Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons. This image has been modified.

How to Get the Benefits of Aspirin Without the Risks

For people without a personal history of cardiovascular disease, aspirin’s risks may outweigh its benefits, but aspirin may have additional benefits. “We have long recognized the preventative role of daily aspirin for patients with atherosclerotic [heart] disease; however, it now appears that we can hatch 2 birds from 1 egg. Daily low-dose aspirin may help prevent certain forms of cancer, as well, as I discuss in my video Should We All Take Aspirin to Prevent Cancer? In an analysis of eight different studies involving more than 25,000 people, “the authors found a 20 percent decrease in risk of death from cancer among those randomized to daily aspirin…” The researchers wrote, “[T]he search for the most efficacious and safe treatments for malignant disease remains an enormous and burdensome challenge. If only we could just stop cancer in its tracks—prevent it before it strikes. Perhaps we can.” Indeed, perhaps we can with salicylic acid, the plant phytonutrient that’s marketed as aspirin.

How does aspirin affect cancer? The Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to the team who discovered how aspirin works. Enzymes named COX (cyclooxygenase) take the pro-inflammatory, omega-6, fatty-acid arachidonic acid our body makes or we get directly in our diet (primarily from eating chicken and eggs), and turns it into inflammatory mediators, such as thromboxane, which produces thrombosis (clots), and prostaglandins, which cause inflammation. Aspirin suppresses these COX enzymes. Less thromboxane means fewer clots, and less prostaglandin means less pain, swelling, and fever. However, prostaglandins can also dilate the lymphatic vessels inside tumors, allowing cancer cells to spread. So, one way cancer tries to kill us is by boosting COX activity.

We think one way aspirin can prevent cancer is by counteracting the tumor’s attempts to pry open the lymphatic bars on its cage and spread throughout the body. Indeed, reduction in mortality due to some cancers occurred within two to three years after aspirin was started. That seems too quick to be accounted for by an effect only on tumor formation . Cancer can take decades to develop, so the only way aspirin could work that fast is by suppressing the growth and spread of tumors that already exist. Aspirin appeared to cut the risk of metastases in half, particularly for adenocarcinomas, like colon cancer.

Given this, should we all take a daily baby aspirin? Previous risk-benefit analyses did not consider the effects of aspirin on cancer, instead just balancing cardiovascular benefits with bleeding risks, but these new cancer findings may change things.

If daily aspirin use were only associated with a reduction of colon cancer risk, then the benefits might not outweigh the harms for the general population, but we now have evidence that it works against other cancers, too. “[E]ven a 10% reduction in overall cancer incidence…could tip the balance” in favor of benefits over risks.

How does the cancer benefit compare? We know that using aspirin in healthy people just for cardiovascular protection is kind of a wash, but, by contrast, the cancer prevention rates might save twice as many lives, so the benefits may outweigh the risks. If we put it all together—heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and bleeding—aspirin comes out as protective overall, potentially extending our lifespan. There is a higher risk of major bleeding even on low-dose aspirin, but there are fewer heart attacks, clotting strokes, and cancers. So, overall, aspirin may be beneficial.

It’s important to note that the age categories in that study only went up to 74 years, though. Why? Because the “risk of bleeding on aspirin increases steeply with age,” so the balance may be tipped the other way at 75 years and older. But, in younger folks, these data certainly have the research community buzzing. “The emerging evidence on aspirin’s cancer protection highlights an exciting time for cancer prevention…”

“In light of low-dose aspirin’s ability to reduce mortality from both vascular events and cancer to a very notable degree, it is tempting to recommend this measure…for most healthy adults…However, oral aspirin, even in low doses, has a propensity to damage the gastroduodenal mucosa [linings of our stomachs] and increase risk for gastrointestinal bleeding; this fact may constrain health authorities from recommending aspirin use for subjects deemed to be at low cardiovascular risk”—that is, for the general population. “Recent meta-analyses estimate that a year of low-dose aspirin therapy will induce major gastrointestinal bleeding (requiring hospitalization) in one subject out of 833…”

If only there were a way to get the benefits without the risks.

Those who remember my video Aspirin Levels in Plant Foods already know there is. The aspirin phytonutrient salicylic acid isn’t just found in willow trees, but throughout the plant kingdom, from blackberries and white onions to green apples, green beans, and beyond. This explains why the active ingredient in aspirin is found normally in the bloodstream even in people not taking aspirin. The levels of aspirin in people who eat fruits and vegetables are significantly higher than the levels of those who don’t. If we drink just one fruit smoothie, our levels rise within only 90 minutes. But, one smoothie isn’t going to do it, of course. We need to have regular fruit and vegetable consumption every day. Are these kinds of aspirin levels sufficient to suppress the expression of the inflammatory enzyme implicated in cancer growth and spread, though? Using umbilical cord and foreskin cells—where else would researchers get human tissue?—they found that even those low levels caused by smoothie consumption significantly suppressed the expression of this inflammatory enzyme on a genetic level.

Since this aspirin phytonutrient is made by plants, we might expect plant-eaters to have higher levels. Indeed, not only did researchers find higher blood levels in vegetarians, but there was an overlap between people taking aspirin pills. Some vegetarians had the same level in their blood as people actually taking aspirin. Vegetarians may pee out as much of the active metabolite of aspirin as those who take aspirin do, simply because vegetarians eat so many fruits and vegetables. “Because the anti-inflammatory action of aspirin is probably the result of SA [salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin], and the concentrations of SA seen in vegetarians have been shown to inhibit [that inflammatory enzyme] COX-2 in vitro, it is plausible that dietary salicylates may contribute to the beneficial effects of a vegetarian diet, although it seems unlikely that most [omnivores] will achieve sufficient dietary intake of salicylates to have a therapeutic effect.”

Aspirin can chew away at our gut. With all that salicylic acid flowing through their systems, plant-eaters must have higher ulcer rates, right? No. Both vegetarian women and men appear to have a significantly lower risk of ulcers. So, for the general population, by eating plants instead of taking aspirin, we may not only get the benefits without the risks, we can get the benefits with even more benefits. How is this possible? In plants, the salicylic acid can come naturally pre-packaged with gut-protective nutrients.

For example, nitric oxide from dietary nitrates exerts stomach-protective effects by boosting blood flow and protective mucus production in the lining of the stomach—“effects which demonstrably oppose the pro-ulcerative impact of aspirin and other NSAIDs.”

The researcher notes that while “[d]ark green leafy vegetables…are among the richest dietary sources of nitrate…it may be unrealistic to expect people to eat ample servings of these every day,” so we should just give people pills with their pills, but I say we should just eat our greens. People who’ve had a heart attack should follow their physician’s advice, which probably includes taking aspirin every day, but what about everyone else? I think everyone should take aspirin—but in the form of produce, not a pill.


To see the pros versus cons for people trying to prevent or treat heart attacks and stroke, see my video Should We All Take Aspirin to Prevent Heart Disease?.

Does the COX enzyme sound familiar? I talked about it in my Anti-Inflammatory Life Is a Bowl of Cherries video.

Where does one get “dietary nitrates”? See Vegetables Rate by Nitrate and Veg-Table Dietary Nitrate Scoring Method. I also discuss nitrates in Slowing Our Metabolism with Nitrate-Rich Vegetables and Oxygenating Blood with Nitrate-Rich Vegetables.

Do some plant foods have more aspirin than others? Definitely. In fact, some foods have the same amount as a “baby” aspirin. Check out Plants with Aspirin Aspirations.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live presentations:

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


63 responses to “How to Get the Benefits of Aspirin Without the Risks

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  1. I like this series.

    Yes, I will probably still take aspirin on the holidays and time change and if I am doing snow removal, but I hate taking any pills, so I am happy about the plant-food alternatives.

    It would be helpful if you had a way of quantifying it.

    I think that is what makes it hard. I am not sure I will understand what dose of leafy greens I need to accomplish the same thing.

    I also don’t know if, when I take a month off from greens, is that when I should take aspirin. Maybe especially if it is at the holidays, which is when it genuinely is.

    1. Greens don’t work on dosage like drugs, you just eat fruits and vegetables he mentioned more than just greens, you get the recommended servings or more you can’t overdose on fruits and vegetables lol and the body works with the intelligence of the whole plants to give the body what it needs from the nutrition unlike with drugs which is a guessing game in the body with different individuals since it’s a man made chemical and it does not work intelligently with the body, it interferes with it which is why you have these side effects so dosage matters.

      1. ‘you can’t overdose on fruits and vegetables’

        You can if you eat too much spinach or star fruit or too many Brazil nuts Then there are conditions like carotenemia

    2. Why not just take some cumin instead of aspirin? Just a little cumin will have the salicylic acid content of an aspirin and without any of the bleeding risks.

    3. Could good chlorophyl, as a supplement, enhance your consumption of pant food to the end described above? I’m a vegan that includes a daily dose of this. I view chlorophyl as concentrated greens. I agree it should never replace the original form of greens, however. What are your thoughts? Love how your research is progressive. It is such a blessing.

      1. I view chlorophyll as concentrated greens.
        —————————————————-
        Same here. My method is to use chlorophyll drops in my tea.

        Something I’ve noticed is that the chlorophyll has a musty smell as I squirt about 4 droppers into the tea, but once it is mixed with the tea the musty smell goes away. (I also add drops of bergamot and oregano, so maybe that changes the smell when in the tea.)

  2. My cousin just had another rehab almost kill him because they don’t know how to feed Diabetics and don’t know how to adjust the insulin. He is in there because of pneumonia, but when he is home, he never has blood sugar issues.

    He has been to several rehabs now and all of them blew it to the point where he passes out and gets paralyzed and needs to go to the ER – either for high or deadly low blood sugar levels.

    My other friends have said the same thing.

    Rehabs and hospitals don’t know how to feed Diabetics, but they also don’t know how to adjust the medicines.

  3. Hi Dr. Greger,
    Have you ever seen anything documented about reducing pulmonary emboli or other clots from eating plants? I have a clotting disorder undocumented type and have been on Coumadin and Pradaxa at various times. Also just a baby aspirin. All of my clots have been associated with a with a precipitating event. None were random. Right now I’m not taking anything but I am whole food plant-based which I feel is the safest diet for so many things.
    Thank you for all of your evidence based research. It is really appreciated.
    Chris Naylor RN

  4. What about enteric coated aspirin? Does this reduce bleeding risk? My heart doctor has had me on 325mg daily for 8 years. Doesn’t seem to be causing me any distress.

  5. Following a TIA with no lasting effects thankfully (ocular) I have been told by the surgeon who did my carotid artery surgery, the cardiologist, and my GP that I MUST take a baby aspirin daily. I live in fear of stopping it despite following plant based diet.

  6. So, if I understand this right aspirin can either protect you or kill you?… or both at the same time?

    And nitric oxide can help protect you from even aspirin?

    Whew!!! I should be good to go since I take white willow bark (in place of aspirin) and drink beet root juice for nitric oxide (in place of leafy greens.)

    Life is good… and long. ‘-)

    1. Lonie,

      Life is good… whether long or short or in between.

      Life is better without heart attacks and strokes and cancer and Alzheimer’s.

      Yes, the aspirin can protect you, but it can kill you. The chance of being killed is about the same as the chance of dying in a car accident.

      People who eat poorly probably have a much different risk/benefit ratio for it because their heart attack and stroke risk is much, much higher. Though the bleeding risk remains the same.

      1. Okay, people who have higher risks of cancer or higher risks of Alzheimer’s or higher risks of strokes or higher risks of heart attacks or who have higher job stress or couldn’t get their blood pressure down even on WFPB.

        Those groups have different math to do with the issue.

      2. Yes, the aspirin can protect you, but it can kill you. The chance of being killed is about the same as the chance of dying in a car accident.
        ————————————————————-
        Yikes! The odds are that bad? (It seems someone dies or is badly injured in a car or pickup accident daily as reported on the news locally)

        But just add that to my White Willow Bark vegi tabs and bottles of beet juice consumption… that is, I don’t travel that often. ‘-)

  7. I would think that making a tea out of willow would dilute the salicylic acid enough to be easier on the stomach. It’s also a natural WPBF, and the body is more likely to recognize it. Less concentrated. Also, the likely bitter taste would probably evoke more bile and move along our lymph, for another health benefit. If you have some left over, you could use it to put your plant cuttings in it before planting, as it is full of natural rooting compounds.

    1. Aspirin has always been my go to for pain relief. It works.
      ————————————————————–
      Mina, I don’t think this blog is about pain relief… unless you have pain daily. A one-off aspirin for occasional pain shouldn’t be a problem. It appears to be the daily regimen that poses safety risks.

    2. Perhaps I am fortunate but I have never needed pain relievers except many decades ago when I might have had a toothache. While I now get the odd arthritic twinge first thing in the morning, that is occasional and fleeting – perhaps a second or two – and does’t require treatment.

      Consequently, I have always been mystified by the huge sales enjoyed by aspirin and paracetamol in Western societies. Do people in other societies and cultures that do not have ready access to them, suffer as a result?

      Is it normal for people without specified medical conditions that require them, to take pain relievers on a more or less regular basis?

      1. Me too, Mr Fumblefingers!

        I can’t remember the last time I had a toothache or a headache. No painkillers in the house. Such lucky people.

        Until we’re not. I tried a free trial Tai Chi lesson and did something horrible to my knee. The pain!!! Sleepless nights and all. Definitely went out and bought some OTC painkillers the very next day.

        Sooooo thankful for a pain-free life now.

    1. I have an aspirin allergy. It causes me to wheeze. I eat a lot of vegetables but never had a reaction to any of them. Anyone know why?
      ——————————————————————————————
      I think in another blog or video, d r greger pointed out the difference in synthetic aspirin to the natural components of vegetables and white willow bark.

  8. I’m not sure I understand.
    Is the idea to get the same level of salicylic acid from food as we would from a tablet (81mg)?

    If so, I’m not sure how to do that.
    I looked up the content of salicylate in various foods. It seems we would have to eat an enormous quantity of food to achieve 81mg daily.

    For example, broccoli contains 0.65mg per 100 grams of broccoli.
    To achieve 81mg of salicylate, we would have to eat 12 kilograms (about 27 pounds) of broccoli every day (81/0.65≈124 which is 124 servings of 100 grams of broccoli).

    Even foods with higher levels of salicylate requires kilos of food consumption to achieve 81mg of salicylic acid per day.

    What are the reasonable food options that will deliver the target dose of 81mg per day?

    Thanks

      1. I’d even take it in capsule form but 180 grams seems like a lot – I think it’s 42 teaspoons or so.

        After re-reading the article, I think the point is salicylic acid has health benefits beyond those relating to heart disease and that people who eat whole food, plant based diets have higher blood levels of salicylic acid than those who eat an omnivore diet. To achieve the therapeutic blood levels, it may require a tablet.

        It would be interesting to know one’s existing SA blood level (prior to supplementation) and then adjust the daily SA dose accordingly.

    1. I’m not sure I understand.
      Is the idea to get the same level of salicylic acid from food as we would from a tablet (81mg)?

      What are the reasonable food options that will deliver the target dose of 81mg per day?
      ———————————————————————————————————————–
      This is my take on things, but I see no need to match a synthetic pill that may have been produced at 81 mg simply because that was what the pill turned out to be when produced at that size?

      My approach is to take a white willow bark vegi cap, paying no attention to the amount of mgs per pill, knowing that I will also be accumulating other natural *aspirin* from food intake.

      I think the good thing about eating naturally is that we aren’t eating a prescription, allowing our bodies to adjust to whatever the size of the intake may be.

      Forget about trying to maximize everything.

      1. The article starts off with “Daily low-dose aspirin may help prevent certain forms of cancer.”

        I am trying to reconcile this (daily dose) with the proposal of “eating plants instead of taking aspirin.”

        To my knowledge, achieving the “low-dose” equivalent from food requires the consumption of unreasonably large quantities of specific plants.

        The point that those who eat plant based diets have higher SA blood levels is intriguing. I will have to read the source studies to understand the SA blood levels achieved by the low-dose aspirin. Also, it would be interesting to see the difference between the low-dose aspirin eaters’ SA levels and the SA levels of plant eaters.

        1. So, I followed the link within the article and got the answer to my question.
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11429429

          “Vegetarian” blood levels:
          vegetarians median concentrations of 0.11 (range, 0.04-2.47) micromol/litre

          Omnivore blood levels:
          0.07 (range, 0.02-0.20) micromol/litre

          Aspirin eaters:
          The median serum concentration of salicylic acid in patients taking aspirin (75 mg daily) was 10.03 (range, 0.23-25.40) micromol/litre, which was significantly higher than that found in non-vegetarians and vegetarians.

          So, I (a plant eater) would have to increase my SA levels by 91x to get to the levels reported to be of benefit for the prevention of cancers. That is not possible (for me) as I cannot eat that much food in a day. I think I will go with an enteric coated aspirin. After all, the science supports it.

    2. Bioavailability of SA from foods and aspirin may not be the same. Also individuals may differ in their uptake. However, there is evidence that people eating vegetarian diets can achieve the same SA blood levels as people taking a daily low dose aspirin.

      ‘Conclusions—Salicylic acid, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is present in fruits and vegetables and is found in higher concentrations in vegetarians than non-vegetarians. This suggests that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables contributes to the presence of salicylic acid in vivo. There is overlap between the serum concentrations of salicylic acid in vegetarians and patients taking aspirin, 75 mg daily. These findings may explain, in part, the health promoting effects of dietary fruits and vegetables.’
      https://jcp.bmj.com/content/54/7/553.short

      1. It would be interesting to see similar data for people eating exclusively whole plant foods (ie real vegetarians) as opposed to just people who merely do not eat meat.

      2. /The results of our study highlight the presence of SA in blood, probably originating from fruits and vegetables. The presence of SA, especially in vegetarians, was at concentrations that are known to inhibit the transcription of COX 2, a key inflammatory enzyme in various pathologies. SA concentrations also overlapped with those measured in patients taking aspirin, 75 mg daily.’

        https://jcp.bmj.com/content/54/7/553.full

        COX2 is believed to be involved in cancer development and progression.

        1. Even though you mention “overlap”, that some of the non veg had levels higher than the daily users with low blood levels, how do we know if those levels are cardio protective? When studies show that 81mg is protective, it may not be for those who have lower levels of salicylic acid in their blood. What is the blood level required for if to be protective. I know of a lab in the US that tests this and if we know what level in the blood is required then one can improve this by increasing dosage or frequency, and vice versa, lower the dose if higher blood levels are present especially if side effects are noted.

      3. Yes, the evidence is that vegetarians have 1.57x the amount of SA in their blood levels than do non-vegetarians 0.11 (per the link: vegetarians than non-vegetarians: median concentrations of 0.11 (range, 0.04–2.47) μmol/litre and 0.07 (range, 0.02–0.20) μmol/litre, respectively).

        And: “The median serum concentration of salicylic acid in patients taking aspirin (75 mg daily) was 10.03 (range, 0.23–25.40) μmol/litre, which was significantly higher than that found in non-vegetarians and vegetarians.”

        The speculation is that the higher level in vegetarians has a beneficial effect. Perhaps a future study will confirm this.

        1. It appears to be a conclusion based on the fact that vegetarians’ blood SA levels are ‘at concentrations that are known to inhibit the transcription of COX 2, a key inflammatory enzyme in various pathologies’’

          1. ……….. and the fact that vegetarians on average experience lower rates of cancer etc.

            At least in the case of Adventist vegetarians. They tend to adopt vegetarianism for religious reasons. However, as we have seen on this site, many people appear to adopt vegetarianism following a health crisis such as a diagnosis of CVD/T2D/cancer etc and therefore it’s possible that some vegetarian populations may exhibit higher rates than average..

    3. Kit: aspirin is not salicylic acid (sa) but a synthetic compound called acetylsalicylic acid (asa). In the stomach under the influence of hydrochloride acid asa breaks down into sa and acetic acid. The molecular weight of sa is lower than that of asa, so to get the amount of sa you get by taking an 81-mg aspirin tablet you don’t have to get 81 mg of sa from food; it would be less.

  9. Wonderful blog. Btw I’ve read (Pub Med article) that aspirin decreases vitamin C absorption and that that is a primary reason why aspirin irritates the gut lining; vitamin C is required for the body to make the gut lining protective reputedly. So (I’ve read) take at least as much C (in mg) as you do aspirin with every dose of aspirin (I take twice as much C as aspirin actually). I’ve done this for the last 3 years or so since I’ve been taking aspirin 2 to five times a week usually (500mg doses) to attenuate arthritis symptoms and I’ve had no hint of stomach irritation or bleeding. I bet Doc Greger has knowledge of aspirin and C relationship in much greater detail than the Pub Med article.

    1. That is interesting about Vitamin C.

      I suspect we could drink cabbage juice for 10 days every season and maybe take 10 days off the aspirin and heal things?

      Maybe?

      Inspired by this series, tonight I made curried vegetables with garlic, ginger, turmeric, leafy greens, citrus, red curry paste, root vegetables and broccoli.

      Probably a few other things.

      I know I chopped up sweet potatoes and carrots and there were other things.

      I forgot the Roma tomatoes.

      Well, I succeeded at all of the hand prep with America Test Kitchen’s favorite chef knife and put it over rice.

      Lots and lots of peeling and chopping.

      But I succeeded and that is better than years past.

      Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it.

      Happy Hanukkah, too.

        1. Liisa,

          Yes, I did forget the sprinkles of black pepper and I have a grinder set out.

          But every single person who ate it loved it and my sister-in-law asked for the recipe, which, well, there really wasn’t one, because I am not good at following recipes.

          The thing about recipes is that if you leave something out, people say “somethings missing” but if you take 3 recipes and smash them together, the flavor profile is so much bigger that nobody notices.

      1. Let’s not forget Yule.

        After all, Father Christmas, snow, pine trees, feasting and drinking, and gift giving to children are all features that derive from the Yule celebration.

        Father Christmas (now AKA Santa Claus) is really just the Allfather (Odin), also known as the Yule Father at this time of year, given a thin gloss of christian paint by the early church in an effort to sell their new gimcrack religion to the people. The Yule Father traditionally left gifts for children at this time.

        Happy Yuletide everyone.

      2. I bet a lucky family is benefiting from Deb’s interest in nutrition and cooking.  Happy holidays and a great 2020 to you and yours.

  10. So… this happens often in health-related articles I read…. the article was talking about aspirin and colon cancer, and then went on to say “but we now have evidence that it works against other cancers, too.”

    What are those “other cancers?”

    As I mentioned, this happens more often than not in my readings.. the articles never go on to identify what other cancers they’re referring to….

    :-(

    1. If you had clicked on the green word “works” in the sentence “If daily aspirin use were only associated with a reduction of colon cancer risk, then the benefits might not outweigh the harms for the general population, but we now have evidence that it works against other cancers, too. ”

      it would have brought you to the research article (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22473097 ) that states “Recently published secondary analyses of cardiovascular trials provide the first randomized evidence that daily aspirin use may also reduce the incidence of all cancers combined, even at low doses (75-100 mg daily). ”
      now the full article is behind a paywall unfortunately.

  11. I had a mild heart attack 10 years ago. Was on Plavix for 6 months and had easy bruising. Was taken off the Plavix and given OTC enteric coated aspirin 81mg. Had peptic ulcers all the time. Enteric coated ASA can still cause ulcers lower down in the small intestine but to a lesser degree than in the stomach. I was using Gaviscon and DGL to help with the side effects but I couldn’t continue with the daily ASA. I simply have a very sensitive stomach. ASA can affect prostaglandin production locally on the gastric or duodenal mucosa making the cells more vulnerable to stomach acid and lead to mucosal erosion and cause bleeding. On top of that, it interferes with platelet aggregation, an added negative. I became a vegan 4 years ago. I watch my diet and exercise. When I was on ASA, I would get bruising during exercise, for example, petechiae on my feet after jogging. Or if I hit my arms or legs on an object, I would bruise. Cardiologist said try ASA every other day. There is a lab in the US that will measure your blood ASA levels, which I actually used and they told me that taking it every other day provided blood levels known for cardio prevention. But I still had the side effects. I’ve stopped with the aspirin since becoming vegan but I’m afraid to take it. I’m wondering if I take it 2 or 3 times a week and have the blood work to ck for blood levels; maybe my symptoms may also be insignificant. This platelet aggregation is really how ASA helps cardiac patients. I have mild thrombocytopenia which may help a little. Why not include garlic in the diet on top of the naturally found salicylic acid found in food? And better still, avoid foods that increase TMAO byproduct which cause inflammation of endothelial lining of arteries. I really don’t want to go back to using ASA.

        1. That’s the headline description, sure.

          However, we wash our hands to remove ‘germs’ – and salt is antibacterial.

          Washing produce will reduce the risk of infections as well as removing contaminants just as washing our hands does and for the same reasons. It is not 100% effective but few things in life are.

    1. Maltodextrin, I understand and don’t order greens anymore in restaurants. However, I have a CSA from which I fortunately receive local organic greens grown year round. I LOVE my CSA. If you live in the States, look for a local CSA; they can be found via an Internet search. I go to my CSA farm and can see for myself whether my greens are safe or not.

  12. Aspirin has other benefits that has not been mentioned. Many years ago I read in Wall Street Journal that people who have depression (I have PTSD) their blood tends to be stickier. Maybe this is why whenever I donated blood it took me twice to three times as long as anybody else around me to donate blood and leave. After speaking to my internist I went on 81 mg aspirin daily. The next time I donated blood I left at the same time as other people around me!

    1. That is interesting.

      I used to have PTSD and serious depression to the point that I drank antifreeze.

      Now, that is so far away that I can’t remember the last time I really got depressed or sad no matter what happens. It just seems like my blood must have come unstuck.

      Laughing.

      Or I damaged the part of my brain that causes PTSD and depression…
      Or being post-menopausal has its benefits…
      Or God answered my prayers…
      Or I got rid of inflammation somehow…

      Nope, I have no idea what happened, but I thank God every day for it anyway.

      1. “I used to have PTSD and serious depression to the point that I drank antifreeze.”
        – – – – – –

        What happened after that? Were you rushed to the ER or what? A few other times you admitted you were a “cutter.” OMG, Deb….what haven’t you had or done? :-&

        https://www.healthline.com/health/antifreeze-poisoning

        You remind me of my sister when we were little kids. My brother and I were a few years older, and one morning she lead us all over our small town neighborhood(s) to see “some puppies and kitties.” She wouldn’t say how she knew about them, but we believed her.

        After quite a while of tom-foolery, she admitted she was joking. But she sure did get our attention for that amount of time. :-)

  13. Would it be possible to add a feature to directly travel backwards and forwards in the blogs without returning to the list of all blogs? Like how the videos on the site have the ‘Previous Video’ and ‘Next Video’ links at the bottom of every “Doctor’s Now” section?

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