Aspirin Against Heart Attack

Cardio and Blood |

Everyone has heard the old adage ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Eating apples is one component in a combination of good nutrition, exercise and exceptional genes. If an apple a day is not the total answer, there is documentation stating that an “aspirin a day” will help prevent heart attacks.

I must say, the aspirin is not so palatable as a good apple, however I am willing to look into the idea.

Hippocrates around 200 BC found the leaves of the willow tree could amazingly relieve pains and reduce fever. Can you imagine living then, without any medications (as we know them today,) to relieve pain? The element in willow leaves and bark that helped reduce the pain in, (Greeks of yore), is, is called salicin; it is the forerunner of a group of drugs called salicylate, today’s “aspirin.”

Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, which is the operative ingredient in the common “aspirin.” Used for pain relief, an anti-inflammatory agent, and fever reducer, aspirin is very proficient in its many applications. Bayer chemist Felix Hoffmann chemically synthesized a stable form of this drug in 1897 in response to his father’s painful rheumatism.

Aspirin has been associated with the hindrance of heart attacks and strokes, first determined in cardiovascular disease by Dr. Lawrence Craven in 1948, a general practitioner from California, when he noticed that aspirin increased bleeding in surgery patients and felt this fact suggested possible blood anti-clotting characteristics. He recommended aspirin to 400 of his patients, who took the aspirin over a period of years, and out of those 400 only one had a heart attack.

Aspirin prevents the production of prostaglandin, which is a hormone like substance produced in small amounts in the body. Prostaglandin causes platelets in the blood to stick together or clot, which protects the body when cells have been damaged. This clotting can also block the blood vessels; aspirin is known to inhibit clotting.

Thousands of studies and trials have been completed, determining the ability of aspirin to defer strokes and heart attacks. According to the American Heart Association’s Journal report, Dr. Charles Hennekens M.D., one of three internationally recognized medical leaders on heart disease and stroke stated, “It doesn’t matter what brand, just as long as aspirin is used.” He adds, “that any person who is having a heart attack should take a full 325-milligram tablet of aspirin to obtain a rapid effect. To prevent another attack it appears that 50-100 milligrams a day will suffice.”

The American Heart Association then suggests taking an aspirin as soon as the signs of a heart attack occur. Make sure you are not allergic to aspirin or any condition that would make taking aspirin a risk. Taking an aspirin, (according to research) remarkably improves the chance of surviving at this critical point.

The AHA also advises not taking an aspirin during a stroke. Although most strokes are caused by a blood clot, not all are. Ruptures cause some strokes, and aspirin could cause damage in that instance. If you consume alcohol, consult with your physician before taking aspirin, there could be complications with increased risk of liver damage and stomach bleeding.

Aspirin is not entirely harmless it must be respected. Some are sensitive to the drug, and some will experience gastrointestinal distress. Some conditions might increase the risk of hemorrhage as in peptic ulcer, liver, or kidney disease.

The decision to take aspirin regularly should be only after consulting with your physician, any contraindications regarding aspirin therapy should be considered. Obtain suggestions from your Doctor regarding taking aspirin; you can then feel comfortable and informed regarding aspirin therapy.