‘I took a trip to Nurofen Near Aspirin-by-sea, And all along my journey There were many sights to see. Like Anadin, and Panadol, Two lovely seaside towns, And a place called Alka Seltzer Nestling in the downs….now I’m safely home again, I’m tired for goodness sake, I’ve got a splitting headache, But I don’t know what to take!’Darryl Ashton
When you live in a world where serotonin is the ‘happy hormone’, and where an ‘estrogen deficiency’ is plausible, a whole range of things that wouldn’t otherwise be imaginable, become possible, and many things are more confusing than might otherwise be the case.
One of the biggest problems with a drug like aspirin, is that it has a tendency to work a little bit too well, and when it comes to making money, that’s not necessarily a good thing.
“Multiple clinical studies have demonstrated a link between long-term aspirin use and a reduction in the incidence and mortality of several cancer types, including colorectal, stomach, esophageal, breast, lung, prostate and liver cancers.”
“Patients who present with NVUGIB [nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding] on aspirin had reduced in-hospital mortality and fewer adverse outcomes, while those on anticoagulants had increased in-hospital complications.”
“…accumulating evidence points to cardioprotective doses of aspirin and other NSAIDs being chemopreventive against colorectal cancer and possibly other cancers of the stomach, esophagus, breast, ovary, and lung…”
Because aspirin can be seen, in some ways, as a basic promoter of healthy metabolic function, it isn’t surprising that it can also help to reduce levels of things like serotonin and estrogen.
From a biological perspective, this information can explain some of the beneficial effects that aspirin has been shown to have in relation to protection from stress and disease.
Good quality biological experimentation does little, however, to provide justification for the sale of the newer more profitable drugs that are less effective, and often have a negative or harmful impact.
“…results show that acetaminophen alone increases brain serotonin as well as norepinephrine levels…In contrast, aspirin did not alter the levels of these monoamines but increased serotonin turnover in the brain while acetaminophen decreased the turnover.”
That’s partly why it’s so important for business, that the waters remain murky.
“Acetaminophen/paracetamol [Tylenol/Panadol] is the most widely used drug of the world. At the same time, it is probably one of the most dangerous compounds in medical use, causing hundreds of deaths in all industrialized countries due to acute liver failure…”
The polyunsaturated fats are part of this confusing story, and a great deal of time, effort and money has gone into ensuring that their harmful effects are downplayed and their reputation as a health food remains intact.
The polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) powerfully suppress metabolism. They have been shown to increase both serotonin and estrogen levels. Aspirin very effectively reduces the release of stored unsaturated fats into circulation and protects against serotonin and estrogen.
“Mean estradiol levels were 10.5% lower among women who used NSAIDs at least 15 days per month, compared to women with no NSAID use…Women in the highest versus lowest category of total analgesic use had significantly lower levels of estradiol…”
“The arachidonate inhibition was dose-dependent in the tissue steroid hormone receptors, except for dose-dependent potentiation of the brain cortical estrogen receptors…results suggest the generalized modulatory effect of arachidonate on the steroid hormone receptors in the central and peripheral tissues.”
Estrogen, the polyunsaturated fats, and the substances of stress in general are known to promote cancer. Aspirin protects against the development and advancement of numerous disease states including many different forms of cancer.
“ASA not only prevents breast tumor cell growth in vitro and tumor growth in nude mice xenograft model through the induction of apoptosis, but also significantly reduces the self-renewal capacity and growth of breast tumor-initiating cells/breast cancer stem cells and delays the formation of a palpable tumor.”
“Aspirin-only users had a 49% reduced risk of HCC [hepatocellular carcinoma] and a 50% reduced risk of death from CLD [chronic liver disease], whereas non-aspirin NSAIDs-only users experienced a 34% reduced risk of CLD mortality but no reduced risk of HCC…”
“Use of aspirin…has been associated with a decrease in the risk of several cancers, including breast cancer…NSAIDs…reduce prostaglandin synthesis; prostaglandins stimulate aromatase gene expression and thereby stimulate estrogen biosynthesis…The results for ibuprofen…were generally weaker…acetaminophen…was not associated with a reduction in the incidence of breast cancer…evidence…supports…aspirin…(which may operate through inhibition of estrogen biosynthesis) as effective chemopreventive agents for breast cancer.”
Acetaminophen/paracetamol use leads to an increase in serotonin and there is evidence that it causes more harm in association with breakdown products of the polyunsaturated fats. Acetaminophen has also been shown to have cancer promoting effects. Serotonin promotes estrogen and there are experiments which suggest that Panadol/Tylenol can be estrogenic.
“These novel findings demonstrate that therapeutic acetaminophen concentrations specifically stimulate estrogen-responsive breast cancer cell DNA synthesis, suggesting that this drug may exert estrogenic effects.”
A suppressed metabolism promotes inflammation as well as rising levels of the stress substances, estrogen, serotonin and nitric oxide. PUFA causes inflammation and inflammation creates more stress. Aspirin protects against stress and inflammation.
The stress substances – cortisol, estrogen, serotonin, nitric oxide [NO] and others – interfere with oxidative metabolism and promote the release of free fatty acids into circulation. The more unsaturated these fats are, the more inflammatory, metabolism interfering and disease promoting they are.
“Acute stress exposure…caused brain expression of iNOS, an increase in plasma glutamate and brain TNF-alpha, induction of oxidative indicators in brain and a fall in brain ATP levels. Prior administration of aspirin…inhibited all these effects caused by stress…”
The stress substances interact with PUFA in such a way as to increase their damaging potential.
“To characterize the potential role of lipid peroxidation products in atherogenesis, we assessed the effect of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE)…When added together, low concentrations of HNE and 5-HT synergistically induced…an increase in cell number…antiplatelet and antioxidant therapies may be useful for the prevention of…proliferative disorders associated with atherosclerosis…”
“NO activates cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, leading to the production of physiologically relevant quantities of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and leukotrienes. In the case of iNOS, the massive release of NO, PGE2, and leukotrienes produces toxic effects…”
Knowing this adds to an understanding of the synergistic nature of aspirin’s disease protective capabilities. Aspirin also protects against the harm caused by other more dangerous drugs that have been shown to worsen the inflammatory stress state.
“Administration of an overdose of paracetamol to control rats resulted in an appreciable decrease of GSH [glutathione] concentration…Simultaneous administration of…ASA [aspirin] resulted in a reduction of the paracetamol-induced depletion of GSH in all instances…”
If evidence relating to this were to be accepted in the mainstream, it would make it much harder to rationalize the sale of products – like the highly unsaturated fish and seed oils, as heart-protective, anti-inflammatory health food – and tougher for corporations to avoid responsibility for harm caused by new drugs.
It’s no wonder that it has become so difficult for consumers to decide what to trust will help with their issues, and what is best to be avoided.
Even well intentioned health professionals are being influenced by heavily biased information which undermines their ability to provide the most useful, best possible advice.
Many of the arguments used in the case against sugar – harming it’s reputation, and scaring the public – are underpinned by the same false and misleading doctrines used against aspirin (in favor of alternative ‘anti-inflammatory’ products), creating the shaky foundations upon which this fragile house of cards is resting.
It would be financially counter-productive to encourage notions which explain how both aspirin and sugar, for instance, might, in similar ways, protect against the promoters of inflammation and disease (such as cortisol, estrogen, serotonin, nitric oxide and PUFA), via an impact upon fundamental biological processes.
“…findings strongly suggest an increase in intracellular ATP levels as the most probable explanation for the protective effect of fructose, and point to fructose as a potentially useful therapeutic tool for protection of the liver late in paracetamol intoxication.”
The inflammatory relationship between stress and the polyunsaturated free fatty acids is rarely acknowledged in the mainstream, not to mention how it is worsened in combination with many popular pharmaceutical products.
“Acetaminophen is a commonly used drug that induces serious hepatotoxicity…Both linoleic acid and arachidonic acid–substrates in eicosanoid biosynthesis–were significantly influenced by overdose…results hence attest to the hazard of acetaminophen overdose on the temporal homeostasis of hepatic concentrations of free fatty acids…”
“…studies postulated that an APAP [acetaminophen] metabolism triggering lipid peroxidation was responsible for liver injury…PUFA oxidation markers were expressed immunohistochemically in almost all degenerative hepatocytes 3–24 hr after APAP injection…”
To put it another way, you could say that the polyunsaturated fats and paracetamol are two things that cause inflammatory disease, whereas aspirin and sugar are two things that protect against such states. Both function synergistically, although ironically it is aspirin and sugar which can combine to powerfully benefit metabolic performance.
From this perspective, anti-sugar as well as anti-aspirin propaganda, can be seen to be coming off branches of the same agenda tree.
When a supplement or medicine – or even a particular food – works to improve the function of metabolism via amelioration of basic biological processes, it tends to promote overall recuperation. This is not good for business.
Many tried and true products behaving in such a way (regardless of their long and successful history) have suffered the fate of exposure to ongoing, relentless negative publicity campaigns.
One effective way to achieve this, is to gradually muddy the waters of physiology, letting the increasing confusion enable the justification of almost any reasoning.
It’s then possible to maintain the illusion that pharmaceutical and medical science and research is tirelessly moving towards better understanding and more effective methods of prevention and treatment.
Of course even the best things can be misused, every possible angle is not always seen, and things don’t always go according to plan.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Do some reading. Enquire. Find out for yourself.
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Aspirin dose dependently inhibits the interleukin-1 beta-stimulated increase in inducible nitric oxide synthase, nitric oxide, and prostaglandin E(2) production in rat ovarian dispersates cultured in vitro.