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Stomach test would make aspirin a "no brainer"

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Glynis Steele, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Glynis Steele

    Glynis Steele Senior Member

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    From BBC News. It seems to be saying that taking aspirin would reduce the risk of certain cancers, but that a possible side effect is stomach bleeding, and that this (bleeding) risk is three times higher in people with H. pylori bacteria in the stomach.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18853597

    A mass-screening programme for 50- to 70-year-olds could cut the risk of stomach bleeds due to daily doses of aspirin, cancer experts have said. About a third of this group carry the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which makes stomach bleeds three times more likely - and antibiotics eradicate it.

    Research has shown taking low-doses of aspirin can cut the risk of cancer.
    Professor Jack Cuzick said screening would make the choice to take it a "no-brainer".
    University of London epidemiology Prof Cuzick told the BBC's Newsnight programme: "The test is cheap and very easy to do, and eradication takes only five days. "Bleeding is the only major setback.
    "It's trying to identify those who are infected that matters."

    The society working with an international team of experts on cancer prevention is expected to publish a statement on the risks and benefits of long-term aspirin use within weeks.
    "We will say this looks very important and needs to be further evaluated", Prof Cuzick said.
    The society first looked into aspirin as a cancer-prevention measure in 2009, and has reconvened as evidence of potential benefits has grown.

    Taking low-dose aspirin for five years halves the risk of developing colon cancer, according to data published two years ago by Peter Rothwell, from Oxford University.
    But Prof Cuzick told Newsnight the most up-to-date data showed "much stronger results".
    Last year, research indicated daily low-dose aspirin cut the risk of dying by 66% for oesophageal cancer and 25% for lung cancer. When researchers looked at all solid cancers together, the risk also fell, by 25%.

    This year, the team looked at aspirin's effect on the spread of cancer, and found it reduced the risk of secondary spread to the lungs, liver and the brain by "about half".
    Low-dose aspirin is already recommended to cut the risk of heart attack and stroke, but there are no national guidelines on who should consider taking it to prevent cancer, or how much to take.
    Merry and Sherlock like this.
  2. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    Thanks, that's interesting. I have wondered about the risk from having an inflamed throat every day for years.

    However, if I have overly active mast cells, as I believe I do, then that means I likely have already thin blood from the MC's heparin (an anticoagulant) release. Maybe aspirin's blood-thinning (anti-platelet) effect would not be good for me and others like me. That'd suggest getting anti-inflammatory effect elsewhere.
    Merry likes this.
  3. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Shelock, your post makes me think I'd better learn about mast cells. Whenever I've tried taking low-dose aspirin, bruising, which I've had a problem with since childhood, gets much worse. The most recent attempt, a few months ago, to take daily low-dose aspirin, my nose would bleed. So nose bleeds besides the increasing bruising. During that time I was also taking fish oil. I can't now remember if I actually got around to trying to find out if fish oil thins the blood, but I stopped taking the aspirin.

    Because both parents had cancer (breast and colon), taking aspirin seems like an inexpensive way I could protect my health.

    Could you recommend an alternative to taking the aspirin? Thank you in advance.

    I recall that in the last few years of my mother's life she had a very low platelet count. She had been diagnosed with myelodysplasia syndrome.
  4. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    (the short, direct answer is below in bold :) )

    Hi, Merry. I'm convinced that high histamine accounts for almost all my recent symptoms, and that I've had high histamine long before getting CFS (because I don't do well at breaking down histamine).

    Histamine is the number one product of mast cells, but the anticoagulant heparin is one of many others. Heparin has been used medically (harvested from the mast cells in animal intestines and lungs) for many years.

    > Whenever I've tried taking low-dose aspirin, bruising, which I've had a
    > problem with since childhood, gets much worse. The most recent attempt, a
    > few months ago, to take daily low-dose aspirin, my nose would bleed. So
    > nose bleeds besides the increasing bruising.

    Yep, that sounds something like me - but worse as far as bruising and bleeding.

    > During that time I was also
    > taking fish oil. I can't now remember if I actually got around to trying to
    > find out if fish oil thins the blood, but I stopped taking the aspirin.

    Fish oil certainly is a blood thinner, and I can't take it except very occasionally. (It works by making platelets less likely to participate in clotting, by competing with the pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid.)

    >
    > Because both parents had cancer (breast and colon), taking aspirin seems
    > like an inexpensive way I could protect my health.

    That's what I also was thinking; but I probably have a higher risk of bleeding because of my heparin, despite any consideration of h. pylori as in this article. (Even so this article prompts me to take olive leaf extract on an empty stomach again for a week of mornings, just as a preventative against h pylori.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=h pylori olive leaf extract
    "Given this specific activity, olive leaf extract may have a role in regulating the composition of the gastric flora by selectively reducing levels of H. pylori and C. jejuni"
    )

    >
    > Could you recommend an alternative to taking the aspirin? Thank you in
    > advance.

    Offhand the most famous anti-inflammatory would be turmeric, though that has poor absorption so you want the black pepper (piperine) with it. Lots more expensive than aspirin, unfortunately. Ginger is a cousin to it. There are also lots of sites about low-inflammation diets as a daily way of life. The despised statins are very good anti-inflamatories. Arginine was once suggested as a natural alternative to statins as an anti-inflammatory, but showed worse outcomes (more death) in people who had already had heart attacks. Maybe arginine is okay otherwise.


    Mast cells are all a part of inflammation. They degranulate their contents of pre-formed chemicals like histamine, heparin, tryptases and peroxydases. Then within an hour or so after that they are making and releasing inflammatory chemicals like leukotrienes and prostaglandins.

    Mast cells (and their almost-twins the basophils) are what kill people who die from bee stings.

    >
    > I recall that in the last few years of my mother's life she had a very low
    > platelet count. She had been diagnosed with myelodysplasia syndrome.

    That would be a different cause, where the disease crowds out the good cells from the marrow, where the blood cells such as platelets are made.

    Hope that helps a little :)
    alex3619 likes this.
  5. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi Y'all;

    I've had alot of bleeding problems over the years. I tended to avoid aspirin for that reason, but once I tried white willow bark for pain. ( It contains salicylic acid like aspirin.) About 2 hrs. later, I was just standing with no movement, and suddenly a cluster of purpura appeared on my arm. It stung a little, but it was a bit frightening to see.

    The B12 and Folate have helped alot with this bleeding problem, but I'm finding that copper seems to be the most ef
    fective.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_deficiency
  6. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    A lot of folks swear by vitamin K -- especially the mk4 form -- for bleeding issues.
  7. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Sherlock, you are very generous to write this out. I'm grateful. I'll never know enough. The body is too complicated, I'm doomed. In the meantime, however, I'll stop the fish oil and start the turmeric.
  8. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Although I eat a lot of spinach, which is high in K (I thought), I have never noticed an improvement with bruising. I will read about the mk4 form. Thanks, danny bex.


    Crux, seeing the cluster of purpura appear suddenly on your arm must have been worrying indeed. I've been taking B12 and Metafolin since last fall and have not seen an improvement in bruising, but I started fish oil about the same time as the B12 and Metafolin. As I said above, I'm giving up fish oil. I'll look into copper deficiency. Thanks, Crux. Take care.
  9. CJB

    CJB Senior Member

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    Does anyone know if aspirin causes stomach bleeding if its administered transdermally? Is it the active ingredient or the fact that it's ingested? Cuz I'm thinking big pharma would jump on this if they could produce/patent an aspirin patch.
  10. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    Merry, have you ever had a CBC done? If so, your platelet count would have a big influence on how to look at things.
  11. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    There was a study a few years ago showing that enteric coated tablets had the same effect on stomach bleeding as regular tablets, tending to say that it's the serum concentration that matters.
  12. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    1990 was the last time, I believe, that I had a CBC. I don't foresee having another until 2014 when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented. If the law is not repealed before then.

    You are very kind, Sherlock. Please don't worry. I apologize for not putting, in my previous post, a smiley face after "I'm doomed."
  13. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    Hi, Merry, I just wanted to mention that if your platelet count was normal in 1990 yet you still had easy bleeding/bruising, then copper deficiency is probably not a factor, since copper deficiency works by decreasing platelet count.

    Mast cells are still a suspect. Quercetin is a mast cell stabilizer, so that might help. I've been taking anti-mast cell and anti histamine measures and seem to be sleeping better these days... oops, I mean nights. People with naturally high levels of histamine from mast cells are said to usually have long thin fingers, and never had much problem resisting weight gain.

    But I stumbled on this curious case study, it's something to keep in mind:
    "Copper deficiency masquerading as myelodysplastic syndrome"
    http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/content/100/4/1493.full
    [edit: and I see that is mentioned throughout the copper deficiency article that Crux cited]

    There are still many other possibilities for coagulation disorders, of course.

    Everybody is doomed to never understand the immune system, since it's too complicated :) There was even a story recently about IgG halting the progression of Alzheimer's.

    Btw, on a practical note: vit E would be a blood thinner also.
  14. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    Hi, do you figure that your copper deficiency is CFS related?
  15. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Hello again, Sherlock.

    My memory is that the platelet count in 1990 was the low end of normal. I could be wrong. I looked at the records perhaps five years ago but then threw them out before a move. Anyway, I am sure that the doctor didn't remark on my platelet count.

    I may have taken extra E sometime during my adult life but am not now taking extra (beyond what may be in a multivitamin) and haven't for years.

    My fingers are indeed long and thin, and I've had more luck than others resisting weight gain.

    Years ago I began taking an antihistamine (generic form of Benydryl) at bedtime to help me get to sleep. It only last four hours, so if I'm restless in the night I often take two more capsules.

    I intend to read more about mast cells, histamine, heparin, Quercitn, etc. I appreciate your help in pointing me in this direction.

    I will also look for more information on copper deficiency. When my mother was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, she was told it was a rare condition, but within a few years of her death, someone she had a social connection to, her daughter-in-law's father, also was diagnosed with the illness and didn't live long. One of this man's daughters (not my mother's daugher-in-law) had been diagnosed with CFS a few years earlier. I have written about this in more than one thread on PR, so pardon me if this is old news.
  16. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi Sherlock;

    The reasons I suspect that copper deficiency could be CFS related are :

    Every article and case study that I've read includes fatigue as a symptom of copper deficiency.

    I've noted that some folks here have tested in the lower range of copper. I've also become aware of some of the symptoms of this by studying reports and observing my own symptoms, my family's symptoms,and folks here.

    Of course, fatigue is the most difficult to heal because it truly is caused by many factors, and I think it is wise that folks are approaching a large variety of possibilities here.

    I am in agreement with folks who believe that copper deficiency may be a factor in CFS, mostly because adding it to my supplement regimen, in amounts of 1-2 mgs. daily, has caused a significant decrease in my fatigue.

    And, of course, it may not work in everyone's case, but only in cases wherein a deficiency is suspected.
  17. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    Here's another on aspirin:
    http://www.theheart.org/article/1434037.do

    More signs that daily aspirin lowers cancer mortality
    August 10, 2012


    So I'd think that those with a relevant Fx might be more inclined to use aspirin.
  18. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Sherlock, the thing about even enteric coated capsules is they still release in the gut, just lower down. Aspirin is a suicide inhibitor of both cyclooxygenase (COX) 1 and 2. COX-1 is needed to repair the entire gut. While serum aspirin concentration is important, gut concentration is likely to be much higher - that concentration is probably what does the damage. I am not sure how much of that can travel from lower gut back up to the stomach however - some diffusion would occur. Add that to our low rate of gastric emptying and we could have problems. I am a fan of low dose aspirin though - it was shown in very large studies to be effective in heart disease around 1950, though it took two decades for that to be accepted. Go figure.

    Since aspirin reduces rate of gut healing, that explains why the damage from H. pylori is so important - a patient would not have an increased rate of damage, but a decreased rate of healing would result in the same outcome.

    The other thing about the COX enzymes is they are responsible for a lot of the inflammation in the body by creating a series of pro-inflammatory eicosonoids. Reducing inflammation should, if I am reading the science right, also reduce infection rates as many pathogens like to target inflammed areas. Less inflammation and less infection probably both help to reduce the cancer risk, especially since this should also result in decreased oxidative and nitrosative stress.

    Bye, Alex
    Sherlock likes this.

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