Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 13:20 EDT

Aspirin Isn’t a ‘Wonder Drug,’ Says People’s Chemist Shane Ellison

July 17, 2012

DENVER, July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Big Pharma didn’t invent aspirin. Mother Nature did.

“Today, most people think of aspirin as a harmless wonder drug — able to stop pain, fever and even prevent heart attack and stroke, without risk. But that’s not true,” said The People’s Chemist, Shane Ellison, who holds a M.S. degree in organic chemistry and is author of “Over-The-Counter Natural Cures” book.

“Thousands of years ago, humans witnessed injured bears gnawing on the bark of white willow trees and people have been using that natural remedy for thousands of years,” he said. “White willow bark doesn’t contain ASA (acetyl-salicylic acid) or aspirin. Therefore, it won’t accidentally kill you. Adults and children can use it for all types of pain and high fever.”

If you are concerned about blood clots, use hawthorn, which busts clots on contact, without side effects of aspirin, he said.

“Trash aspirin, use white willow bark and hawthorn,” he said.

“The industry couldn’t market the natural ingredient as their own. You can’t patent Mother Nature. To have a monopoly, they had to alter it a bit. Chemist Carl R. Gerhardt was the first to do so in 1853. He created a molecular cousin and named it ASA (acetyl-salicylic acid). Bayer trademarked it as aspirin in 1889.

“The small molecular change made for big dangers,” he said. “Like deflating a tire, aspirin depletes the body of life-saving nutrients. These include folic acid, iron, potassium, sodium and vitamin C. Symptoms associated with such depletion include: anemia, birth defects, heart disease, elevated homocysteine (a risk factor for heart disease), headache, depression, fatigue, hair loss, insomnia, diarrhea, shortness of breath, pale skin and suppression of the immune system. Internal bleeding is one of the biggest risks.”

Studies show that aspirin users die sooner compared to those not taking it.

Each year, approximately 7,600 deaths and 76,000 hospitalizations occur in the United States from use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like Motrin, Aleve, and Celebrex, according to articles published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

However, this figure might be an underestimate. The FDA states only about 10% of deaths caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are reported.

Death by the drug is usually attributed to the victim being either too sick or too old.

“Doctors aren’t willing to acknowledge aspirin as the deadly culprit. Therefore, the body count is much higher,” Ellison said.

In 1986, Dr. Otis R. Bowen, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, issued a warning that children and teen-agers with flu symptoms “should not be given aspirin.”

Using aspirin for the flu or Chicken Pox, aspirin puts users at risk for Reyes Syndrome, a disorder that causes organs to shut down, and large amounts of bloody, watery liquid to accumulate in the lungs.

In 2009, historian and researcher Dr. Karen Starko showed mortality rates increased during the 1918 flu epidemic due to aspirin use. The army purchased massive amounts of the drug and gave it to soldiers. JAMA suggested a dose of 1,000 milligrams every three hours. That’s the equivalent of almost 25 standard 325-milligram aspirin tablets in 24 hours — twice the daily dosage generally considered safe today.

Pharmacologist John Vane discovered the good and bad actions of aspirin. On one hand, he found that it blocks the production of an enzyme known as COX (cyclooxygenase). Downstream, this prevents inflammation, swelling, pain and fever.

But, he elucidated a risky trade off. Aspirin also stifles the formation of healing compounds that protect the stomach from damage by hydrochloric acid, maintain kidney function and stop internal bleeding. Vane won the Nobel Prize for his work.

Bayer pushed baby aspirin to protect against heart attack and stroke.

But, the little bit is still harmful. Writing for The New York Times, Dr. Neena S. Abraham said, “If your physician has suggested you take aspirin to reduce your risk of heart disease, it is important to remember that even small doses of daily aspirin — including baby aspirin, at a dose of 81 milligrams daily — can increase your risk of ulcers and bleeding.”

Buffered or enteric-coated aspirin won’t protect you.

Judith P. Kelly of the Slone Epidemiology Unit at the Boston University School of Medicine warned, “All forms of aspirin carry risk.” Protective covering or not, it still paralyzes the production of physiologically important compounds.

For more information, go to http://www.ThePeoplesChemist.com.

SOURCE Shane Ellison

Source: PR Newswire