What are the benefits of taking aspirin?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Aspirin reduces a lot of bad things. If it were patentable, it would be even more popular than either Brad or Beyonce. It reduces body-wide inflammation, decreasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, wrinkles, and impotence, and lowers cancer risk. It’s as close to a miracle drug for under three dollars a year.

William B. Salt II., MD
Taking a daily aspirin can reduce the risk of heart attack by up to thirty percent. Based on the available evidence, the American Heart Association and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend that doctors consider aspirin therapy for the prevention of a first heart attack in individuals identified to be at increased risk for cardiovascular events.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If there were one magic pill for fat-fighting and life-saving, the pharmaceutical industry would send everyone from scale-makers to diet-book authors to bankruptcy. There's no pill that will do it all. (At least not yet.) But that doesn't mean you can't use drugs to improve your health and reduce your cardiovascular risk factors.

My recommendation—and the closest thing to a pill with mystical powers—comes in the form of 2 baby aspirin (162 mg total) a day. You need 2 rather than one since many folks are resistant to the lower dose. (There is no measurable increased risk of stomach problems in studies with this small increase in doses from 81 to 162 mg, and the reduction in heart attacks or ischemic strokes goes from around 13 percent to around 36 percent.)

Aspirin makes platelets less sticky and decreases inflammation that occurs to narrow the space where blood flows through your arteries. And it's been shown to reduce arterial aging and immune system aging and that means decrease your risk of everything from heart attack, strokes and impotence to colon, rectal and esophageal cancers and maybe even breast and prostate cancers. To avoid the gastric side effects, drink a half a glass of warm water before and after taking the pill. (See your doc if you have any history of serious bleeding, or are taking blood thinners.)
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.