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Could a Little 'A' Prevent the Big 'C'?

Research is divided on whether it's safe to pop aspirin every day.

Aspirin is a fairly habitual drug in our lives. We pop one or more for headaches, hangovers, and everyday aches and pains. Of course, this excludes those who favor a drug- and antibiotic-free lifestyle and rely on the body’s natural defenses to push past pain. Well, now two new studies cater to both you aspirin abusers and abstainers.  

A study from Baylor College of Medicine found that 11% of people taking aspirin in the U.S. do so "inappropriately"— taking aspirin when they don’t need it— and should stop popping the tiny white pills. 

For people without cardiovascular disease, the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic strokes associated with aspirin is not justified by its preventative measures. 

The research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiologyadds that a daily dose of 75 mg, a quarter of a regular-strength aspirin, should be consumed in cases of specific illnesses, like heart disease, but not by those who have a very low risk (less than 6%) of suffering a heart attack in the next 10 years. This brings us to the second study.

Research from the University College of London School of Pharmacy suggests cancer deaths among people under the age of 80 could be eliminated in the next 30 years by none other than the daily consumption of aspirin. 

Not sure what to do? Hopefully this helps: experts are recommending that the daily consumption of aspirin be limited to middle-aged adults. The study indicates that adults ages 40 and above who take aspirin for more than five years are 40% less likely to suffer from colorectal cancer. What’s more, the mortality rate is reduced by more than half, meaning the negative side effects, like potential stomach ulcers, are worth the health benefits in this case. 

You’re probably not too close, but also not too far, from middle-age. If that’s true, talk to your doc about starting an aspirin regimen, or don’t. By the time you hit 40 or 50, there just may be a cure-all pill far better than aspirin to ward off the "Big C."

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