When You Should Take Aspirin

Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD

November 22, 2021


If your doctor is telling you to take aspirin to prevent a heart attack, it’s time to get a Second Opinion.

Many doctors recommend taking aspirin to prevent heart attacks. But it turns out that this practice is only helpful in those people who are actually in the process of immediately having a heart attack. In those cases, taking aspirin right away and for the next 30 days does save lives.

And there is no downside to taking aspirin this way.

As for taking a low-dose aspirin every day to prevent heart attacks – it doesn’t work.

A recent study looked at 95,000 people who had a low risk for having a heart attack and 17,000 high-risk people. The people using aspirin had the same death rate as those using a placebo.

Taking aspirin did reduce the chance of having a non-fatal heart attack, but the reduction was only 5% per year. These findings were the same for both men and women.

Furthermore, taking aspirin did not lower the chance in either group of having a stroke. In fact, when people taking aspirin suffer a hemorrhagic stroke, they are significantly more likely to die from the stroke than those who don’t take aspirin.

In another similar trial, people taking low-dose aspirin were at significant risk of another serious problem. They are close to three times more likely to have a major bleeding episode from an ulcer than those taking the placebo.

So when I add up the very small benefit from taking aspirin and compare it to the increased risk of death from hemorrhagic stroke and the risk of peptic ulcer disease, I’m thinking there must be a better way to go. And here it is.

Forget the aspirin. It’s not necessary and it could be dangerous. Instead, make sure that you have a properly designed exercise program, and that you stick to it for the rest of your life.

Next, replace your hormone levels as they decline. Remember, it’s not if you will need hormone replacement – it’s when. Hormones that are particularly important for preventing heart disease are testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and thyroid.

And finally, take some supplements that act to keep your blood thin. I take one scoop of Super Immune QuickStart and fish oil to get that job done.

Please read my book Bursting With Energy. I go particularly into how to prevent not only heart disease, but also all of the other diseases of aging.


Baigent, C., L. Blackwell, et al. “Aspirin in the primary and secondary prevention of vascular disease: collaborative meta-analysis of individual participant data from randomised trials.” The Lancet. 2009;373:1849- 1860.

Lanas, A. And J. Scheiman. “Low-dose aspirin and upper gastrointestinal damage: epidemiology, prevention and treatment.” Curr Med Res Opin. 2007;23:163-173.

Yeomans, N.D., A.I. Lanas, N.J. Talley, et al. “Prevalence and incidence of gastroduodenal ulcers during treatment with vascular protective doses of aspirin.” Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005;22:795-801.

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