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Aspirin & Heart Attack Prevention

burning reflux in chestFor decades, millions of Americans have been advised to take low doses of aspirin daily to prevent heart attacks and strokes. But new evidence is raising questions about this common practice.

An extensive campaign launched by the drug industry featured a Physicians Health Group study which concluded that an
aspirin a day was an effective preventative treatment against heart attacks.

What the study failed to mention was that it was conducted with buffered aspirin containing magnesium. Magnesium is a valuable mineral which has long been associated with the prevention of heart attacks. Follow-up studies revealed that
aspirin alone did nothing to prevent heart attacks. The study on which most recommendations are based did not utilize aspirin alone; therefore, the calcium and magnesium present in the buffered aspirin actually taken may have been responsible for some of the beneficial effects. Magnesium and Vitamin E have been shown to be more effective than aspirin in lowering heart attack rates.

Kaufman, J. “Should you take aspirin to prevent heart attacks.” Scientific Exploration, Vol. 14, #4 2002

Supporting Resources

A study reported that magnesium deficiency may also be implicated in coronary heart disease when it was revealed that
injections of magnesium sulfate brought about dramatic clinical improvement in heart disease patients.

Williams, R. “Nutrition against disease”
1971, Pitman Publishing Company

“Some physicians contend that the evidence of aspirin’s efficacy for prevention is overstated……………….
……and that its risks are underestimated. Dr. John Cleland, said that his interpretation of the data shows that the therapy reduces only the number of diagnosed heart attacks, not attacks overall. He explained that aspirin merely masks heart
attacks, producing a “cosmetic” blip in epidemiological statistics. Because aspirin can be an analgesic, it may further mask those symptoms.”

Gensenway, D. “Do your patients need aspirin therapy,” ACP-ASIM Annals of Internal Medicine, March 2002

Serum magnesium concentration, independent of other risk factors, was inversely associated with death from
all causes and from heart disease.

Ford, E.S. “Serum magnesium and ischemic heart
disease: findings from a national sample of U.S.
adults. International Journal of Epidemiology, p.645

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