Read this before you take your next aspirin

It's one of the FIRST treatments your doc will push on you.

If your arteries are getting gummed up... if they're starting to practically close themselves tight, especially down toward your legs... he'll tell you it's time for aspirin.

Since it thins the blood, theoretically aspirin can squeeze through those tight spaces more easily, and you don't drop dead.

Makes sense, right?

Just one problem: It doesn't work!

New research shows aspirin therapy does little to nothing for folks with peripheral vascular disease -- or, the narrow arteries that lead to poor circulation and pain down into your legs.

It won't cut the risk of complications of the condition itself, and won't cut the other risks linked to the disease including heart attack and stroke.

And most importantly, it won't cut the risk of death.

In fact, the new review of 11 studies finds NO BENEFIT at all to taking daily aspirin for peripheral vascular disease!

But while it won't help, it certainly could HURT, since this drug packs a notorious risk of dangerous side effects -- and you don't have to have peripheral artery disease to face those problems.

Aspirin is often given to ANYONE at risk of heart problems to cut the risk of a heart attack.

The mainstream likes to talk about weighing risks against benefits. Yeah, they like to TALK about it... but they rarely actually DO it.

So, allow me.

One study last year found that if you give the drug to 1,000 at-risk patients, you could prevent 11 heart attacks -- but you'd also cause 30 OTHER people to suffer dangerous bleeds in the stomach.

Aspirin can even cause bleeding inside your brain.

Clearly, it's a lousy choice.

But just as clearly, you need to do SOMETHING -- because if the blood can't reach your legs, it can lead to pain, infection, and even the death of tissue, which in turn can become gangrenous and require amputation.

The best "treatment," of course, is to not get peripheral vascular disease in the first place. Avoiding it's pretty simple: Eat a healthy diet (a Mediterranean lifestyle is perfect for this) and keep on your feet as much as possible.

Vitamin C is also highly effective at improving circulation and cutting the risk of peripheral vascular disease.

If you already have it, you need a little more help, including natural blood thinners such as fish oil. You may also benefit from chelation therapy, which can help break up the deposits that cause arteries to narrow.

If you're in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.