The benefits of aspirin on inflammation to cancer
Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that acts on cyclooxygenases (COX), enzymes involved in the synthesis and regulation of prostaglandins, very potent pro-inflammatory molecules. At the same time, COXs are responsible for platelet aggregation, with inhibition leading to blood fluidification and a decrease in the occurrence of blood clots.
Aspirin is the most widely prescribed anti-inflammatory medication because of the few side effects caused by its use and its anti-aggregant action, which is of great preventive value in cardiovascular diseases. Recently, several studies have looked at its role in ageing disorders with surprising results.
Although it has been on the market for over 100 years, the scientific community continues to find new uses for aspirin. In addition to its ability to prevent cardiovascular diseases, vascular accidents and to its anti-inflammatory properties, it also appears to prevent a certain number of cancers and to delay aging by regulating its associated diseases.
A recent review shows a reduction of 63% for colon cancer, 39% for breast cancer, 36% for lung cancer and 39% for prostate cancer. In slightly less frequent cancers, daily intake of aspirin led to a 73% decrease in esophageal cancer, 62% in stomach cancer and 47% in ovarian cancer. Overall, considering the incidence of cancer and after three years of minimum daily intake, the cancer rate appears to be reduced by 7 to 25% in a healthy population with no other risk factors[2,4].
Effects on aging?
Several mechanisms are currently being studied to understand the role of aspirin in cellular senescence, aging and cancer development. It appears that it could act in a combined way via (a) the inhibition of COX, (b) the recycling of reactive oxygen species (“ROS” or pro-oxidants), (c) the regulation of mitochondrial respiration leading to a decrease in ROS synthesis, (d) the protection of telomeres during cell division[3,5].
Are these beneficial effects of aspirin the sum of its different mechanisms of action or is it really a molecule capable of delaying aging? The issue is still debated because, contrary to his anti-inflammatory colleague, Ibuprofen, which seems to increase the lifespan in yeast by up to 15%, no study has specifically studied the effect of aspirin on physiological aging. One can therefore only speculate on its anti-aging action, although its role in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases is clearly established.
- Number of publications: more than 1,000
- Availability : over-the-counter
- Route : oral
- Dosage : between 80 and 250 mg/day as a preventive measure
Anti-pyretic: aspirin helps fight fever.
Analgic: aspirin is an effective pain reliever.
Anti-inflammatory: aspirin is recommended to fight against muscular and joint pains (high dose).
In small doses, aspirin is one of the oldest and most prescribed medications in the world. The scientific community therefore has a significant hindsight on its use and few risks are associated with taking aspirin.
However, the maximum recommended dose is 3 grams per day in three doses spread over the day. Because of its important activity on platelet aggregation, it would be dangerous to exceed these doses without risk of bleeding or hemorrhage.
Aspirin should never be taken without medical advice if there is a history of ulcer or anemia.
 J. Cuzick et al., Estimates of benefits and harms of prophylactic use of aspirin in the general population, Annals of Oncology, 2015, 26: 47–57
 Phillips T, Leeuwenburgh C. Lifelong aspirin supplementation as a means to extending life span. Rejuvenation Res. 2004;7(4):243-51
 Harris, R. E., Beebe-Donk, J., Doss, H., Doss, D. B.Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in cancer prevention: A critical review of non-selective COX-2 blockade (Review). Oncology Reports, 2005, 13;4 : 559-583.
 R.J. Shmookler Reis et al., Aspirin, the oldest new anti-aging drug, SENS5 conference
 Chong He, Scott K. Tsuchiyama et al., Enhanced Longevity by Ibuprofen, Conserved in Multiple Species, Occurs in Yeast through Inhibition of Tryptophan Import, PLOS Genetics, 2014, 18;10(12):e1004860.
Dr. Marion Tible
Marion Tible has a PhD in cellular biology and physiopathology. Formerly a researcher in thematics varying from cardiology to neurodegenerative diseases, she is now part of Long Long Life team and is involved in scientific writing and anti-aging research.
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Marion Tible est docteur en biologie cellulaire et physiopathologie. Ancienne chercheuse dans des thématiques oscillant de la cardiologie aux maladies neurodégénératives, elle est aujourd’hui impliquée au sein de Long Long Life pour la rédaction scientifique et la recherche contre le vieillissement.
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