A daily low dose of aspirin has long been thought of as a harmless way to reduce the risk of heart attack. Health professionals have recommended 300 milligrams or less to people with a particularly high risk for heart attack, determined by factors like personal or family health history, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Brand name aspirin producers have capitalized on this reputation with an endless barrage of commercials highlighting the virtues of their supposed wonder drug.
All the while, research has shown that aspirin may not be the miracle drug it’s made out to be. For one, it’s a much stronger and more complex drug than the public perceives, and the benefits may be outweighed by some dangerous risks.
One condition associated with the use of aspirin is internal bleeding. Bleeding caused by aspirin may be gastrointestinal, often in the stomach. More serious, however, is cerebral bleeding, or in other words, a brain hemorrhage. This type of bleeding, along with ulcer formation, might be caused by the blood-thinning properties of aspirin.
Potential negative side effects of aspirin don’t end there. There have been plenty of reports of kidney and liver problems. Age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, has also been correlated with aspirin use.
It’s not that aspirin has no positive effects at all, or that it shouldn’t be used for other conditions. But in many cases, the risks of taking a low dose of aspirin may outweigh the benefits. Many experts only recommend aspirin for those with an especially high heart attack risk. Others recommend avoiding aspirin entirely.
Fortunately, there are other options for heart attack prevention. Arginine creates nitrous oxide in the body, a compound that prevents blood clotting. Unlike aspirin, however, nitrous oxide only works when needed, and doesn’t thin the blood to potentially dangerous levels. The anti-oxidant properties of Arginine promote long-term health and help to protect the body against heart attack and stroke.
Of course, risk factors should be evaluated case by case. If you’re concerned about your daily aspirin regimen, and whether the benefits truly outweigh the risks, it’s important to discuss the issue with your doctor.
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