We all know by now that aspirin isn’t just for headaches anymore. Daily aspirin therapy to ward off heart disease has become commonplace in recent years, and though it’s come with its fair share of controversy—prompting many, myself included, to question whether its benefits truly outweigh its risks. There’s little question that an aspirin a day can provide at least some protection for an ailing heart. In fact, according to a new published study, it may offer much more than that.
This recent analysis, conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School as part of the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study, followed 4,164 women who had been diagnosed with stage I, II, or III breast cancer between 1976 and 2002. Results revealed that those women who used aspirin several days weekly cut their risk of both cancer metastasis and cancer-related death in half. What’s more, this positive association was found to be irrespective of hormonal influence, extending to both estrogen receptor positive tumors and those that were not.
This is by all accounts a truly astounding discovery, and it’s no wonder that this news has caused such a stir. What remains unclear, however is the exact reason for such a beneficial effect. While these results support earlier investigations into aspirin’s potential influence on cancer, they are nevertheless purely observational, offering no definitive answer as to the possible mechanism behind this connection.
Researchers do, however, have a theory—and the most important factor here appears to be inflammation.
Aspirin’s effects on inflammation and hyperviscosity (thickness of the blood) are well known. As part of a class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), aspirin thins the blood (preventing it from being sticky and reducing risk of abnormal clotting), while regulating inflammation within the body. As we know, chronic, unchecked inflammation is a precursor to many serious conditions and diseases—it burns slowly and quietly through the body until a real problem erupts. While there can be multiple causes of chronic inflammation (unhealthy diet, excess sugar, chronic stress, hormonal imbalance, toxic overload and allergies, to name a few) the message remains that we must regulate and control inflammation to bring our bodies back into balance.
Aspirin is one way to do this… but I must warn that it is not a cure-all. It is a synthetic drug and can produce negative side effects, such as liver and gastrointestinal damage—and believe it or not, aspirin (along with other NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen) is responsible for thousands of deaths each year. Even the daily baby aspirin that so many patients have been encouraged to take for heart health appears to come with some consequences, as recent research has linked this therapy to increased risk of brain hemorrhage and stroke, despite its many benefits.
Obviously, controlling inflammation is a top priority in helping to treat cancer patients (as this study supports) and in fighting heart disease—but there are other, far healthier options that you can choose.
In my clinic, for example, I regularly use an ancient herbal formula derived from Tibetan Medicine that promotes healthy circulation, reduces inflammatory conditions, and supports the immune system. Most importantly, this novel formula may also block the spread of cancer. A study by Dr. Israel Vlodavsky discovered that this natural preparation is able to block the formation of the enzyme that helps cancer cells stick to blood vessels, thus preventing them from spreading and metastasizing to other organs. More information on this groundbreaking supplement’s unique, clinically supported benefits can be found by downloading my free report on the subject here.
Hyperviscosity and chronic inflammation remain serious threats to our health, and are associated with numerous diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic fatigue. As always, a healthy diet, proper stress management, and regular exercise are keys to achieving health and balance from a holistic perspective. For additional support—without the risks of serious side effects—integrative medicine continues to offer some of the best choices for controlling inflammation and maintaining cardiovascular health.
Source: Aspirin Intake and Survival After Breast Cancer, J. Clin. Oncol. 0: JCO.2009.22.7918v1. DOI:10.1200/JCO.2009.22.7918
Dr. Isaac Eliaz, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine since the early 1980's, is a respected author, lecturer, researcher, product formulator and clinical practitioner.
Since 1991 Dr. Eliaz has maintained a busy private practice in northern California that focuses primarily on integrative, holistic protocols for cancer patients. He leads an integrative medical team at Amitabha Clinic in Sebastopol, California with focus on cancer and other chronic ailments.
To learn more, please visit www.dreliaz.org.
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