If you're 50 or over, you might want to talk to your doctor about taking a low-dose aspirin every day. A panel of health professionals known as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is recommending a daily dose for people ages 50 to 70 with a high risk for heart attacks or strokes.
Numerous studies have shown that this particular pain reliever acts as an anti-inflammatory, thereby lowering the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and even some forms of cancer, including colon cancer.
For people over 50 who have already had a heart attack, or who have a 10 percent or more chance of having one because they smoke, have high blood pressure or cholesterol, or are overweight, a daily aspirin makes sense, the USPSTF report said.
The pain reliever does have drawbacks, however. It can boost your risk of internal bleeding in the stomach and brain, especially if you've had an ulcer or are on blood thinners. So if you're aren't at a high risk for a heart attack, or aren't sure, check with your M.D. before you start any kind of medication, especially over-the-counter ones.