Aspirin and your colon
A new analysis of previous studies has suggested that taking a low dose of aspirin can reduce your chances of developing and dying from cancer of the colon. While the study sounds promising there are some caveats that need to be added.
For the analysis, the researchers followed up five previous studies that had been done in the UK, Sweden, and Holland. These studies were done on the use of aspirin to reduce cardiovascular disease but the researchers were able to track colon cancer incidence amongst the people from the studies.
The results showed that people taking at least 75mg daily of aspirin had a 24 per cent reduction in their risk of colon cancer and that their risk of dying from the disease also went down by 35 per cent. There was no increased benefit at doses higher than 75mg daily and being on aspirin for a longer period gave even greater protection.
Having said this, there are certain reservations that need to be aired about long-term aspirin therapy and this research.
There are for instance, side effects from aspirin use in the long-term. Aspirin can be hard on the gastrointestinal tract and may lead to heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. There is also a small but slightly increased risk of haemorrhagic stroke. In recent times aspirin has also been linked as a causative factor in some cases of asthma.
Given that there are many natural, dietary, and herbal ways to support your colon using aspirin as your first alternative to reduce your colon cancer risk would not seem a balanced approach.
The other thing to keep in mind with this piece of research is that the patients were mostly men with cardiovascular risk factors so generalising the results to the rest of the population is problematic.
On the whole aspirin is certainly an effective short-term pain reliever. Based on this research it may even be a possible preventative treatment option for some high risk patients. In general however, more gentle and natural preventative approaches involving diet, exercise, probiotics, and herbs would probably be a sensible first choice for most people.