May 1, 1899 in the United States began selling medicines, which do not know except that young children. It’s about aspirin. Willow preparations containing salicylates were known in ancient Egypt. And in 1874 the first factory for the production of salicylic acid was opened in Dresden. A few years later, in 1897, Felix Hoffman from Bayer AG received acetylsalicylic acid, now known to us as aspirin.
Thus, humanity has been treated with this substance for 120 years, and until now scientists continue to find new areas of application for it. Did MedAboutMe find out what the science of aspirin learned in recent years?
What is aspirin?
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is one of the most popular drugs in the world. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent (NSAID) and has antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect.
Not long ago, aspirin was prescribed to treat most of the most common diseases, in the first place among which were various acute respiratory infections. Today, with the advent of new drugs, its range of use has already become. Despite this, at the moment a lot of people on the planet take it from time to time or daily, protecting their heart and blood vessels.
Aspirin against cancer
Today it is known that regular intake of aspirin reduces the likelihood of developing cancer of the stomach and esophagus in obese people. There is also an effect on lung, prostate and breast cancer, but to a much lesser extent. Moreover, at a young age, it is useless to take aspirin to protect against cancer; its anti-cancer properties are manifested in people over 50 years of age.
The numbers are not that big. If one thousand people (500 men and 500 women) at the age of 60 will take aspirin, and another thousand men and women will not drink it, then in 10 years in the second group will die 17 more than in the first: in 16 cases it will be cancer, and in 1.4 cases – myocardial infarction.
Scientists explain why aspirin works in people who are overweight. It is known that excess body fat is an additional source of certain hormones and growth factors. These compounds affect the functioning of our cells and tissues. According to one theory, obesity is associated with an increase in the inflammatory response in the tissues, and this provokes the development of the processes of cell malignancy . Aspirin reduces inflammation associated with obesity, and thus is a means of preventing cancer.
Long-term studies also show that aspirin can be one of the ways to prevent intestinal cancer. True, not for everyone, but for people suffering from a hereditary disease called “Lynch syndrome”. Overwhelmingly, patients with this diagnosis develop colorectal cancer before the age of 70: 90 out of 100 men and 70 out of 100 women. If we recount these figures for the population as a whole, then we get 7 out of 100 representatives of the stronger sex and 5 out of 100 – the weaker.
Aspirin against stress
An unexpected use of aspirin was suggested by scientists from the University of Arizona. They tried to give the usual dose of aspirin to people who lost their loved ones. In this condition, the risk of myocardial infarction increases by 20 times in patients and blood pressure literally soars.
It turned out that in people who are in a state of strong stress Because of the loss of a loved one, 81 mg of aspirin was daily taken (dose for preventing heart attack), blood pressure was closer to normal, depression was less common, and the physiological state was generally better than in people who did not take aspirin.
Researchers cannot yet explain the exact mechanisms of anti-stress effect of aspirin, but they say that people at risk of developing heart attack and stroke in such stressful situations could be given the drug as prevention.
Aspirin and potency
Aspirin’s dilution property blood turned out to be extremely useful for men suffering from reduced potency. It turns out that some male platelets produce too large amounts of thromboxanes . Compounds from this group narrow the lumen of blood vessels, increase blood pressure, and also start the process of platelet aggregation. As a result, the blood circulation slows down, the blood supply to the genitals worsens, and the potency falls. Taking aspirin has almost the same effect as a Viagra tablet. The drug thins the blood and increases sexual function.
An interesting point: scientists who discovered this unusual property of aspirin, when publishing an article warned that often the deterioration of potency goes hand in hand with vascular and heart diseases, as well as diabetes. And in this case you should not make Viagra out of aspirin, you should always consult with your doctor. And literally in February of this year, another team of researchers published the results of observations according to which taking aspirin reduces the risk of death in patients with diabetes and heart failure.
Noting the inconsistency of data on the effects of aspirin on people with diabetes and heart disease, scientists still recommend consulting with doctors rather than prescribing aspirin for themselves.
Despite the fact that every year, scientists learn about aspirin something new, do not forget that this medicine can be dangerous. So, you should discuss taking aspirin with your doctor if the patient already has the following pathologies or conditions:
- allergy to any drugs from the group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs);
- stomach ulcer, kidney or liver problems;
- bleeding tendency;
- uncontrolled hypertension.
Also, a mandatory discussion with a doctor is required if we are talking about a child under the age of 16 or an elderly person over 65, a pregnant woman who is breastfeeding or even trying to get pregnant.
Aspirin can change its effect while taking other drugs or change the effect of other drugs. And this also means that the doctor must “give the nod” to receive aspirin, if the patient has already been prescribed treatment.
If you violate these rules and take aspirin without permission, the patient may develop such severe side effects as internal bleeding, peptic ulcers and stroke.