Daily Aspirin Doubles the Risk for Blindness

By Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

October 14, 2011

Daily Aspirin Doubles the Risk for Blindness
A study involving 4691 people over the age of 65 found that daily use of aspirin more than doubled the risk for developing the most serious form of macular degeneration that causes blindness. Of the 839 people who took aspirin each day, 36 had an advanced form of the disease called wet macular degeneration—or about four out of every 100 daily aspirin users. In comparison, roughly two out of every 100 people who took aspirin less frequently had the same type of macular degeneration.

In this well-publicized study I have yet to read about anyone explaining why aspirin would cause such a problem. Rather, in typical cover-my-rear-end political correctness, the focus is on convincing adults who are taking aspirin to keep taking it. For example, the lead author of the study, Dr. de Jong, stated his opinion that aspirin’s benefits outweigh its risks when being used for cardiovascular disease prevention based on his logic that “A healthy eye with full visual capacities is of no use in a dead body.”

Most people would want to be alive and have their vision intact; it is not a situation of one or the other.

Aspirin is a potent Cox-1 inhibitor, which has a significant ability to inhibit platelet stickiness. However, Cox-1 is normally present in cells and is vital for the normal function of cells to form normal structural integrity. Epithelial cells that line your digestive tract and line the inside of your blood vessels are disrupted by Cox-1 inhibitors. This is why aspirin causes stomach bleeding. And it is why blood vessels in the eye are subject to risk.

In advanced wet age-related macular degeneration, the blood vessels in the eye become leaky and blindness results. This is the problem that daily aspirin use is linked to. If you believe in robbing Peter to pay Paul then daily aspirin use may be for you. If you are actually trying to improve your health rather than medicate your symptoms and numbers then you need to understand why your blood is sticky and what you can do to solve the problem.

Clue: There are leptin receptors all over platelets. Leptin resistance is the primary cause of sticky platelets, especially when it occurs in the absence of essential fatty acids and antioxidants.

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