Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine Science

Aspirin Helps Prevent Cancer, New Studies Show 132

Posted by timothy
from the more-aspirin-ya-got-the-healthier-ya-are dept.
kkleiner writes "For years, research has shown that aspirin is beneficial in preventing heart attacks. Now new studies support its ability to prevent cancer as well. The studies, involving tens of thousands of participants over many decades, show reductions of cancer incidence (both short- and long-term) and mortality rate as well as a decrease in metastatic cancer. It still is not known exactly how aspirin and cancer are connected, but those between the ages of 45-50 will now likely consider taking low-dose aspirin daily for the remainder of their lives."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Aspirin Helps Prevent Cancer, New Studies Show

Comments Filter:
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Thursday March 22, 2012 @01:54PM (#39442905) Journal

    100-Year Old Wonder Drug Now Shown To Prevent Cancer and Heart Attacks

    Hmmm, that's odd, this "news" story reads like one of those ads trying to sell me something. Is this ancient Chinese secret or midwest housewife research?

    For all the money spent on studies of aspirin, perhaps all the evidence anyone needs of its health benefits is the life of Walter Breuning, who lived to be 114 years old and aspirin was the only medication he ever took.

    Oh, you just need a sample size of one? No need for that expensive tens of thousands double blind study, huh? And all he ever took was aspirin? We should refuse vaccines? And what the hell do you mean by "for all that money spent"? I find it odd that all three of the abstracts linked to in the article end with:

    Funding
    None.

    Wait a second ... *checks URL*

    singularityhub.com

    Oh son of a bitch, it's more misinformation and half truths from Ray Kurzweil's disciples. Now I have to guess which is which.

    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:01PM (#39443003) Homepage Journal

      "perhaps all the evidence anyone needs of its health benefits..."

      Well, my grandmother relied exclusively on anecdotal evidence, and SHE lived to be 103!

      • "perhaps all the evidence anyone needs of its health benefits..."

        Well, my grandmother relied exclusively on anecdotal evidence, and SHE lived to be 103!

        Was she related to Jiminy Cricket [wikipedia.org]?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        OK. That right there is why "Funny" deserves karma.

    • by pigwiggle (882643) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:04PM (#39443031) Homepage

      it's actual, real life, scientific research - published in a well read and respected peer reviewed medical journal. But if it's just the messenger that has you all wee weed up, try PBS
      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june12/aspirin_03-21.html [pbs.org]

      • it's actual, real life, scientific research - published in a well read and respected peer reviewed medical journal.

        I've got no problem with the original research being legit. I have a problem with the original research showing that for this historical data it statistically linked aspirin to reducing the risk of cancer. It didn't show that these people who took aspirin were also more likely to take supplemental vitamins nor did it attempt to show exactly how the aspirin worked its "miracle." Was there a control group? You have to understand that the reason I'm "wee weeing" (whatever the hell that means) singularity hub is that they took totally legit level headed scientific research and they jumped all the way up to this:

        100-Year Old Wonder Drug Now Shown To Prevent Cancer and Heart Attacks

        Now let me ask you, where in the research did it "show" in anyway how this prevents cancer? And the article itself was only worse. It's a statistical study on historical data and from your PBS link, they did it right:

        How Aspirin May Help Prevent Certain Kinds of Cancer

        Do you see the difference here? These singularists or futurists or whatever the hell you want to call them take this, which is like 50% and bump it all the way up to 100% and make it a universal truth. Then they extoll this about how they're living until the end of time and people get caught up in this. It's ridiculous and, yes, I'm going to call this out when I see it. I do call that half-truths and I do call that misinformation. We can be more clear about this and the people PBS interview are.

        That part about the 114 year old man? That wasn't misinformation? The lead in that that was all you need? I was out of line to get annoyed by that?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Ameryll (2390886)
          Obligatory XKCD reference: http://xkcd.com/882/ [xkcd.com]
        • by krotkruton (967718) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @03:34PM (#39443953)
          I agree with you on a lot of points, but this study was more than just another correlation study like those that link high levels of vitamin D in subjects to reduced risks in cancer. This was a meta-analysis, which is meant to eliminate some of that bias by taking many studies (51 if I read correctly) and weighing them based on their merits and processes to look for statistical significance. Sure, it's not a perfectly executed double blind, but it's still an important study and the results shouldn't just be thrown out.
          • There was no significant difference in all cause mortality. So overall, the people who were assigned aspirin are living as long as the people who weren't.
        • is where you implied the research was suspect because of the funding citation - your suspicion apparently confirmed by the outlet carrying the news. If your beef was really with the reporting on the research, then you would have drawn distinctions between the research and the article. But you didn't. You clearly did have a problem with the original research being legit. Until it was pointed out it was, in fact, legit. Now your problem is just the bad reporting. Fine then.

        • by treeves (963993)

          Even "may help" still suggests a causal link, where none has been demonstrated. Such language can confuse a lot of people and can be avoided but it takes some effort that space-saving and lazy journalists and headline writers may not wish to exert.
          See http://www.healthnewsreview.org/2012/03/please-read-our-primer-on-observational-studies/ [healthnewsreview.org]

        • by yarbo (626329)
          'It didn't show that these people who took aspirin were also more likely to take supplemental vitamins nor did it attempt to show exactly how the aspirin worked its "miracle."'
          Supplemental vitamins don't increase life expectancy [guardian.co.uk]
        • by slasho81 (455509)
          Obligatory PhDComics [phdcomics.com].
      • by oldhack (1037484)

        it's actual, real life, scientific research - published in a well read and respected peer reviewed medical journal.

        And that tells volumes on what today's "well read and respected peer reviewed" medical research amount to these days.

        Of course, they'd blame the reporters, but you know the researchers are in on it because they know more publicity means more funding.

      • by dbet (1607261) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @03:09PM (#39443731)
        It's real science, but it's bad science reporting.

        First, the difference reported was small. The largest decrease in risk, in women, was 25%. 3.1 vs 3.9 deaths per 1000 people. That's what 3 years of aspirin is purchasing for you (for men the difference was smaller). This is what people fail to look at whenever it comes to incidence of disease. When something is increased by x% more than y, it's really important what y is.

        Second, are there any negative effects of taking aspirin daily? Maybe? This paper doesn't address this, because it doesn't look for it. So telling the public that daily aspirin is a good idea is short-sighted. It's also medical advice that a single research paper can't really provide.

        Third, I searched around and could only find summaries, so I'm questioning their methodology. But so far I can't find the info I'm looking for. What I'm interested in is the subject selection. Who these people were and where they come from is important. If for example the average age of participants was 70, the advice hold less weight for people who are 20. If all the participants were from the UK, maybe there are factors specific to people from the UK that would invalidate this finding if it were preformed in China.

        I guess what I'm saying is, this one paper shouldn't change anyone's behavior or be considered medical advice.
        • by Tokolosh (1256448) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @03:25PM (#39443879)

          Second, are there any negative effects of taking aspirin daily?

          http://www.maculardegenerationassociation.org/resources/information.aspx?post=deac32fd-9c23-43de-9916-6b67da8a793d [maculardeg...iation.org]

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          Second, are there any negative effects of taking aspirin daily?

          You mean besides increased risk of hemorrhagic strokes and other internal bleeding?

        • I guess what I'm saying is, this one paper shouldn't change anyone's behavior or be considered medical advice.

          Sure, that one article isn't a good reason to change your behavior, but the linked article by the GP is not the same as the studies in the summary. There were three meta-analyses in the article, so it's not just 'one paper' or really even three papers. Maybe you were only referring to the GP's article, but I think the GP's point was to post yet another article in support of the meta-analyses from the summary, which is completely different from saying that you should take that single article as enough evid

        • by rs79 (71822)

          I'd take it a lot more seriously if they'd outlined a nice big cascading set of biochemical events that happened because aspirin was introduced, but they don't and don't have a clue how it works or really if it works at all.

          It seems odd to me because nasis block the cox2 reaction which produces prostoglandins which reduce inflammation which causes cancer. So I'd expect any antagonist of this reaction to increase, not decrease cancer morbidity.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:07PM (#39443065) Homepage Journal

      Hmmm, that's odd, this "news" story reads like one of those ads trying to sell me something. Is this ancient Chinese secret or midwest housewife research?

      Neither, it was on TV news last night. It's a peer-reviewed study with unexpected results. Here are a couple of more reputable sources than the stupid FA that I didn't bother reading:

      Can aspirin really reduce the risk of cancer? [guardian.co.uk]
      Studies Link Daily Doses of Aspirin to Reduced Risk of Cancer [nytimes.com]

      Unfortunately, many folks seem to pick the least reputable rag they can find as a link for their submissions, often their own blogs.

      Aspirin isn't for everyone. Kids under 16 shouldn't take it, especially if they have the flu, and if you have stomach or digestive problems, hemophilia, or a few other conditions aspirin can be dangerous.

      I wonder if Naproxin Sodium prevents cancer? I stopped taking aspirin when the patent on Alieve went away.

      • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:24PM (#39443251) Homepage

        This has been going on for years - low dose aspirin either helps or it doesn't help.

        Here's a couple of take home messages - the canonical study would be to see if low dose aspirin helps you live longer (live 'better' would be a much more useful metric, but pretty much impossible to do). IIRC, the studies that looked at that did not find any benefit from aspirin.

        Second - all of these aspirin / cancer link studies have been pulled from aspirin and heart disease studies - these were secondary effects and the studies neither designed nor powered to ask whether or not aspirin was useful for cancer prevention. When you do this, you are pretty much at the mercy of people who purport to understand statistics much better than the vast majority of folks. Lies, damned lies and .... statistics.

        And finally, when you see reports that a certain drug / treatment / lifestyle does or does not work over a number of various and sundry studies, it means that the value of the treatment / drug / lifestyle isn't all that much. In other words, the effect is just barely over the noise floor.

        Don't worry about it, you're gonna die anyway.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:41PM (#39443417)

          Don't worry about it, you're gonna die anyway.

          The evidence speaks against it. In all the time I lived, I've died exactly zero times. Therefore the experiment "will I die this second" has a huge about of evidence against (typical science experiments are data-starved in comparison!), the number of repetitions being larger than a billion, all with the same result: "No". Therefore I conclude that I'll never die. :-)

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Here's a couple of take home messages - the canonical study would be to see if low dose aspirin helps you live longer (live 'better' would be a much more useful metric, but pretty much impossible to do).

          No one with arthritis needs a scientific study to know that aspirin does indeed help the quality of life. All analgesics do, that is if they work on you (Tylenol has no effect on me at all, except perhaps liver damage). Likewise, you don't need a scientific study to know that if you go outside in the rain y

          • No, my point is that using aspirin to keep you from getting cancer does need a suitably powered high quality study (as opposed to using data generated from another study) because it's not clear if it helps.

            Taking aspirin for arthritis is pretty easy - you take it, you're better or you're not in a couple of days on the outside. You can tell if it's going to trash your GI tract in a couple of weeks. So with n=1, you're study is pretty good. Put a couple of thousand people in the study and you can find som

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              using aspirin to keep you from getting cancer does need a suitably powered high quality study

              I agree, it does need more study.

              You can tell if it's going to trash your GI tract in a couple of weeks.

              Not so. I had a friend a few years ago who got a hole in her intestine [slashdot.org] from daily high doses of Naproxin, which has the same effect (good and bad) as aspirin. Ironically, she'd been taking the Naproxin for stomach pain.

      • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:33PM (#39443339) Homepage
        Naproxen Sodium is not to be taken daily for a long term or it can cause kidney problems. I know someone who found this out the hard way after taking it daily for over a year. Maybe she should have read the warning about consulting a doctor about long term use and the directions to stop taking it after two weeks.
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Naproxen Sodium is not to be taken daily for a long term or it can cause kidney problems.

          Thank you, I didn't know that. Glad I don't hurt every day.

      • by oldhack (1037484)
        Death prevents cancer. Try that, but it's only a suggestion, not a recommendation.
    • by hrvatska (790627) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:20PM (#39443219)

      100-Year Old Wonder Drug Now Shown To Prevent Cancer and Heart Attacks

      Hmmm, that's odd, this "news" story reads like one of those ads trying to sell me something. Is this ancient Chinese secret or midwest housewife research?

      Maybe you like it straight from 'The Lancet': Short-term effects of daily aspirin on cancer incidence, mortality, and non-vascular death: analysis of the time course of risks and benefits in 51 randomised controlled trials [thelancet.com], Effect of daily aspirin on risk of cancer metastasis: a study of incident cancers during randomised controlled trials [thelancet.com], and Long-term effect of aspirin on colorectal cancer incidence and mortality: 20-year follow-up of five randomised trials [thelancet.com].

      The NY Times [nytimes.com] also reported on these studies. Some of the findings of these studies found were that after five years the risk of dying of cancer was reduced by 37 percent among those taking daily aspirin, that over six and a half years, on average, daily aspirin use reduced the risk of metastatic cancer by 36 percent and the risk of adenocarcinomas by 46 percent, daily aspirin use reduced the risk of progressing to metastatic disease in patients with colorectal cancer.

      It was found that the risk of bleeding in aspirin users diminished over time, and that the risk of death from brain bleeds was actually lower in the aspirin users than in the comparison group.

      • by swalve (1980968)
        Probably because the anti-inflammatory effects of aspirin prevented the conditions that caused brain bleeds in the first place.
  • by wcrowe (94389) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @01:56PM (#39442925)

    It's also a good contraceptive, according to Rush Limbaugh.

    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @01:58PM (#39442957) Homepage Journal

      I'd like to establish a control set for Rush's experiment. I beleive that it is actually his "personality" which is the mechanism preventing fertilization.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Amusing barb, but completely wrong. Foster Friess [wikipedia.org] was the person who said that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by sorak (246725)

      AC is right. Foster Friess said it's a good contraceptive. Rush said that anyone who uses contraceptive is a slut. So the summary must be suggesting that anyone over the age of 45 become a slut, for health purposes.

      • Nice try, liar. What Rush said was (approximately) that anyone spending $1000 a year on contraceptives was a slut. Sounds like a pretty good estimate to me.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Nice try, liar. What Rush said was (approximately) that anyone spending $1000 a year on contraceptives was a slut. Sounds like a pretty good estimate to me.

          I think anyone making generalizations about other people's sex habits is an asshole. Sounds like a pretty clear proper use of the word to me.

        • by sorak (246725)

          Actually, she was testifying about someone who needed contraceptives for non-contraceptive purposes. Also, you do realize that the amount of contraceptive a woman needs is in no way related to how much sex she has, right?

    • It's also a good contraceptive, according to Rush Limbaugh.

      Especially if she holds it between her knees.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @01:58PM (#39442953)

    I'd rather avoid aspirin and other NSAIDs (like tylenol/acetaminophen).

    • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:02PM (#39443005) Journal

      I'd rather avoid aspirin and other NSAIDs (like tylenol/acetaminophen).

      But then again...

      A 2009 article published by the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggested that aspirin might prevent liver damage.

      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspirin#Experimental [wikipedia.org]

    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:08PM (#39443075) Homepage Journal

      I'd rather avoid aspirin and other NSAIDs (like tylenol/acetaminophen).

      Acetaminophen's not an NSAID, since it has hardly any anti-inflammatory effect at all. Still something that should IMO be avoided -- aspirin's actually a lot healthier and safer for most people -- but it's important to know what class of drugs you're actually dealing with.

      • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:38PM (#39443379)

        Acetaminophen's not an NSAID,

        Furthermore, as far as I know, it's only Acetaminophen (Tylenol) that has been shown to potentially cause liver failure using regular 2 x 325mg doses, and only when taken with alcohol over a period of a few days. The articles I've read about liver failure from NSAIDs have been from using high(er) doses of Ibuprofen or Naproxen - both of which are stronger than Aspirin - continuously over a long period of time, like for arthritis pain control. But, IANAMD.

        • Yes, it's almost scary. More info in the Wikipedia article Paracetamol toxicity [wikipedia.org] (paracetamol = acetaminophen):

          Mainly causing liver injury, paracetamol toxicity is one of the most common causes of poisoning worldwide. In the United States and the United Kingdom it is the most common cause of acute liver failure.

      • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:42PM (#39443431) Journal

        Aspirin is not harmless either. About 10,000 Americans a year suffer gastric bleeding due to aspirin. There is absolutely a tradeoff to be made here. Don't go on aspirin therapy without fully considering the risks.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday March 22, 2012 @04:11PM (#39444345) Homepage Journal

      First, tylenol isn't an NSAID. Second, wikipedia says that aspirin only affects the liver of 20% of children who take it in high doses. If aspirin destroyed your liver mine would have been gone in 1971 when I took huge doses daily for arthritis; it was the only effective drug (for me) back then. I'm amazed I never got a stomach ulcer.

      Acetaminophen, otoh, has a bad effect on the liver even in lower doses, and in everyone regardless of age.

      There are far better reasons to avoid aspirin; it isn't for everyone. But liver damage from low doses isn't one of the risks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:06PM (#39443053)

    Observational studies are almost always behind these news reports. Please ignore them. They don't prove causation. Here's some detailed analysis from the latest "red meat causes x" articles to get an idea why they're so unreliable:

    http://garytaubes.com/2012/03/science-pseudoscience-nutritional-epidemiology-and-meat/ [garytaubes.com]
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/will-eating-red-meat-kill-you [marksdailyapple.com]
    http://waroninsulin.com/nutrition/is-red-meat-killing-us [waroninsulin.com]

    • by jcaldwel (935913)
      I thought the exact same thing. I'm usually pretty skeptical of any "wonder drug" claims, so I tried "following the money" to see if it was funded by Bayer or something similar, and I noticed the abstract said:

      Funding: None [thelancet.com]

      This surely means that this study probably consisted of data mining, and that's about it. That's enough to establish correlation, but correlation != causation.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Yes, because it's perfectly possible that getting cancer in the future causes you not to take Aspirin today.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        It could possibly be that what causes you to take the aspirin (pain, fever, heart disease) prevents cancer, and taking aspirin is just a side effect of the cause of the reduced cancer risk, and not the cause itself.

        However, it's probably likely that it's the aspirin itself. But you would need more study to be sure.

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          Yes, it could be a third factor, but as you say, probably not. Either way, it's something interesting. Observational studies are useful because they let us look at things that are very difficult or impossible to do any other way and they give us interesting correlations to examine further, and frequently very probable causal relationships.

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Here is my problem with these kinds of studies. Did they enroll thousands of people for many years specifically to test whether aspirin prevents cancer? I doubt it. They probably were testing for prevention of heart disease and found additionally that it reduces cancer.

        So, what's wrong with that, you ask. Xkcd as usual sums it up [xkcd.com].

        Well, how likely is it that the conclusion is right? The scientists will no doubt show that it is 99% likely that they are right based on confidence limits and all that. Howe

    • by samazon (2601193)
      But red meat IS KILLING US. *cough* I remember the days when I argued with people about the lethality of smoking, and won several (formal) arguments about correlation vs. causation re: lung cancer and smoking (essentially, at the time, there was no scientific proof of causation). I am one who enjoys arguing about things for the sake of proving a point (which is that she who has the best evidence, wins, regardless of common knowledge/social mores) - but this is ridiculous. I'm sick of people telling one
  • Did the study explain why daily low dose aspirin is far more expensive than a full dose? The homeopathic preparation must cost a fortune.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      All it takes is a kitchen knife, simply quarter the full dose with it and you have a dose that costs 1/4 of the high dose.

  • The Daily Mail Helps Prevent Cancer, New Studies Show

    "For years, research has shown that the Daily Mail is beneficial in preventing heart attacks. Now new studies support its ability to prevent cancer as well [heroku.com]. The studies, involving dozens of unaware readers over many decades, show reductions of cancer incidence (both short- and long-term) and mortality rate as well as a decrease in metastatic cancer. It still is not known exactly how the Daily Mail and cancer are connected, but those between the ages of 55-60 will now likely consider taking low-dose Daily Mail daily for the remainder of their lives, perhaps just the Sport section."

  • I'm for it. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Cazekiel (1417893) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:24PM (#39443243)

    I was thinking of quitting smoking. Now I'll just take an aspirin with every cig. Problem solved!

    • Re:I'm for it. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @03:06PM (#39443689)

      I was thinking of quitting smoking. Now I'll just take an aspirin with every cig. Problem solved!

      If you take the aspirin tablet and use it to plug the filter end of your cigarette, it might actually lower your risk of lung cancer.

      Your risk of choking, on the other hand...

      • by Cazekiel (1417893)

        Maybe I can cram a multivitamin in there too. Goodbye cancer-risk, hello smoky nutrition! A day's worth of vitamin C, and as much calcium as a glass of milk! Yes, this plan is infallible.

  • by Invisible Now (525401) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:25PM (#39443261)
    The mechanism, at least for colon cancer is known. Aspirin is COX 2 inhibitor. Colon and other cancers have COX 2 receptors on their cell walls. See details at: http://modernrecovery.com/news/7-latest/11-aspirin-reduces-colon-cancer.html [modernrecovery.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My GI and Cancer doc has me on a low dose of Aspirin (81mg) to try and prevent me from getting Colon Cancer.

      I just started the process this year so I do not know if it is going to help in the long run or not, but we will see.

      I am rated as an extreme high risk for Colon cancer and have been getting colonoscopies since age 30 to watch for and clear out polyps that could become cancerous if not dealt with.

  • Inflammation (Score:4, Informative)

    by koan (80826) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:26PM (#39443269)

    There are doctors that are going as far as to state that most ailments (heart disease, cancer, arthritis, etc) are cause to some degree by chronic inflammation:
    GIFY
    https://encrypted.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=inflammation+and+disease&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 [google.com]

    Aspirin reduces inflammation and so helps in all things inflammation related.

    You should check out diet related inflammation as some (if not most) of us have poor dietary habits OR eat to much.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflammation [wikipedia.org]

    • You should check out diet related inflammation as some (if not most) of us have poor dietary habits OR eat to much.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflammation [wikipedia.org]

      I'm sure you'll pardon me if I don't take a crowd-sourced document as gospel when it comes to health advice.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I'm sure you'll pardon me if I don't take a crowd-sourced document as gospel when it comes to health advice.

        There's this nifty section at the end of the page that points to a whole metric fuckload of non-crowdsourced documents that went into creating the crowd-sourced version. Feel free to peruse at your leisure.

  • Aspirin is already converted to salicylic acid (I think), so you may be better off (study this) with the natural precursor 'Willow Bark', that way the liver converts the substance to salicylic acid and doesn't take a pounding from aspirin. Don't know if it works (obviously), but if I wanted to take aspirin daily, I'd take it that way instead, since it may be kinder and gentler on your system. You can die from other things besides cancer and heart disease...like a failed liver or thin blood.
    • by omnichad (1198475)

      Wait, so your liver has to convert to salicylic acid AND dispose of it later? That sounds like doubling the load on the liver to me.

      • by doston (2372830)
        Liver probably does the conversion at its leisure, instead of having the salicylic acid dosed into the blood stream all at once, but I'm just guessing. It's something you'd probably want to research, if you plan to take a dose of aspirin every day. Can't imagine there isn't a downside to either, but natural remedies tend to have less side effects and this one is so obvious (aspirin was isolated from willow bark), that it would be tough for me to ignore. I don't plan to take a daily dose of either.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          1. Dose control. Actual medicines are dose controlled. When you take 300mg of aspirin that's what you get. Willow bark? The Willow tree doesn't care how much of this drug is present in each flake of bark, why should it? So your dose is uncontrolled. Maybe you get 25mg today and 500mg tomorrow. Is that too much? Who knows.

          2. Purity. The drug manufacturer takes care to ensure your Aspirin just has Aspirin in it. Not lead leached from an old mine, not some undetermined lichen, not anything else that might be i

    • by mutube (981006) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @04:45PM (#39444695) Homepage

      Aspirin is already converted to salicylic acid (I think), so you may be better off (study this) with the natural precursor 'Willow Bark'.

      You've got this exactly backwards (unfortunately this was also about the only time you were 'exact' in your entire post).

      If I wanted to take aspirin daily, I'd take it that way instead, since it may be kinder and gentler on your system.

      So you essentially have no idea. But it being natural feels all warm and fuzzy so you will do that instead of basing your decisions off nasty pointy facts.

      You can die from other things besides cancer and heart disease...like a failed liver or thin blood.

      Or self-medicating with incorrectly dosed quanties of active drugs derived from an poorly regulated source.

      • by doston (2372830)
        I'm happy to read any sources you might have.
        • by mutube (981006)

          I'm happy to read any sources you might have.

          Sources for what?

          Aspirin metabolism is outlined here [rxmed.com], with a bit more here [nih.gov]. Salicylic acid is derived from willow bark (the name Salix from Latin for willow) and is the active form of the drug, resulting predominantly from first pass metabolism in the liver - although some also occurs in the intestine.

          Or, did you want a reference for my criticism of your wooly thinking? My only source for that was your post, which I referenced and quoted. For all I know you could

  • Don't use that devil Asprin... Millions of lives have been ruined by junkies trying to "numb themselves out" with that devil Asprin. Dealers have these junkies hooked. Asprin is NOT COOL. Just say NO!
  • I'm 33 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DanZ23 (901353) <dzmijewski@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:43PM (#39443433)

    And I already believe in the benefits of taking an aspirin a day right now. To me there's just too much correlative evidence to conclude otherwise.

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:43PM (#39443437)
    Seems like a lot of maladies have a root cause of inflammation.
    • by sackbut (1922510)
      Inflammation is an immunological reaction by the body to a perceived insult. The immune system protects the other cells from bacteria, viruses, etc but can be damaging to normal uninvolved areas. The insult can be physical (ie: radiation), chemical (ie: acid) or even the inflammatory cascade switched on due to a malfunction of the switching mechanism (autoimmune). Although inflammation is not the direct 'cause' of a disease (except perhaps in autoimmune disease) it is often the 'cause' of the tissue inju
  • I initially read that as "Aspirin Helps Prevent Career"
    and became jittery as I imagined an insidious Apple or Microsoft plot to limit my potential for advancement by foisting their products on us had been uncovered.
  • I wonder what the results are with subjects whose primary use of aspirin is to treat hangovers?

    I mean, not me necessarily... just good to know, y'know?

    No, really.

  • ... a daily high (*) dose of arsenic has also been shown to prevent cancer and clogged arteries.

    (*) lethal

  • There was a study just last year that stated the same thing about benadryl (Diphenhydramine), but that study went out on a limb and stated that by reducing the swelling the immune system was able to get into the affected area and remove the cancer. By that theory, anything that reduces swelling should reduce the chance of cancer, so why should asprin be any different?
  • So much for blood donations.
  • Thankfully there are no disclosure requirements for medical research, so we don't have to worry about who funded these studies.

  • Aspirin is probably antagonistic of certain bacteria in the gut that produce waste products that promote cancer or it could promote good gut bacteria that eat aspirin and turn it into waste products that are good for you. To demonstrate that aspirin in and of itself in the blood stream is preventative of cancer you would have to do studies where it is administered intravenously.

    I can't wait until we can actually decode DNA like a computer program and run simulations. Not just our DNA but the DNA of microb

  • by funkboy (71672)

    Seriously, what the fark is this doing on ./ ?

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

Working...