In a Google search for low dose aspirin “cautions”, the first thing that pops up is St. Joseph’s Aspirin. It read “Put a little love in your heart”, really? Is Aspirin love for your heart? Advertising can be so deceptive. The medical industries first line of defense with beginning heart issues is to put you on lose dose aspirin. Do you do exactly everything your Dr. says, or do you “honor your body” and check everything out first? In these days of information highway (internet) access, all the research you can do is right there to make qualified educated decisions about your body. You don’t have to be a victim of the medical industry.
The reason I even bring this up is because people come to me with Gut issues and when we run a stool lab we find blood in their stool. And in a Blood draw, “TIBC (Total Iron Binding Capacity)” is out of range showing microscopic bleeding. Then with a medical history I find that they have been put on low dose aspirin for “Prevention” by their cardiologist or primary care physician. So how preventative is it when it is causing microscopic bleeding, in the body and in the Gut? This then leads to anemia. Is that really preventative? No it is not! If a primary care would always run TIBC in their blood chemistries they would catch this but they don’t always run it. They use hemoglobin most of the time to determine your iron levels rarely looking at TIBC they miss the fact that you are having this internal bleeding problem.
A recent study printed in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA), June 28th 2019 called “A practical approach to Low-Dose Aspirin for primary prevention”. It starts out saying; “ Aspirin as numerous biological effects, including anti-inflammatory properties and reduced platelet activation.” The main purpose for a Dr. prescribing low-dose aspirin is to keep your blood from clotting, throwing a clot and having a stroke is important to prevent. It is important to understand that if you have a tendency to create clots, you should do something to prevent it. But this study posted in JAMA says that 3 older clinical trials published in 2018 suggested that there was at most modest reductions in cardiovascular outcomes of magnitude and comparing it with the risk of clinically significant bleeding. They talk about the fact that these studies fueled continuing controversy. They continued to caution to abandon the use of aspirin for primary prevention. They also mention that recent American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology prevention guidelines suggest that “aspirin” should be used infrequently.
The American Heart Association also posted a study, “Population Trends in Aspirin Use for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention 1980–2009: The Minnesota Heart Survey” and they concluded that “aspirin use was highest in those aged 65 to 74 years. For secondary prevention, age-adjusted aspirin use increased from 19% to 74% among men and 11% to 64% among women. Aspirin for CVD prevention is commonly used by a large and growing portion of the general population”. So if the American Heart association suggests using aspirin infrequently, why are so many people on aspirin?
So what do you do if you have an issue with potential blood clotting or borderline propensity for cardiovascular events like myocardial infarction or stroke? How about taking something that also helps to support your body not tear it down. There are natural vitamins, minerals and herbs that can keep you safe without the harmful side effects of causing you to have excessive bleeding.
So what do you do if your Dr. prescribes aspirin for prevention of CVD events? Do you just take the aspirin hoping you don’t slowly bleed to death in the interim? No that is not my recommendation. Here is a list of natural support to help thin your blood and support your body instead of tearing it down;
Fish Oil: One study in 56 people found that supplementing with 640 mg of fish oil per day over a four-week period decreased blood clotting in healthy adults. (PubMed, Semin, Thromb Hemost 2013 Feb;39(1):25-32. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1333309. Epub 2013 Jan 17.)
Glucosamine: One Study found Glucosamine could be expected as a novel anti-platelet agent for thrombotic disorders due to its suppressive actions on platelets. (Hua, J., et al. Glucosamine, a naturally occurring amino monosaccharide, suppresses the ADP-mediated platelet activation in humans. Inflamm Res. 53(12):680-688, 2004)
Lycopene: One Study concluded health-promoting roles of lycopene could be associated with its anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant activities. (Yaping, Z., et al. Anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant activities of lycopene in mice. Nutrition Research. 23(11):1591-1595, 2003)
Magnesium: In this study, magnesium sulphate dose-dependently (0.6-3.0 mmol/l) inhibited platelet aggregation in human platelets. (Sheu, J. R., et al. Mechanisms involved in the antiplatelet activity of magnesium in human platelets. Br J Haematol. 119(4):1033-1041, 2002)
Vitamin B3, Extended release Niacin: Nicotinic acid was found to lower fibrinogen levels. (Fibrinogen is a clotting factor) (Guyton, J. R., et al. Extended-release niacin vs Gemfibrozil for the treatment of low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol. Arch Intern Med. 160:1177-1184, 2000)
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B-6 inhibits platelet aggregation. (Chang, S. J., et al. Occupancy of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa by B-6 vitamins inhibits human platelet aggregation. Journal of Nutrition. 132(12):3603-3606, 2002)
Vitamin C: Vitamin C administration increased fibrinolytic activity by 62.5%, while serum ascorbic acid rose by 94%. (Bordia, A. K. The effect of vitamin C on blood lipids, fibrinolytic activity and platelet adhesiveness in patients with coronary artery disease. Atherosclerosis. 35(2):181-187, 1980)
Vitamin E: Vitamin E inhibited platelet aggregation. (Kim, J. E., et al. Vitamin E inhibition on platelet pro-coagulant activity: involvement of aminophospholipid translocase activity. Thromb Res. 2011)
Now with this life supporting list, if your Dr. told you to take aspirin, is it OK to just take these supplements thinking your are going to be safe? No. To find your level of blood thinning it requires a blood test of Prothrombin time and INR. You must monitor it to find your levels and make sure they are maintained if you want prevention for cardiovascular events. I can run these for you no matter where you are located. It is also important that you don’t just take over the counter fish oils because many of the gel caps and oils are made from toxic sources. You must use pharmaceutical grade, regulated supplements for the highest and purest support you can find.
Another option you have, if you are local in Colorado, is to come in to have Live Blood Cell analysis. With a drop of blood and a specialized microscope we can see if you have excessive fibrin activity that could be a cause for concern. See services on my website for a description of Live Blood Analysis.
I will always continue to encourage people to research and make educated decisions about the recommendations coming from their primary care physicians. Pharmaceuticals are not always the best answer.