Adding a chemical tag called an acetyl group (shaded yellow box, bottom) to a molecule derived from willow bark (salicylate, top) makes the molecule less acidic (and easier on the lining of the digestive tract), but still effective at relieving pain.
Image Credit: National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Mmm. Do you remember that terribly boring college chemistry experiment where you supposedly produce aspirin? I never sampled my aspirin, but I had a roommate that ingested a lot of chemicals. But that is a different story...
For several years now, there have been several groups that advocate adults taking an aspirin a day to decrease the probability of a heart attack or stroke. Although not a doc, I haven't agreed with this prescription, and Daily Aspirin: Work the Risk? tells cautions that aspirin can lead to major bleeds. Further, that although the data suggests aspirin may help prevent a second heart attack, the data is fuzzy on whether it reduces the chances of the first one.
But the real surprise today was, Aspirin may not prevent blood clots that cause heart attacks and strokes among diabetics. New data reveals many type-2 diabetes patients are aspirin-resistant. Hence, the standard low-dosage aspirin may provide no benefit at all to someone with type-2 diabetes. Science Daily tells that elevated urine levels of 11-dehydro-thromboxane beta-2, or 11DhTx2, indicate resistance to aspirin. Curiously, these are not associated with insulin levels, although they may be an indicator of kidney disease in diabetes.
Especially surprising from the study is that 53 percent of the type-2 patients were aspirin-resistant. Clearly though, anyone with type-2 diabetes should consult a doc about the relevance of the study to their particular regimen.