Therapy for Thinner Blood

old aspirin tins

The Economist ran an article in the December 11, 2010 edition entitled “Wonder Drug” regarding aspirin.  The article noted that aspirin has benefits as a blood-thinning drug, and is prescribed in doses of around 50 mg to reduce deaths from stroke and heart attack.  The results of a new study indicated that aspirin also reduced the risk of death by cancer by over 20%.   However, there was a long latency period before the risk reduction took effect, varying from 5 to 15 years.  Higher doses did not confer additional benefit.  There was a small risk of ulcers and dangerous stomach bleeding.  The therapy was very cost-effective, with a 100 day supply sometimes costing less than a dollar.

Omega-3 supplements are also supposed to have a blood-thinning effect, as well as many other therapeutic benefits, particularly relieving depression.  Flax seed supplementation is relatively inexpensive too, but fish oil supplements can be expensive.  I prefer Omega-3 supplements since they are essential nutrients and have few side effects.  However, aspirin therapy is very cost-effective, and would certainly have to be considered as a less-expensive alternative to Omega-3 supplements, although the increased risk of side-effects also has to be taken into account.

I was interested to note the fact that the study carried on for a long enough period to show benefits even after a long latency period.  This latency effect may also apply to some of the benefits of Omega-3 supplementation.  However, in my experience, the lowering of triglyceride values was noticeable after just several months of taking supplements.


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