In the last post, we discussed a multi-ingredient supplement that increased lifespan in mice. Interestingly (at least to me), one of the ingredients was acetylsalicylic acid, or aspirin. Turns out there’s fairly good reasons for its use.
Nordihydroguaiaretic acid and aspirin increase lifespan of genetically heterogeneous male mice. (The first-named substance is a derivative of ibuprofen.) Title says it all, really.
There was an interesting statement in this article that led to another article with no abstract, so I’ll just quote it here:
Interestingly aspirin use was reported to be associated with increased survival in extreme old age in humans. Aspirin use was associated with increased survival in a 5-year follow-up study of subjects in the Finnish Centenarian Study (Agüero-Torres et al., 2001). The authors concluded that the increased survival was probably not attributable simply to the anti-atherogenic effects of aspirin, because the aspirin group had significantly more cardiovascular disease than the non-aspirin users.
So aspirin is associated with longevity even in humans, especially the oldest ones, centenarians. Aspirin also prolongs the life of C. elegans, the worm used in so many longevity studies.
Finally, there’s a suggestion that lifelong aspirin use might be a means to extend life: Lifelong Aspirin Supplementation as a Means to Extending Life Span.
Those tempted to try this at home should be aware that aspirin use can cause serious, even fatal, bleeding, and in fact that is one of its major side effects. For awhile everyone was popping baby aspirins in order to prevent heart disease, but it turns out that unless one has serious heart disease already, you’re about as likely to have an episode of serious bleeding as to be saved from a heart attack. (This is usually gastrointestinal bleeding.) So doctors are more wary now of who they tell to take aspirin.