% of all participants) also troubled Dr. Nissen. It may be that the risks exceed the benefit for women, he said, but we simply don't know—there is not enough data. Still, Dr. Nissen was careful to stress that he was not against aspirin therapy for everyone, suggesting that people talk over the decision with their physicians. The FDA advisory committee took a lot of heat, said Dr. Nissen, referring to its decision to turn down Bayer's petition and thus reject the prevailing medical view that aspirin therapy is good for just about everyone. We were called flat earthers , he said.

The FDA is not obligated to follow the decisions made by its advisory committees, but the agency usually does. The committee's decision, though entirely appropriate, illustrates how the current system works against consumers who want to become fully informed before they go on lifelong drug therapy. Approval would have meant a rewrite of the drug's packet insert to include the new indication. And this, in turn, would have compelled the advisory committee to identify



the appropriate group of people for whom the benefit of aspirin therapy clearly outweighs the

risks. The evidence from the five trials did not provide the answer; therefore, 20 million people will continue to take daily aspirin without knowing anything about the uncertainties of the supporting research.

The advisory committee's concerns can be contrasted with the practice guidelines aimed at physicians and published in 2002 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The Task Force concluded that the number of cardiac events prevented by aspirin therapy far exceeded the number of hemorrhagic strokes caused by aspirin therapy. This, too, is based on the combined results of the same five trials. When the Task Force tried to break things down for individuals, it came up with this estimation for moderate-risk men and women: For 1,000 patients with a 3% risk of having a heart attack in the next five years, aspirin would prevent eight heart attacks but would cause one hemorrhagic stroke and three major gastrointestinal bleeding events.

Where it concerns low-risk people, the Task Force is in agreement with the FDA advisory committee: MMMM

patients at low risk for coronary heart disease probably do not benefit from and may even be harmed by aspirin because the risk for adverse events may exceed the benefits (Annals of Internal Medicine, 1/15/02).



For More Information:

-Go to www.med-decisions.com to see one method used by the Task Force to identify different levels of risk for a heart attack. The Task Force used an additional assessment tool based on the risk information from the Framingham Heart Study, which has since become outdated.

-The transcript of the December 8-9, 2003 meeting of the Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee is likely to be posted on the Internet in February or March. Go to www.fda.gov and click into “Advisory Committees.” Then go to this specific committee and its meeting date.

Maryann Napoli, January 2004


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THE BLINDING TRUTH ABOUT AN ASPIRIN A DAY

"A major research study in Canada found that daily aspirin use actually increased the risk of stroke and heart attack in 40% of the people who took it. This finding is supported by three other studies (Germany, Britain and U.S.) New research shows that such long-term aspirin use can make you blind by increasing your risk of macular degeneration, and even increasing your risk of cataracts by up to 44 percent" - Dr. David G. Williams

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Aspirin and False Advertising

The Bayer Corporation launched a series of advertisements which claimed that a regular aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) regimen prevents heart attacks and strokes in the general adult population. The Federal Trade Commission pointed out that these claims were unsubstantiated and that daily doses of aspirin may be harmful to some adults. The Bayer Corporation launched a $1 million consumer education campaign to settle FTC charges. In addition to this new campaign, the settlement requires that any Bayer advertising making claims about the benefits of regular aspirin use for prevention of heart attacks or strokes contain a disclosure that states, "Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen."[250]

Bayer also continues to offer aspirin packaged specifically for children in the 3rd World, despite the fact that experts warn of the many risks involved in the use of acetylsalicylic acid for children. The safety warnings recommending limited use to children, found in Germany and other countries, are not found in developing countries. Bayer even sells "Children's Aspirin." Bayer has announced that although the claims could not be proven, they have "made changes" where the impression could be given that it is a consumer advertisement. In a letter from Bayer to the Medical Initiative in July 1997, Bayer insisted that there was no more consumer advertising for children's aspirin in South America. However, in October 1997 a one page, colour advertisement for aspirina para ninos (aspirin for children) appeared in the daily newspaper Prensa libre of Guatemala.[251]

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Bayer Bribery

When large health and environmental groups which affect public policy are being funded by industries, it is possible that scientists who claim to be objective may ignore important health, safety and environmental considerations.

Bayer donates over $500,000 a year to the American Heart Association (AHA), which may explain why the AHA has endorsed only Bayer aspirin. Bayer also contributes over $500,000 a year to the American Diabetes Association, is a sustaining member of the American Medical Writer's Association, and contributes to the American Veterinary Medicine Association, the Arthritis Foundation, the Biotechnology Institute, and the Environmental Sensitivities Research Institute. Bayer also supports the Heartland Institute, an "independent research policy group".[235] Bayer is a member organisation of the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, which is supposed to maintain publicly available national databases on pesticide use, develop methods and data systems to improve the estimation of pesticide benefits and prepare reports, articles, and testimony on pesticide policy issues.

Bayer donates money to the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, a scientific front group that also receives donations from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceutical and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals Inc., which may explain their watered-down web page which claims that antibiotic resistant bacteria is a natural phenomenon and that "Although the scientific evidence does indicate that antibiotic use in animals is a key factor promoting resistance, the validity and reliability of the data have been questioned."[236]

In addition, Bayer donates exorbitant amounts of money to political parties, especially in the United States. In fact, between 1 January 1999 and 30 June 2000 alone, Bayer donated $134,511 to the Republican party and $40,150 to the Democrats, for a grand total of $174,661.[237]

Bayer also admitted to supporting the "further education" of doctors in Portugal by paying for trips around the world in an attempt to influence prescription writing.[238] According to former pharmaceuticals salesman Alfredo Pequito, Bayer invested approximately DM 100,000 in the first 5 months of 1995 to promote the prescribing of Ciproxin in Portugal. He reports that amounts of up to DM 5,000 were deposited in travel agencies for various doctors. The money was not always used for conventions, but for other uses such as family trips or even exchanged for cash. The head of the Portuguese State Medical Board Carlos Ribeira believes this brings the ethical and moral ideals of the medical profession in question. He has announced that he intends to take legal action. The public prosecutors and the Ministry of Health have also begun investigations.


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Bayer and War Crimes

Chemical Weapons

see full article here

Bayer is implicated in the development of chemical weapons. During WW1 Bayer was involved in the development and manufacture of a range of poisonous gasses used in the trenches, including chlorine gas and mustard gas.[211] As part of IG Farben, Bayer were also involved in the development of the next generation of chemical warfare agents, toxic organophosphate compounds. Tabun was first examined for use as an insecticide in late 1936 in a program under the direction of Dr. Gerhard Schrader at the Bayer facility at Elberfeld/Wuppertal. An accidental exposure of Dr. Schrader and a laboratory assistant to Tabun vapors made it quite clear that this compound had potential military applications.[212] Tabun was then mass produced by IG Farben during WWII although it was never used as a weapon. Schrader was also responsible for the discovery of related, but more toxic, nerve agents including Sarin and Soman.[213] Whilst working on chemical weapons Schrader discovered the chemical compound E 605, the principle ingredient in the pesticide parathion. After the post-war dissolution of IG Farben, Schrader continued to develop pesticides for Bayer. After World War II, Bayer and other companies began to introduce a large number of organophosphorus compounds, including parathion, into the marketplace for insect control. The difficulty with organophosphates (OPs) is that they are neurotoxic due to their effects on acetycholinesterase, and unfortunately this enzyme occurs in humans as well as in insects.[214]

The links between chemicals developed as 'pesticides' with chemicals suitable for weapons has continued at Bayer. In 1989 it was revealed that Bayer hold a patent for a compound chemically identical to the VX gas used by the US military. The compound was discovered by Gerhard Schrader, and was patented in Germany in 1957, and in the US in 1961. Bayer claim that the compound was developed as a potential pesticide and that the US military application of the compound has nothing to do with them.[215]

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Aspirin Use May be Associated with Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

BETHESDA, MD -- January 7, 2004 -- Regular aspirin use for 20 years or more may be associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in women, the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, according to a study in the January 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Many studies have found that use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with a reduced risk of several cancers and precancerous lesions. Past studies in human cells and in laboratory animals have suggested that aspirin and NSAIDs may inhibit the development of pancreatic cancer. However, few studies have examined the association between analgesic use and pancreatic cancer in humans, and results have been inconsistent.


Eva S. Schernhammer, M.D., Dr.P.H., of the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and her colleagues examined the association between aspirin use and risk of pancreatic cancer among 88,378 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study. The information used in the study was based on questions about aspirin use asked on biennial questionnaires beginning in 1980. Among those women, 34% were current regular aspirin users, defined as women who took two or more 325 mg aspirin tablets per week. The remaining women were non-regular aspirin users who took less than 2 tablets per week.


During 18 years of follow-up, there were 161 new cases of pancreatic cancer. Overall, there was no statistically significant difference in risk of pancreatic cancer between aspirin users and nonusers. However, when the investigators examined the information based on the duration that the women had been taking aspirin, they found that women who reported more than 20 years of regular aspirin use had a 58% increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with women who never regularly consumed more than two aspirin tablets per week.


When the investigators compared women who had reported consistent, regular aspirin use with women who were non-users during the same time period, they found that the risk of pancreatic cancer increased with increasing aspirin dose. Compared with nonusers, women who took 14 or more aspirin tablets per week had an 86% increased risk of pancreatic cancer.


"Our findings do not support a protective effect of analgesics use on the risk of pancreatic cancer. Rather, aspirin appears to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer after extended periods of use," the authors write. "Risks and benefits associated with the use of aspirin have to be weighed carefully in any recommendations made by health care providers."


In an accompanying editorial, John A. Baron, M.D., of Dartmouth Medical School, writes, "There are no easy answers to the question of what aspirin and other NSAIDs do to pancreatic carcinogenesis. The findings by Schernhammer et al. are provocative and force us to think carefully about the actions of aspirin and other NSAIDs and the mechanisms underlying pancreatic cancer. Fortunately, conflicting data from diverse threads of research are often a very effective push toward scientific progress."



SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute



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All NSAIDs May Be Linked to MI Risk

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jun 09 - Selective and nonselective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are associated with an increased risk of a first MI, results of an observational study suggest. Diclofenac and ibuprofen seem to pose about as much risk as the COX-2 inhibitor rofecoxib, the study authors say.

Rofecoxib (Vioxx) was withdrawn from the pharmaceutical market at the end of September 2004 after use of the drug was tied to adverse cardiac effects. Since then, however, questions remain, such as whether all NSAIDs share these harmful effects.

Drs. Julia Hippisley-Cox and Carol Coupland, from the University of Nottingham, UK, conducted a population-based nested case-control study using the QRESEARCH database of information from UK general practices. They report their findings in the June 11th issue of the British Medical Journal.

Their study included 9218 cases of a first MI in people between the ages of 25 and 100 during study period from 2000 to 2004, and 86,349 controls matched by age, calendar time, gender and practice.

The authors identified all prescriptions for NSAIDs for each case and control in the 3 years before their index date (specifically celecoxib, rofecoxib, ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen, other selective NSAIDs and other nonselective NSAIDs). Their multivariate analyses adjusted for comorbidities, medications, and other confounders.

The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for rofecoxib use within the 3 months before an MI was 1.32; for ibuprofen it was 1.24 and for diclofenac it was 1.55 (p < 0.01).

The authors observed a tendency to increased risks with use of other selective NSAIDs (OR = 1.27), naproxen (OR = 1.27) and other nonselective NSAIDs (OR = 1.21), though these did not reach the 0.01 significance level.

Dr. Hippisley-Cox and Dr. Coupland estimate the number-needed-to-harm for patients aged 65 years and over were 521 for diclofenac, 1005 for ibuprofen and 695 for rofecoxib.

"Given the high prevalence of the use of these drugs in elderly people and the increased risk of myocardial infarction with age, even the relatively large number of patients needed to harm could have considerable implications for public health," they note.

There were no significant interactions between NSAID use and either aspirin or coronary heart disease.

"We think that enough concerns exist to warrant a reconsideration of the cardiovascular safety of all NSAIDs," the investigators conclude.

In an associated editorial, Dr. Peter Juni, from University of Berne in Switzerland, and colleagues urge that these data be "interpreted with caution," given that they are observational and other trials have yielded discrepant results.

What is called for now, they contend, are complete meta-analyses, which should "help decision making about issues such as the need for additional trials... to establish the best and safest treatment for patients with musculoskeletal pain."

BMJ 2005;330.



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NOTE: NSAIDs stands for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and other names we will be adding.

WARNING ! THE ONLY THING THAT PREVENTS THE STOMACH FROM DIGESTING ITSELF IS THE MUCOUS LINING! How can the stomach tell the difference from steak and itself? Think about it, and get angry when you see the new ads for Bayer (buffered aspirin) which encourages you to "Take it for pain; Take it for life".

Discover Magazine's June 2001 article entitled "Does Aspirin Help Prevent Cancer?" subtitle "Perhaps, but the side effects could get you too" states in the article "But aspirin and its cohorts come with some nasty side effects that have kept doctors from taking them seriously as anticancer agents. Because one of the enzymes they inhibit helps maintain the lining of the gut, NSAIDs can cause bleeding ulcers and other injuries of the digestive tract. These NSAID-related traumas result in about 100,000 hospitalizations and almost 17,000 deaths a year in the Untied States... so the idea of advocating long-term use of the drugs in healthy people has never seemed sound." The article also states "Of course, the toxicity of NSAIDs limits their use in controlling chronic pain and treating arthritis as well."

The article quoted gastroenterologist Andrew Dannenberg who they list as directing the cancer prevention program at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell and conducts research at Cornell University as saying "Despite their ready availability NSAIDs are not really safe compounds" and "if you're thinking in terms of preventing cancer, rather than treating it, you need a very, very safe approach".

Ernest Hawk of the National Cancer Institute's division of prevention was quoted as saying "Right now it's premature to recommend aspirin or any other NSAID for cancer prevention...we don't know enough about the side effects."

Note: Discover Magazine is an excellent read and every month their section "Vital Signs" about health should be required reading for every doctor and health care worker.

"All Aspirin Poses Risk Of Bleeding." That is the heading of a New York Times aritcle dated December 17, 1996 by Jane E. Brody which stated "...it may be no safer for the digestive tract to take buffered or enteric-coated versions, a new study suggests." The article also stated "While it has long been known that plain aspirin can sometimes cause serious bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, the study showed that this risk was not reduced amoung those taking low doses of either buffered or enteric-coated aspirin. Users of low-dose aspirin, regardless of the type, were three times as likely as nonusers to be hospitalized with serious bleeding in the stomach or small intesting." Judith P. Kelly of the Slone Epidemiology Unit at the Boston University School of Medicine was quoted "...the risk of bleeding was directly related to the dose and suggested that the problem could be minimized by taking the smallest effective dose of aspirin...anyone taking aspirin on a regualr basis would be wise to weith the projected benefits against this risk. For people taking relatively high doses of aspirin to counter the pain of arthritis ... the benefits of being ab able to fulfill the demands of daily life would have to be weighted against the risk of suffering a serious bleeding problem."

"An aspirin-induced ulcer or gastritis -- an inflammation of the stomach lining -- is the cause of such bleeding, which typically results in vomiting blood." "In virtually everyone who takes it, aspirin causes what are knows as microbleeds, the loss of tiny amounts of blood from the gastrointestional tract that may show up in the stool. The more serious bleeding studied...is much more rare, but can sometimes be fatal, particularly in people with other medical problems or if a lot of blood is lost very quickly."

Are you trying to kill your self through the chronic use of ASPIRIN! The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta has documented for over a decade that 17,000 to 20,000 deaths a year are a direct result of a hemmoraging of the stomach as a result of aspirin, IN ANY FORM! Aspirin dissolves the mucous lining of the stomach, and when in the blood stream prevents and blocks the replacment of that mucous!

RE: ULCERS and GASTROMINAL INTESTIONAL BLEEDING: "Treatment: The following general parctices apply: A: Discontinue Aspirin and other NSAIDs. Over 80% of patients with lower gastrominal tract bleeding have evidence of recent Aspirin indegestion". Quoted verbatum from the just released book: 2001 Current Medical Diagonsis and Treatment by: Lawrence M. Tierney Jr., Stephen J. McPhee, and Maxine A. Papadakys


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Natural Aspirin Alternatives

Article by Dr. Zoltan P. Rona MD MSc

Aside from GLA which comes directly from evening primrose, borage and black currant seed and indirectly from flax seed, there are many other safe and effective natural substances that can mimic the ways in which aspirin works. It must be stressed, however, that if one continues to eat a lot of sugar, refined foods, saturated fat (e.g. red meat, chicken, dairy products, etc.), does not exercise, smokes cigarettes and drinks alcohol to excess, neither aspirin nor any of the following alternatives can be guaranteed to do much good.

Beta carotene - The best source of beta carotene is whole carrots. Equally good is a live whole food concentrate of carrots. Eating carrots or swallowing live whole food carrot concentrate capsules is therefore better than just drinking carrot juice which in turn is better than just taking a beta carotene supplement. Carrot juice contains beta carotene but it also contains small amounts of protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, potassium, vitamin C and a long list of other essential nutrients. Several studies show an inverse relationship of the consumption of fruits and vegetables high in beta carotene and subsequent death from coronary artery disease. Beta carotene has mild blood clotting retarding effects. Carrots and carrot juice are alkaline forming foods. They lower the risk of cancer, especially smoking-related cancers like lung cancer. They help lower blood cholesterol and are excellent complementary treatments for all skin disorders and respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis. They may also be of help for gastrointestinal problems like colitis, enteritis and ulcers. Beta carotene as well as other carotenoids all help boost the immune system against bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic diseases as well as cancer.

Bioflavonoids - are special antioxidant compounds found in many fruits, especially berries and citrus, vegetables like peppers, green tea, grapes and red wine. Some better known bioflavonoids include catechin, hesperidin, rutin, quercetin, pycnogenol, pronogenol and polyphenols. Bioflavonoids can lower LDL-cholesterol levels and inhibit platelet stickiness much like aspirin. Together with vitamin C in large doses, bioflavonoids are also very effective in the treatment of allergies.

Vitamin B-6 prevents accumulation of high levels of the amino acid homocysteine implicated as one of the tissue injuring substances initiating atherosclerosis. Vitamin B6 has blood clotting retarding effects. Other supplements which lower homocysteine levels include vitamin B12 and folic acid. B6 deficiency has been associated with a greater risk of coronary artery disease, elevated serum cholesterol and atherosclerosis. Vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid are best taken together in the form of a B complex vitamin supplement to fully balance all the B vitamins. Vitamin C lowers high blood cholesterol levels and helps prevent atherosclerosis by directly promoting the breakdown of triglycerides and through its regulation of arterial wall integrity via its essential role in collagen formation. Vitamin C regenerates and reactivates the vitamin E used up to block oxidation of LDL-cholesterol. It helps prevent excessive blood clotting. It is also antifungal.

Vitamin E is otherwise known as alpha-tocopherol. High doses have been shown to retard blood clotting. Caution should be exercised if one is using both aspirin and vitamin E because the combination has a synergistic effect. Studies indicate that supplementation of as little as 200 I.U. daily in men can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 46%; in women the risk reduction is by 26%. Whether natural source or synthetic source, all forms supply the body with at least some vitamin E activity. The natural forms of vitamin E are d-alpha-tocopherol, d-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, d-alpha-tocopheryl succinate and mixed tocopherols. The synthetic forms are dl-alpha-tocopherol, dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate or dl-alpha-tocopheryl succinate.

Studies indicate that the most biologically active are the esterified natural forms - d-alpha-tocopheryl acetate and d-alpha-tocopheryl succinate. Both have been found to provide full antioxidant activity in the body and are the ones recommended by the top authorities on vitamin E at the Shute Institute and Medical Clinic in London, Ontario.

Recent studies indicate that high levels of stored iron in the body (ferritin) are associated with a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes. High dose vitamin E supplements can interfere with iron absorption. If you have been prescribed iron to correct iron deficiency, take your iron supplement about 12 hours apart from vitamin E. Iron absorption is enhanced by sufficient acid in the stomach. Iron destroys vitamin E in the body. A supplement of vitamin C (500 - 1000 mgs.) can increase iron absorption by up to 30%. Other good absorption aids include Swedish bitters, betaine or glutamic acid hydrochloride, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.

Folic acid has recently been heralded as a potent preventive remedy against heart disease. Aside from its ability to lower dangerously high homocysteine blood levels, folic acid appears to be antifungal. It has also long been known that folic acid lowers uric acid levels in the body. Since gout is really the result of a fungal production of uric acid, folic acid may actually be an effective gout remedy simply because it is antifungal.

Garlic is probably the best known herb that lowers cholesterol (by up to 10%) and triglycerides (by up to 13%) while raising HDL-cholesterol (by up to 31%), prevents thrombus formation and lowers blood pressure. It prevents platelet stickiness and has natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties.

Magnesium has anticoagulant properties which, when combined with vitamin E can produce significant blood clotting reduction. Doctors frequently prescribe calcium channel blockers² to treat heart problems. Magnesium has been referred to as nature¹s calcium channel blocker.² The problem is that, in order to correct an arrhythmia or eliminate angina, it usually has to be given at dosages far above those that can safely be tolerated in oral supplement form. The only way to get around this problem is through the intravenous or intramuscular injection route. Many people can learn to give themselves intramuscular injections of magnesium and help reverse many cardiovascular problems naturally. In practice it is always wise to balance magnesium intake with both calcium and potassium. Evaluation of blood and tissue levels can be done with the help of a health care practitioner.

Niacin has long been known to be a potent cholesterol lowering agent. Unfortunately, severe side effects (flushing, gastrointestinal distress, ulcers, glucose intolerance and liver irritation) make it an unpopular remedy. Those wishing to take it should be under the care of a physician. There are time-release forms as well as forms combining niacin with inositol, which are not associated with any significant flushing reaction. Inositol hexaniacinate is the safest form of niacin and produces virtually no flushing effects. Niacin can lower total cholesterol blood levels by as much as 18%, raise HDL-cholesterol by 32% and lower triglycerides by 26% at dosages ranging from 600 -1800 mgs. daily. It too has antifungal properties.

Omega-3-EPA oils reduces cholesterol and prevents platelet stickiness. Good dietary sources include flax seed oil, rice bran oil, trout, mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, cod, halibut and shark. There is, however, some controversy about the cholesterol lowering effects of fish oils, some studies reporting an elevation of blood fats and blood sugar control abnormalities.

Onions have effects on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol as well as retarding platelet stickiness in much the same way as garlic.

Selenium - low selenium levels are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis. Selenium is an anti-oxidant which works in conjunction with vitamin E to protect vascular tissue from damage by toxins. It is also strongly antifungal.

White willow bark (Salix alba) - contains salicin from which aspirin is manufactured. While not as potent as aspirin, white willow has very similar properties without the gastrointestinal side effects at therapeutic dosages. Overdoses can, however, produce toxicity similar to that seen with aspirin overdoses.

OTHER HERBAL PAIN REMEDY ALTERNATIVES

Curcumin Devil's claw root powder

Echinacea (in very high dosages well above those which control infections, echinacea is effective, especially with toothaches)

Feverfew

Escholtzia

Catnip

Combretum

Ginger root

Licorice root

Wood Betony

Valerian

Wild yam extract

Many of these nutrients are sold in combination form at health food stores. It may, therefore not be necessary to take large numbers of capsules or tablets. A naturopath or medical doctor familiar with these remedies can recommend specific dosages. The world¹s leading medical journals are increasingly reporting that diet and lifestyle changes by themselves can reverse hardening of the arteries and its complications. Despite all the rave reports about aspirin, there are too many worrisome drawbacks as well. Natural aspirin alternatives are hundreds of times safer. Discuss all this with your health care practitioner and use his or her experience and expertise to guide you with an individualized health program.

REFERENCES

Costantini, A.V., Wieland, H., and Qvick, Lars I. Fungalbionics, The Fungal/Mycotoxin Etiology of Human Disease, Vol. 1 Atherosclerosis & Vol. II Cancer. Freiberg, Germany:Johann Friedrich Oberlin Verlag, 1994. Available in Canada from Fungal/Mycotoxin Conference, 12 Sifton Place, Brampton, Ont. L6Y 2N8; 905-450-0445; FAX:905-450-0559.

Erasmus, Udo. Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, Canada:Alive, 1993.

Goldstrich, Joe D. The Cardiologist¹s Painless Prescription for a Healthy Heart and a Longer Life. Dallas:9-HEART-9 Publishing, 1994.

Haas, Elson M. Staying Healthy with Nutrition. The Complete Guide to Diet & Nutritional Medicine. Berkeley, California:Celestial Arts, 1992.

Pizzorno, Joseph E. Jr. and Murray, Michael T. A Textbook of Natural Medicine, John Bastyr College Publications, Seattle, Washington, 1989.

Pizzorno, Joseph E. jr. and Murray, Michael T. An Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Prima Publishing:Rocklin, California, 1991.

Rona, Zoltan P. and Martin, Jeanne Marie. Return to the Joy of Health, Vancouver: Alive Books, 1995.

Sharon, Michael. Complete Nutrition. How to Live in Total Health. London, England:PRION, 1989.

Werbach,Melvyn R.and Murray, Michael T. Botanical Influences on Illness. Tarzana, California:Third Line Press, 1994.


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Nattokinase

Nattokinase is an enzyme that works through the whole body It is created when boiled soybeans are fermented with the probiotic bacteria Bacillus subtilis natto to create the traditional Japanese soy food called natto.

Research has shown nattokinase supports the body in breaking up and dissolving unhealthy coagulation of blood and supports fibrinolytic activity. These actions support overall good circulation and thus cardiovascular health. Every tissue in your body relies on your heart to circulate blood through all the blood vessels in your body in order to deliver nutrients and clear waste.

How it Works

Healthy circulation occurs when your blood flows smoothly. Nattokinase doesn't inhibit blood clot formation; it actually works to support healthy circulation by assisting the fibrinolytic blood clearing system, which breaks down cross-linked fibrin protein deposits in the blood.

Healthy circulation can do wonders to support total health. When circulation is not balanced, tissues don't get enough nutrients and blood does not clear enough wastes away. Systemic enzymes such as nattokinase support healthy circulation so that tissues can get the nutrients delivered and wastes removed - the way healthy blood circulation should work in the body.

Discovery

Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi, MD, a researcher of the Japan Ministry of Education and majoring in physiological chemistry at the blood laboratory of the University of Chicago, had long researched thrombolytic enzymes. Dr. Sumi found that the sticky part of natto, commonly called "threads", exhibited a strong fibrinolytic ("blood clot dissolving") activity. He named the corresponding fibrinolytic enzyme "nattokinase". Dr. Sumi commented that nattokinase showed "a potency matched by no other enzyme."

Research

Nattokinase has been the subject of 17 studies, including two small human trials. Researchers from JCR Pharmaceuticals, Oklahoma State University, and Miyazaki Medical College tested nattokinase on 12 healthy Japanese volunteers (6 men and 6 women, between the ages of 21 and 55). They gave the volunteers 200 grams of natto (the food) before breakfast, then tracked fibrinolytic activity through a series of blood plasma tests. The tests indicated that the natto generated a heightened ability to dissolve blood clots. On average, the volunteers' ELT (a measure of how long it takes to dissolve a blood clot) dropped by 48% within two hours of treatment, and volunteers retained an enhanced ability to dissolve blood clots for 2 to 8 hours. An additional study showed an 11% decrease in blood pressure after just two weeks.

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The Dangers of Acetaminophen


Acetaminophen causes more than half the acute liver failure

in the United States

The manufacturer of Tylenol has voluntarily upgraded warnings that large doses of acetaminophen can cause irreversible liver failure.

According to the Arizona Poison Control and Drug Information Center and the U.S. FDA, acetaminophen toxicity annually causes 56,600 ER visits, 26,000 hospitalizations, and 458 deaths in the United States (Ariz Daily Star 12/18/05).

Adults should take no more than 4 gm (8 “extra strength” tablets daily). Those with impaired liver function or regular alcohol use should take no more than 2 gm per day. Anyone who takes more than three alcoholic drinks a day is advised to avoid acetaminophen entirely.

A 6-year multicenter study showed that acute liver failure cases attributable to acetaminophen increased from 28 percent in 1998 to 51 percent in 2003 (Larson AM, Hepatology 2005;42:1364-1372).

Intentional overdoses are generally recognized earlier and can be treated successfully with N-acetylcysteine. Unintentional overdoses are likely to have a worse outcome.

Sixty-three percent of accidental overdoses result from prescription narcotic/acetaminophen combinations. Many patients do not recognize the hazard of combining these with over-the-counter agents.

“Efforts to limit the over-the-counter package size and to restrict the prescription of narcotic-acetaminophen combinations (or to separate the narcotic from the acetaminophen) may be necessary to lower the incidence of this increasingly recognized but preventable cause of acute liver failure,” study authors concluded.




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