Studies push daily meds for colon health
But before you invest in that club-sized pill bottle, let’s take a closer look at the details of the study in The Lancet–because it’s not exactly the kind of research you want to base your health decisions on.
Researchers looked at two decades of data from four clinical trials involving more than 14,000 patients, and found that daily aspirin at any dose–even the low-dose “baby” aspirin–reduced colon cancer risk by 24 percent, and lowered the risk of dying from the disease by 35 percent.
That sounds impressive until you realize that the trials were designed to measure stroke risk, not colon health.
In addition, the trials in the analysis were all conducted before colonoscopies reached widespread use, so the researchers say they have no idea if regular screenings would negate the “benefits” of daily aspirin.
In reality, the idea of daily aspirin for various conditions has come up repeatedly over the years, and is usually discredited later on.
Many doctors still push “aspirin therapy” for its supposed heart benefits, but that’s just one more modern medical myth: Studies have repeatedly proven that aspirin won’t lower your heart risk–but it will increase the odds of painful ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. (Click here to read more.)
And that’s not the only bad advice on colorectal health out this week–because another new study is pushing statins as a means of lowering colon cancer risk.
Researchers analyzed 20 studies involving more than 2.5 million patients, and found that those who took statins were 12 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who didn’t take these cholesterol-lowering meds.
And if you want to believe that one, I can show you a study earlier this year that found statins not only DON’T reduce the risk of colon cancer, but can actually increase the risk of precancerous polyps.
Like aspirin, far too many people are already taking statins every day for all the wrong reasons. And like aspirin, statins come with a long list of ugly risks. Statins have been linked to muscle pain and permanent muscle damage, liver and kidney problems and even cataracts.
And–again, just like aspirin–statins are completely unnecessary for colon health. If you want to protect yourself from this deadly cancer, all you really need are regular colonoscopies and old-fashioned good habits.
One new study even finds that five healthy habits can erase nearly 25 percent of all colon cancers: Don’t smoke, keep your drinking moderate, get moving for half an hour a day, eat right and don’t let your waistline get too big.
For that last one, they recommend no bigger than 34.6 inches for women and 40.1 inches for men, which isn’t exactly a demand that we turn into stick figures.
What’s more, the researchers wrote in BMJ that taking on just one of those healthy habits will lower your risk by 13 percent.
Other studies have found that you can lower colon risk by limiting the amount of processed meat in your diet, dramatically cutting back on refined carbohydrates (especially sugar) and drinking several cups of coffee a day.
That sounds a lot easier–and far safer–than daily painkillers or statins.
On a mission for your health,
Editor, House Calls