Green Med Info

Once marketed by Bayer as “The wonder drug that works wonders,” aspirin’s profound toxicity and potentially deadly side effects can no longer be hidden from the public. 

New cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines submitted jointly by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Associated and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology contradict decades of routine medical advice by explicitly advising against the daily use of low-dose or baby aspirin (75-100 mg) as a preventive health strategy against stroke or heart attack, in most cases:

“Aspirin should be used infrequently in the routine primary prevention of ASCVD (atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk) because of lack of net benefit.”

These changes in guidelines follow closely on the heels of three studies on daily aspirin use published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found the practice causes more harm than good to patients.

If you have been following our work over the years on revealing the unintended, adverse effects of both over-the-counter and prescription synthetic painkillers, you may already know that there have been over 50 adverse effects linked to aspirin usage, including deadly bleeding events.

The public’s general perception that aspirin is safe and effective is likely based on a widely held misunderstanding about its origin. Despite common misconceptions, aspirin is produced through chemical synthesis and is not the natural compound found in plants like willow bark known as salicylic acid; rather, it is known as acetyl-salicyclic acid which is not found in nature.

The GreenMedInfo Aspirin Toxicity Database

In a previous article titledThe Evidence Against Aspirin And For Natural Alternatives, we explore the implications of its semi-synthetic properties in depth:

“The chemical acetyl-salicylic acid, commonly known as aspirin, is a synthetic form of salicylic acid, a compound which is formed when salicin, a bitter compound naturally found within plants like white willow bark, is broken down within the human body. Salicylic acid can also be synthesized endogenously from benzoic acid, and its urinary metabolite, salicyluric acid, has been found to overlap levels in patients on low-dose aspirin regimens. Cell research indicates that salicylic acid compounds (known as salicyclates) actually compare surprisingly well to aspirin in reducing inflammatory activity.[2]

While salicylic acid is found naturally in plants as salicylates, acetyl-salicylic acid does not exist in nature, is not formed as byproduct of natural salicylate consumption,[3] and is produced only through industrial synthesis. For example, this is one method of synthesis:  

Acetylsalicylic acid is prepared by reacting acetic anhydride with salicylic acid at a temperature of <90 deg C either in a solvent (e.g., acetic acid or aromatic, acyclic, or chlorinated hydrocarbons) or by the addition of catalysts such as acids or tertiary amines.”[4]

Also, the chemical modification of natural salicylic acid with an acetyl group results in the acetylation of hemoglobin,[5] essentially chemically altering the natural structure-function of our red blood cells and subsequent hemodynamics. In essence, aspirin, a semi-synthetic compound, makes the blood tissue itself semi-synthetic.

This could be why aspirin has been linked to such a broad range of unintended adverse health effects, including but not limited to:

We have a section on our database dedicated to indexing the under-reported, unintended adverse effects of aspirin, related to 50 diseases which can be viewed here: Aspirin Side Effects. We also have a section which indexes research on natural compounds studied to prevent, reduce or reverse Aspirin-Induced Toxicity.”

Are There Evidence-Based, Natural Aspirin Alternatives?

The quick answer is yes. We have reported on several, including turmeric, and one clinically validated natural alternative extracted from pine bark known as pycnogenol. Learn more by reading The Aspirin Alternative Your Doctor Never Told You About.

The more elaborate answer to the question is that heart disease and stroke are not caused by a lack of blood thinning agents, and therefore those looking for aspirin alternatives should be mindful of how this is essentially a superficial approach to mitigating disease risk. The point should be looking at the root causes of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, and addressing and even reversing the conditions before they lead to potentially lethal changes in your physiology. We suggest further exploration of basic principles of nutrition (such as food as information), including looking at the role that the Western dietcalcium supplementssunlight deficiency, and even statin drugs have in promoting heart disease. At least half the focus in preventing heart disease is simply removing their nutrition and lifestyle-based causes.