One of the largest clinical trials ever conducted in Australia had 16,500 over 70s test the effects of a powerful drug.
This drugs effects has been shown to help everything from heart disease, diabetes, bowel cancer, osteoporosis and know, it seems, depression. The beauty of the drug is that you probably already have it in your home. The drug is aspirin.
Michael Berk, Alfred Deakin Professor of Psychiatry at Deakin University’s School of Medicine, told the Sydney Morning Herald “”It’s an incredibly exciting study, and I think it’s fair to say that something of this magnitude in sheer size and clinical importance is a very rare occurrence, indeed.”
The trial also looked at aspirin’s significant effect on macular degeneration, hearing loss, Alzheimer’s, bung knees, assorted infections, and “the scourge of marriages” snoring.
The other aim of the trial was to determine if taking aspirin regularly helped improve over the 70s quality of life. Professor John McNeil, head of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University told the SMH “When you get to prevention in people over the age of 70 there are so many other medications that they have to be on – and there’s so much of an issue with side-effects and so on – that if you’re going to be giving them a drug for the rest of their lives, you really want to be aware of what it’s achieving, and that it’s doing more good than harm.” He continued “It became quite evident that we just didn’t have that information – and for the most widely used drug in the world that’s a pretty big gap.”
While aspirin is being tested on this issues after they have already occurred the real result of the study Dr Berk says is that aspirin “might be useful as a preventative”. The beauty of the study is that aspirin is much more widely accessible and cheaper than other drugs, which is why it might have been overlooked in the first place.
Before making any changes to your medical needs, it’s always important to discuss it with your doctor before trying it.