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Daily Aspirin — Healthy or Harmful?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

daily aspirin

Story at-a-glance -

  • Prophylactic aspirin use in adults over the age of 70 is potentially harmful, primarily due to the increased risk of bleeding in this age group. Long-term low-dose aspirin therapy nearly doubles your risk for gastrointestinal bleeding
  • In adults younger than 40, there is insufficient evidence to judge the risk-benefit ratio of routine aspirin for the primary prevention of heart disease
  • While daily aspirin is still recommended for people with heart disease to lower the risk of another heart attack or stroke, previous studies have cast doubt on the effectiveness of this approach as well
  • You may be able to achieve the same kind of cardiovascular protection by donating blood. The bleeding caused by aspirin may be part of why it lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke, as bleeding will lower your iron level. People taking seven aspirins per week have been shown to have 25% lower mean serum ferritin than nonusers
  • Other aspirin alternatives include nattokinase and lumbrokinase, both of which are potent thrombolytics, comparable to aspirin without the serious side effects. They break down blood clots and reduce the risk of serious clotting by dissolving excess fibrin, improving circulation and decreasing blood viscosity

In decades past, a daily low-dose aspirin regimen was frequently recommended as a primary prevention strategy against heart disease. However, the evidence in support of it was rather weak, and kept getting weaker as time went on.

I stopped recommending daily "baby aspirin" use for the prevention of heart disease over two decades ago, due to the growing evidence of harmful side effects.


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