Pills

A bitter pill

There was an article recently in the Australian press about recent research which thinks that the little old Aspirin may help prevent cancer. Now the reason for bringing this up is not because I want you all to go start taking an aspirin every day, but because of the two other points this article raised.

One is that the researchers have found it extremely difficult to get funding for this project.  The reason being that aspirin is now a generic drug, so anyone can make it really cheaply.  Hence aspirin holds no monetary benefits for the pharmaceutical companies – so no incentive to research any of its potential additional benefits!

The second point made is based on the concept that aspirin may work in preventing cancer due to it containing salicylates as apparently we may all be deficient in salicylates due to the reduced levels in our vegetables due to modern farming techniques.  This is because salicylates are produced by plants as a protective measure against infection, pests etc and we just don’t let mass produced fruit and veg get any sort of pathogens! I guess that’s another reason to go for organic or home grown fruit and vegetables…

But there are other foods and spices which are naturally high in salicylates.  Here’s one website which provides a long list of various food items.  It’s interesting to see that the spices with high levels are a lot of those included in the Indian cuisine and that they seem to have a lower level of some cancers.

The other interesting thing is that all the websites discussing food and salicylates levels are for people who hyper-sensitive to it and are trying to reduce it from their diet!  This also includes sufferers of ADHD and autism.  The pros and cons of various diets all become very entwined…

What I found really bemusing is that the conclusion of the article was not to find natural ways to increase your intake of this ingredient, but recommending that you start taking an aspirin a day…

Now that’s a bitter pill to swallow…

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