The one-a-day pill that can ruin your life

Of all the dumb ideas that could come flying out of your doctor's mouth, one of the absolute worst is the inane notion that you need to gobble down aspirin every day.


Ask him, and you'll get the usual line of bull about how daily aspirin can supposedly prevent a heart attack. What he won't tell you is that your odds of having your life saved by daily aspirin are about the same as your odds of being struck by lightning.

No, I didn't make that up. You know me better than that. Your odds of being hit by lightning at some point in your life are about 1 in 3,000.

A new study on daily aspirin given to healthy people finds it saves about 33 lives in every 100,000 people.

That's roughly... you guessed it... 1 in 3,000 (or 1 in 3,030, if you want to be precise about it).

At least lightning won't hurt you when it doesn't hit. When aspirin doesn't save your life, on the other hand, it could ruin or even end it. In fact, the same new study finds daily aspirin is roughly twice as likely to hurt you as it is to help.

It'll boost your risk of painful and serious internal bleeding in your gut by as much as 37 percent, and increase the risk of a potentially deadly hemorrhagic stroke by as much as 38 percent.

And that's not even getting into the risks found in other studies on aspirin. Yes, there's more -- like the fact that aspirin can actually make your blood MORE likely to clot, thereby causing the very heart attack it's supposed to prevent.

Talk about being hit by lightning!

Forget aspirin. If you want safe blood-thinning action and protection for your heart (as well as your brain), stick to cod liver oil. Four capsules a day should do the trick... but your own doc can help you figure out the exact dose for your situation.