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Does Aspirin Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?

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It’s hard to know what to think about aspirin. Some doctors say that low doses of this drug are the best way to prevent heart problems, while others say it could be hurting your health. The latest “benefit” of aspirin isn’t for your heart but for your brain.

Mainstream medical researchers have been going back and forth on whether aspirin can help you prevent Alzheimer’s disease or not.

Now, new research sheds new light on the effects of aspirin on your memory. And the results may surprise you.

The Search for a Drug To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

For decades, mainstream scientists have struggled to find a drug that prevents Alzheimer’s. They spent billions, have done countless studies, and developed drugs that aren’t making that much of a difference.

Some would argue that part of this failed Alzheimer’s drug-development process is due to Big Pharma’s greed – because if you stay sick, they stay rich. But another, bigger part is that conventional medicine has a long history of failing to look for affordable, uncomplicated solutions to chronic health problems.

And that’s precisely what aspirin is.

This common drug – derived from willow and poplar trees – is cheap, easy to get your hands on, and safe for most people.

Here’s what you need to know about its role in Alzheimer’s prevention.

What The Research Says

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, scientists have studied aspirin’s effects on Alzheimer’s disease development in the past.

Remember, one of the key drivers behind memory issues is inflammation. This process can impact blood flow to the brain and even damage brain cells, both of which play a role in the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Past studies, however, have suffered from gaps and resulted in unclear conclusions about whether aspirin could prevent dementia. Thanks to a new meta-analysis, we now have some answers.

For the research, scientists examined the data from 19 cohort studies and three randomized control trials (RTCs), looking for a connection between aspirin use and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

In the end, they found the following results:

  • Aspirin use reduced dementia risk by 7.5 percent.
  • Low doses of aspirin (100mg or less daily) did not increase dementia risk.
  • Regular aspirin use did not increase dementia or Alzheimer’s risk.1

In other words, aspirin does not cause Alzheimer's and offers some limited protection against the disease.

It’s important to note that other research has found that aspirin use is only effective at helping prevent memory issues in folks with heart disease.2

Speaking of aspirin and your heart….

The Controversy Over Aspirin and Heart Disease

Let’s see if we can also shed some light on the use of aspirin in people concerned about a heart attack.

Aspirin has been shown to be an effective option for reducing the risk of a second heart attack or stroke in people with a history of cardiovascular disease. Aspirin works by preventing blood clots that can block arteries and cause these events. In those cases, doctors often recommend daily low-dose aspirin (81-325mg) for people who have had a previous heart attack, stroke, or coronary artery disease.3

However, the latest research on using aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke is less clear. The studies suggest that unless you have existing heart disease or are at high risk for heart disease, aspirin may not be helpful. Research reveals that aspirin may provide a modest benefit for primary prevention in some people aged 40 to 59 who are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease but do not have a history of it.

But… and this is a big but… the potential benefits are smaller and need to be weighed against the risk of bleeding caused by aspirin therapy.

Side Effects of Aspirin Therapy

The reality is daily aspirin increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke, especially in older adults—the very people who would be taking aspirin therapy!

For most adults over 60 without existing cardiovascular disease, recent evidence shows the bleeding risk likely outweighs any potential benefit of daily aspirin for primary prevention.

So, if you’re healthy, taking aspirin may not be worth it for your heart or your brain. But there’s good news…

Mother Nature has given us numerous other natural anti-inflammatories that can help your heart, your brain, and your whole body.

Our Takeaway

The fact remains that the benefits of aspirin therapy for the average person are small—and the risks are big—when compared to other natural preventative strategies.

Exercise, for example, can reduce one’s risk of Alzheimer’s by 45 percent.4 This means that if you’re worried about your brain, lacing up your sneakers will likely do more for your brain and even your heart than any pill can.

We also recommend an anti-inflammatory diet rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy oils such as extra virgin olive and coconut oil. If you’d like to follow an eating plan, try the Mediterranean diet, the Longevity Diet, or Green-Med Diet. Of course, there are several clinically proven anti-inflammatory supplements, such as curcumin, omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), resveratrol, and green tea extract. Each of these work in the body by blocking inflammatory enzymes and cytokines that are precursors to inflammation.

We’ve seen time and again how smart lifestyle choices featuring regular exercise—even if it’s just walking, an anti-inflammatory diet, and supplementation can short-circuit the inflammatory process and result in improved cardiovascular health and a sharper, clearer memory. We encourage you to give it a try.

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