Many of my patients with cardiovascular disease take an aspirin a day recommended by their cardiologist. What is the science behind this practice? The conclusions might surprise you!

The first medical study on aspirin was published in the Lancet by Dr. J. R. O’brian in 1971. Aspirin showed no benefit in preventing heart attacks, strokes from clots and lung clots. In 1974 another researech project was performed on 1,233 coronary patients to determine if aspirin could reduce or prevent 2nd heart attacks. There was a slight improvement deemed to be statistically insignificant.

In 1979 at the University of Oregon, Dr. George Partely tried to keep vein grafts open after coronary bypass surgery with aspirin. Aspirin was of no benefit.

In 1980, the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute spent $16 million to prove aspirin patients with a first heart attack would have a lower incidence of their second. Aspirin did not prevent the second heart attack, but it did cause abdominal pain, stomach inflammation and intestinal bleeding.

In 1980 and 1987, aspirin with another drug dipyridamole showed a 50% reduction in strokes and a 35% reduction in heart attacks. The research study did not investigate the effects with aspirin alone.

Therefore until 1987, aspirin alone could not prevent or treat cardiovascular diseases.

Here’s where it gets fascinating! The next study was the Physicians Study with one group of physicians tested with aspirin in England and the other in the USA. The British group reported no reduction in heart attacks, but the USA group reported “44% less nonfatal heart attacks”. That 44% was stretched to 50% which is the number reported by most physicians today.

Why didn’t the British physicians have the same reduction in heart attacks as the US physicians? We must investigate the aspirin given…. in England the physicians used pure aspirin, in the USA, the physicians used Bufferin. Bufferin is not pure aspirin, but aspirin with a bit of magnesium (to soothe the stomach). This is an example of science where the research is clear but the conclusion is false. This study unequivocally proves magnesium, not aspirin, reduces non-fatal heart attacks by 44%!

Conclusions: If you have cardiovascular disease, the science shows you will be better served by taking magnesium daily than aspirin. Other supplements and foods to decrease the body’s clotting include garlic, onions, ginger, ginkgo, flax seed oil, fish oils Vitamin E (a poll showed 73% of cardiologists take Vitamin E) and Vitamin B6.