Aspirin's side effects many times overshadow any of its benefits. These side effects include ulcers, gastric bleeding, contributing factor for macular degeneration, and immune system suppression. Research shows that risk for gastric bleeding does not change with the size of dose. This means that whether you take a large or small dose of aspirin you could still suffer this side effect. In addition aspirin only prevents certain types of strokes it can heighten your risk of other types of strokes.
Prostaglandins and Aspirin
Aspirin is effective at blocking prostaglandins production in the body. These belong to the fatty-acid group of elements produced by the body. They act in the same way that hormones do by stimulating cell interaction in the cells that produce them.
The problem with some of these prostaglandins is when they accumulate into more that the body normally uses. Then they can cause pain, inflammation and even heart disease.
Yes, it is true the aspirin blocks these prostaglandins successfully, but the aspirin does not distinguish between the good and bad ones and therefore will block the activity of both. Heart disease happens because the bad ones can outnumber the good ones in some cases.
Fish Oil in Place of Aspirin
Fish oil is also beneficial for many of the ways aspirin is but without as many side effects according to some. I know it is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA.
The GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) that make up the many of the prostaglandins including all the bad ones need to be balanced in the body with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and this is where fish oil comes in at, and it helps to inhibit production as far as the bad prostaglandins are concerned while leaving the good ones alone.
Fish oil is added to the diet through eating fish such as bass, cod, and salmon along with other cold-water species or by taking a high-quality supplemente.
Does Fish Oil Pose a Risk of Bleeding?
The belief has existed for while that long-term use of omega-3s results in the thinning of the blood. The AHA (American Heart Association) even warns people on its webpage that anyone taking over 3 grams of the omega-3 fatty acids need to only do so with their doctor's approval.
Research into medical literature though shows no scientific link to this being true. William Harris, Ph.D. did a search for evidence on omega-3s promoting bleeding. He examined studies of patients given omega-3 fatty acids at doses ranging from 1 to 4 grams a day and sometimes higher, that underwent major heart surgery. Some were even taking blood thinners.
No evidence proved the risk of bleeding increased because of the omega-3s. Other studies dealing with pregnant women or dialysis patients showed the same results.
Dr. Harris included that there is no increase risk of bleeding taking omega-3 supplements. Now these supplements have not been tested though against some of the new anti-platelet drugs. He went on to say the benefits of taking omega-3 supplements on reducing cardiovascular disease outweigh the risk for any side effects.
Taking Fish Oil and Aspirin Together
Taking fish oil and aspirin together could provide certain benefits. I recommend you discussing this with your doctor before doing so just to make sure you do not suffer any unwanted side effects.
In a study published in 2001 in the "Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids" publication, it states the taking fish oil with low-dose aspirin together could bring more benefits to the body than just taking the aspirin on its own. In part, this is because together they improve the eicosanoid pattern in the body. Eicosanoids produced by your cells are hormone-like elements.
Various ones of these elements help boost the immune system, prevent blood clots, and lessen the pain felt by the body. Others do just the opposite. However, with the right balance of the two kinds your body function normally and fish oil along with aspirin accomplishes this better than taking aspirin alone according to a 2001 study.
Testing on the Effectiveness of Fish Oil and Aspirin for Colon Cancer
Researchers in England start a study to discover whether fish oil and aspirin together are effective preventative for colon cancer. Earlier studies show that the EPA in fish oils provides some level of protection for precancerous colon polyps per a statement from University of Leeds where the study was performed. Aspirin shows the same results.
Today, researchers believe that aspirin and fish oil together offer more benefits than either one used by itself. Aspirin and EPA have few side effects when compared with some of the newer drugs for this issue today.
Dr. Hull says that if the therapy with the combination of the aspirin and fish oil (through consumption of fish or supplements) proves effective and safe it could treat a larger number of people who have pre-cancerous polyps in the bowels and lower the risk of more developing.