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Med Hypotheses. 2013 Feb;80(2):186-90. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2012.11.025. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Dietary nitrate and reductive polyphenols may potentiate the vascular benefit and alleviate the ulcerative risk of low-dose aspirin.

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  • 1NutriGuard Research, 1051 Hermes Ave., Encinitas, CA 92024, United States.


The recent revelation that daily low-dose aspirin not only lowers risk for vascular events, but also can notably decrease risk for a range of adenocarcinomas, decreasing total cancer mortality by about 20%, makes it highly desirable to implement this protective strategy on a population-wide basis. Nonetheless, the fact that low-dose aspirin approximately doubles risk for serious gastrointestinal bleeding may impede health authorities from recommending its use by people judged to be at low cardiovascular risk. Nitric oxide (NO) exerts gastroprotective effects by boosting blood flow and mucus production in the gastric mucosa - effects which demonstrably oppose the pro-ulcerative impact of aspirin and other NSAIDs. A nitrate-rich diet, as well as ingestion of reductive catechol-bearing polyphenols, can collaborate in promoting NO generation in gastric juice, and they are protective in rodent models of gastric ulceration. Moreover, a high-nitrate diet, as well as certain reductive polyphenols such as epicatechin and quercetin, can exert platelet-stabilizing effects complementary to those of aspirin, and act in other ways to preserve vascular health. Hence, diets rich in nitrate and reductive polyphenols have the potential to amplify the vascular-protective benefits of low-dose aspirin, while diminishing its pro-ulcerative risk. Low-dose aspirin may be more unequivocally recommendable within the context of such a dietary strategy.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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