Aspirin Is Continuing To Reinvent Itself As A Preventative Therapy. Unfortunately, You May Need The Right Genes For It To Work Its Chemical Magic.

sperm-winner-he-thats-penetrates-the egg-lives-another-generation

A race to the finish line, as 5 million sperm rush to be the first to penetrate the egg. Many will try to surface dive into that hard protective coat of the egg. Only one will usually be successful in making a union that will help to determine the genes of the fetus. That genetic material, a roll of the DNA dice, are what allows aspirin to work or not work to prevent heart disease.

A new study publish on 7/15/13 in the Journal of American College of Cardiology came up with the reason that aspirin doesn’t seem to work for some patients in the prevention of heart attack and stroke. Genetic influences rule on whether aspirin is allowed to have a beneficial effect or not. In certain circumstances, because of  DNA effects, the drug dose may be too low. In other cases, it won’t work no matter what the dose. Effects of hereditary forces push-off any positive effects of aspirin. In this case, another drug must be used in its place for the preventative effect. Research is underway to come with a genetic test to determine whether or not aspirin will work with a specific individuals DNA makeup.

original-aspirin-advertisement-from-german-drug-company-bayer

Aspirin was invented by the Bayer in the 1890’s , by a German pharmaceutical company. The chemical name is interestingly called acetylsalicylic acid. That’s because salicylic acid has been in use since 450 BC for fever, headache and pain.

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Hippocrates, the father of medicine, wrote about this chemical for the treatment of disease. Greek medicine men would use the bark of the willow tree which contained salicylic acid to make teas and dry powders for sick patients. Bayer’s claim to fame was adding the acetyl group to salicylic acid. It made it a much stronger medication.  The downside of the addition was an increased risk for stomach upset especially in higher doses. Aspirin with chronic use slowly breaks down the protective layer of the stomach. This leads to blood loss which may result in anemia and stomach/intestinal erosion which leads to ulcers.

How does aspirin or any medication for pain know to go to the area of pain? It doesn’t have any idea where the pain is actually coming from whether it be an ankle, toe, back, etc. Pain medication floods your entire system going into every cell throughout the body. The cells that have the pain are producing a chemical that aspirin will block for a period of time. After that pain-free time is over, which is called the duration of the drug’s effects, then the medication must be re-dosed. In the case of aspirin, the inflammation is usually relieved for about 4-6 hours per dose.

If aspirin were invented today, it would be a prescription drug. It is a powerful, relatively safe and an inexpensive medication. Aspirin is part of a group of medications called the NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). This means the medication is not a steroidal like prednisone or cortisone and thus doesn’t have the harmful effects of steroids.  It neutralizes inflammation by blocking the production of inflammation producing chemicals called prostaglandins. NSAIDs are also non-addicting substances. NSAIDs includes ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) and aspirin. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is not an NSAID.

After aspirin’s popularity waned with the introduction of its competitors, intense research in the 80’s and 90’s showed this original Bayer product had positive cardiovascular effects. Studies indicated that aspirin lowered the risk of clotting, which could prevent both heart attacks and strokes. Patients utilize the children’s dose of 81 mg to prevent both primary heart attacks and additional attacks to the heart. This may not high enough for some patients due to genetic susceptibility.

This whole protection process is done with the use of those acetyl groups. When you take an aspirin, it gets absorbed into the body and hands over all of its acetyl groups to the platelets. If the platelets are acetylated, they cannot clump together and form a clot. Aspirin prevents clotting by altering the platelets which drastically lowers risks of heart attack and stroke.

The newest information about aspirin’s safety shield is how it protects from colon cancer. Research published in The Lancet in the Nov. 2010 issue followed over 16,000 patients that took low dose (baby version) aspirin daily for at least 6 years. The results showed a 25% decrease in risk of colon cancer. The longer the subjects took the aspirin beyond 6 years, the lower the incidence of colon cancer. We are now discovering that there are different types of colon cancer depending on patients genetics. Some of these colon cancers showed a decrease with aspirin. Others show no decrease in risk because the DNA is able to overcome aspirin’s protective effects.

bottle-of-bayer-childrens-adult-prevent-81-aspirin

Bayer never knew the full potential of what it created back over 110 years ago. It’s amazing that even today, Bayer is still one of the most popular brand name aspirin tablets on the market.

Aspirin that smells like vinegar is starting to deteriorate. This can also be caused by moisture getting in the bottle. It could also break down in time. Check expiration dates. Keep aspirin out of the bathroom or kitchen. Store it in the driest areas of your home to ensure longevity.

More expensive aspirin have a coating that slows down the deterioration of the product. Bayer is one of those companies that produces a superior aspirin. Always look for coupons in the paper and hook it up with a good sale for the best price on aspirin.

Consult with your physician or health care professional to evaluate whether or not you should start on aspirin.

If You Are Desperate And Have No Cash To Buy Aspirin Then:

This feline found that catnip works a lot better than aspirin for pain. 🙂 Genetics really does make a big difference.

feline-found-that-catnip-works-a-lot-better than-aspirin-for-pain

What Pain???

Photo credit: bcostin / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: ntr23 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: lsasser / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: faiper / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: SimonQ錫濛譙 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: corrinely / Foter / CC BY



Categories: Health, Medications

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