In this episode we talk about taking a low dose aspirin everyday and the potential side effects. We also talk about some natural alternatives.
We also talk about studies linking eye health and your brain. Anyone with macular degeneration, glaucoma, or other eye problems are at a much higher risk of getting dementia or Alzheimer’s. We talk about the link between your eyes and your brain.
We also talk about some natural ways to help your eyes.
TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY'S EPISODE
Dr. Martin Jr.: Hello, I’m Dr. Martin Junior.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And I’m Dr. Martin Senior.
Dr. Martin Jr.: This is The Doctor’s In Podcast, and this is Episode 150. We were just talking about this off-air. It’s unbelievable to think [00:00:30] that we’ve put 150 episodes out.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yoohoo!
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s one of those things that it sounds like a ton, really, when you think back. We put one a week out, so you think about how long we’ve been doing this for. We’ve enjoyed doing every episode. We have fun doing it. You and I get to talk a ton off-air and then we come on and try to boil down everything we’ve talked about into 20 to 30 minutes, but we’ve enjoyed doing them. 150 episodes later …
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, we get a lot of feedback. Right? People seem to appreciate the topics and [00:01:00] just the way we try and break it down for people. Anyway, we like the feedback.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, I know. It’s-
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s very positive.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s funny because one time not long ago I was actually just in a store shopping with my son. We were actually picking up some tennis rackets, and somebody heard my voice and they recognized it just from the podcast. My son was trying to say that we were famous, and I was like, “Well, no, it’s just we have a definite face for radio,” right? We’re better off hidden behind the mic.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s the voices.
Dr. Martin Jr.: We’ve got the voices, but we’re better hidden behind a microphone. [00:01:30] Anyway, we want to thank many of you who’ve listened to a lot of our podcasts for joining us along this journey. We do thank you for that very much.
Today what we want to do is talk about a couple of things. There’s been a few interesting studies that have come out, really, over the last couple weeks that we want to kind of talk about. Then we want to spend some time talking about eyes. People’s eyes. We’ve got some interesting theories on what’s going on with people’s eyes today and the connection that it has to the brain. We’ll talk about that as well.
[00:02:00] First, a study came out … Because we get this question asked a lot in emails. Basically, people take a low-dose aspirin every day and they’ve been doing it for a long time, and they want to know, is this something that I should be doing or is this something that I shouldn’t be doing? We get that question a fair amount. Probably emailed into our office every week probably somebody’s asking us that question. But a new study on that came out recently.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Well, at the end of the day, the study was saying that the risk of taking aspirin every day [00:02:30] really outweighed the benefits. I mean, that was the headline of the study. That the benefits of taking a low-dose aspirin … A lot of patients do, especially older people. They sort of bought this many, many years ago. Think about it. I’ve been in practice for 44 and this is my 45th year, and it was very, very common in the ’70s, ’80s, [00:03:00] ’90s for people to get on a low-dose aspirin.
It was almost like a vitamin to people because Bayer did a good job. Right? You’ve got to give them credit because they … Still today they advertise this. It’s still on … If you watch American TV or whatever, an aspirin is still out there advertising that keep an aspirin around because if you’re having a heart attack or a stroke you want to get to an aspirin as fast as you can. You know [00:03:30] what? I’m not against that. As a matter of fact, if you think you’re having a stroke, not a bad idea. Is somebody around you? If you can’t do it or somebody around you giving you an aspirin, I’ve got no problem with that temporarily.
But what they’re showing that long-term the benefits of aspirin long-term are not good. The risk of aspirin, taking it on a daily basis, is … Those risks are real, and I’ve always said that. By the way, and I’m just going to say it because it’s true, [00:04:00] and if you look up studies that were done with our Navitol … You see, what aspirin does is it thins out … It decreases platelet aggregation. Right? Your platelets are in your blood to clot your blood. Of course, you don’t want to over clot because you can get-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, it just backs things up. Like a hair in a drain, right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Exactly.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Just it blocks it up.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It makes you more susceptible to-
Dr. Martin Jr.: As you mentioned, there have been a fair amount of studies on pine bark extract versus aspirin in a lot of studies, [00:04:30] and pine bark extract works very, very well as a safe, natural alternative to aspirin. Of course, that’s why you mention Navitol because our pine bark extract.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, and then if you look at what those studies show too is that aspirin, one of its side effects is hearing loss and tinnitus, right? But one of the things you take Navitol for, pine bark extract, is for tinnitus because it shows to be quite effective.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, [00:05:00] a lot of people get a lot of benefits when it comes to tinnitus with-
Dr. Martin Sr.: So you still get the idea that I can help in platelet aggregation, but at the end of the day, you get all the benefits of taking Navitol, which is … I mean, for years, and years, and years thousands of our patients have been taking Navitol day in and day out and they feel better with.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, it’s-
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s so good cardiovascular-wise.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s interesting because there has been some studies done on pine bark extract and hearing loss and even balance. [00:05:30] Right? There’s a lot of people that suffer from benign positional vertigo. Now, our take on that is usually this is caused by two reasons. One is their neck, right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: I mean, we’ve seen that so many times as well. They got an issue with their neck and it’s affecting their balance. The second cause has to do with high circulating insulin that’s affecting the blood flow and everything. Yeah, there are studies showing the effect that pine bark has on hearing loss, on tinnitus, and on balance issues, [00:06:00] so it is one of those things.
As you mentioned, there is a fair amount of side effects to taking a low-dose aspirin every day. Like you’ve mentioned, hearing loss. The funny thing about hearing loss is it doesn’t happen overnight unless you made a habit of going to rock concerts or you think of all the people that come back from Vietnam, that were in Vietnam, that have all these hearing loss issues. But for the most part, hearing loss is one of those things that’s just slow and it’s very hard to attribute [00:06:30] to something. All the sudden they just-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Because it takes years, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, and they don’t hear as well. They’re never going to associate that with the daily aspirin they’ve been taking. I mean, it’s such a tough association to make so people don’t make it, but they’ve lost their hearing as a result of it because that is a known side effect to taking a daily aspirin. As you mentioned, there’s a few other ones. For some people, again, they get these terrible gastric ulcers. Right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Some people, they get-
Dr. Martin Sr.: And they come out of nowhere, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Sr.: [00:07:00] Again, that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a long time.
Dr. Martin Jr.: No, it takes a long time to get those.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Often times until it can be actually fatal. You don’t even know you’re bleeding. You’re micro-bleeding, right? The ulcer is bleeding and you’re losing blood but you don’t know it because it’s all internal. You’re not seeing it. I mean, it can be really dangerous. Now, I know that doesn’t happen with everybody, obviously, with aspirin, but …
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s the same thing with digestive disorders. Low-dose aspirin can be a trigger that leads down the road to Crohn’s [00:07:30] disease for some people. Right? That’s one of the known-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, autoimmune.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Autoimmune stuff. Then even a lot of people end up with an H. pylori infection.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Again, yup.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s hard, again, because it’s generally that people don’t tie those things together, but if you take a daily aspirin, again, it’s one of those things you just have to be aware of it. There are some stuff from the natural side that you can do as well. If you are taking a low-dose aspirin every day you should definitely be taking probiotics.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Absolutely. Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: There’s a whole bunch of other things-
Dr. Martin Sr.: They’re not really a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory [00:08:00] aspirin, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still a drug, right? People associated that, like I said, back … If you look back and you go back to the generation of the people that were baby boomers or whatever, they caught onto this taking aspirin every day was almost like a vitamin. I mean, it was almost like they … I mean, this is-
Dr. Martin Jr.: Well, they did the same kind of thing with statin drugs, right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: I remember one of the early … reading an early book on nutrition. This one guy was talking about taking statin every [00:08:30] day like it’s a vitamin, and now you see all the side effects that people are having. It definitely ain’t a vitamin. That’s for sure.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s the same thing with an aspirin. It’s just kind of take a low dose every day and there you go, you’re fine, but there are side effects to doing that. It can’t be discounted. A lot of times there are things that you would never associate with taking a low-dose aspirin.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I was at a conference years ago, just to tell you about the first time I heard about pine bark and platelet aggregation and [00:09:00] how it … The first guy that ever did it, I remember, he was … I’d say he was a real friend, but it was amazing. I think I went to 10 conferences in a row because I had talked about pine bark and chronic fatigue syndrome, and I actually wrote a book about it. I got invited to do a multitude of seminars, and it seems to me that every seminar I was at I was with this Dr. Ronald Watson and he was doing seminars on the comparison [00:09:30] of aspirin and pine bark extract. He had done studies at University of either Utah or somewhere. He was from there, so I just can’t remember what university exactly.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter. This was years ago, but again, just that always got reinforced because I used to hear him say, “Why would you not take pine bark if you get the same benefits and then you don’t get the side effects? Plus, you get the other benefits of the pine bark extract.”
Dr. Martin Jr.: Well, you get the awesome … Yeah, [00:10:00] so many.
Dr. Martin Sr.: So good for the cardiovascular system, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, which is going to lead us into our next kind of topic, which has to do with the eyes. We get a lot of questions about eye health, and there was a study that came out not long ago that one again kind of reinforced the link between eye disease and dementia and Alzheimer’s. Right? There seems to be a much higher risk of having memory issues, Alzheimer’s, dementia if you have stuff like glaucoma or age-related macular [00:10:30] degeneration or any of those issues.
It’s interesting because you and I kind of always say that the skin is a reflection of the gut. If the skin isn’t healthy the gut isn’t healthy. Whether they think it’s healthy or not, it doesn’t matter, the gut’s definitely not healthy. The eyes are in a lot of ways a reflection of what’s going on inside the brain. A lot of times because this very same things that can affect the eyes will affect the brain, but the brain is more resilient [00:11:00] because it got larger blood vessels. One of the problems with the eyes, there are so many little, tiny micro-blood vessels behind the eye that-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Little capillaries.
Dr. Martin Jr.: That’s the thing, so those little things can get plugged or break down a lot easier, which is why one of the problems of diabetics, for example, is diabetes retinopathy of the eye. They have all these eye issues. The eyes are a good window into what’s going on inside the person’s brain. What this study found is there’s [00:11:30] a link … Well, we know that. There’s a link between the eyes and the brain, but they were always kind of trying to figure out what that link was. You and I could have said this a long time ago, but it has to do with insulin and blood sugar. Now there’s starting to see that there is that link between eye health-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Elevated sugars.
Dr. Martin Jr.: … elevated sugars, and brain health because the very same thing … Like we said earlier, one of the big side effects of diabetes affects their eyes, but diabetes also affects the brain, and we know that, right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, and you always say this too, right? The body is [00:12:00] 100% committed to taking sugar out of the bloodstream, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, let’s talk about that quickly in case somebody has not heard that before, but because …
Dr. Martin Sr.: So tightly regulated.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Because glucose is so toxic to our bodies in a lot of ways and we need so little of it to function. I mean, you don’t need any real … I mean, the amount of glucose in your bloodstream at any given time is like a quarter of a teaspoon. It’s not much, so you think about that. We don’t need a lot of glucose in our blood to function properly. It is so toxic that [00:12:30] our body is always trying to maintain our blood sugar levels normal, and obesity, in a lot of ways, not always, but it’s a way of our body protecting itself from having abnormal blood sugar levels.
Some people have the amazing ability to take sugar out of their blood and store it in fat cells to not get diabetes, and then get other people who are thin and have type 2 diabetes because their body just doesn’t have the ability to store fat and they end up with diabetes very quickly, [00:13:00] right? But the body will take it and it will do whatever it can not to become diabetic, so it will ruin your eyes, it will ruin your brain, it will ruin your circulation, it will hurt your heart. It’ll do everything it can first before you become a person that has elevated blood sugar levels because then … I mean, the body … Just it’s so toxic for the body, that’s what’s really going.
What we’re starting to see now is a lot of these things that we never associated with type 2 diabetes, [00:13:30] we’re starting to associate with, such as type 3 diabetes of the brain with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and heart, blood pressure, all those kind of things. Right? Those are all-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Well, look at blood pressure, right? It’s a major, major issue. I read an article the other day just about … You just don’t want to have elevated blood pressure. Right? It’s just not good for you. Okay, but what causes it? Right? They always talked about the culprit is salt. Keep salt out of your food, when [00:14:00] it was always crappy carbohydrates [crosstalk 00:14:02] Right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Just like the people blame butter for what the bread was doing, people were blaming salt for what the foods that salt were on.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, the potato chips or …
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. That’s the thing, right? It was really that combination that is the problem. There are really two reasons why people have elevated blood pressure today, as a rule of thumb. Not all.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Just about.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 80/20 rule, right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah.
Dr. Martin Jr.: You can cover 80% of the people that are high blood pressure by two things. One, which is high circulating [00:14:30] insulin will absolutely cause inflammation, will cause increased pressure in your blood vessels, which is high blood pressure. One of the early symptoms that people have of high circulating insulin is they’ve got elevated blood pressure. A lot of people, that’s why when they lower their insulin their blood pressure gets back to normal pretty quickly. That’s one way, and, of course, the second way is that … I’m telling you, the more you read about the dangerous of elevated cortisol in the body, it is unbelievable. Unbelievable.
I was telling you over lunch of an interesting study where [00:15:00] people with IBS … Right? Because one of the problems, and we’re going to talk about this in an upcoming video that we have probably in the next week coming up, but we talk about one of the problems with IBS is the effect that cortisol has on their gut as well. It’s interesting, they did a study where they had all these people with IBS do public speaking and non-IBS people do public speaking. What they found was under any stress at all people with IBS secrete more cortisol because, again … That makes [00:15:30] sense, right? IBS is a stress of the system, so cortisol will be elevated anyways.
But anyways, when it comes to blood pressure cortisol … I mean, if you think about the mechanism it makes sense, right? Because cortisol … One of the main functions of cortisol is to raise your blood sugar levels. You’re constantly raising your blood sugar levels. You’re constantly lowering it with insulin. It’s just a trigger effect that’s going on, so sometimes it can be the food that we’re eating that’s elevating insulin. Other times it could be the stress or cortisol that’s elevating insulin as well. [00:16:00] Anyways, blood pressure, as you mentioned, is a good indication that they got insulin issues for sure and they may also have a cortisol issue as well. It is interesting when you think about it.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Well, you think of what cortisol does, right? It’s the long-lasting fight or flight, right? Just put your body into something that you don’t sleep properly, cortisol goes up, and then again, that can affect your blood pressure. It can affect a lot of things, so yeah, absolutely.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, and it’s kind of a double [00:16:30] whammy because if you have high circulating insulin you’re going to have high blood pressure, and that’s going to damage your blood vessels. Again, those little blood vessels behind the eye get affected. I mean, those little, tiny micro-blood vessels just get hammered when it comes to high blood pressure. Also, again, high circulating insulin causes inflammation and inflammation causes stuff to stick in blood vessels. It affects the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels. It swells them up. Right? It causes those to grow.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, [00:17:00] they’re not as slippery.
Dr. Martin Jr.: No, and insulin’s a growth hormone so it makes things grow. One of the things it can make grow is it can mess up that inner lining of your blood vessels, and it just takes away space. Less blood can flow through. It’ll increase your blood pressure even more. Increases your risk of stroke and all those kind of things.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Sickness without a fever. Right? Inflammation, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, and that’s really what’s going on. Inflammation is an indication that there’s … We say this all the time. Inflammation [00:17:30] isn’t Houdini. It’s not a magician. It doesn’t just magically spontaneously appear. There’s always a cause of inflammation. People forever have said inflammation is the root of all disease and it’s not. Inflammation is in all disease, but what’s causing that inflammation? It doesn’t just spontaneously show up, so when it comes to eyes … Right? If we reverse engineer a majority of the eye problems that people have with aging, glaucoma or, like I [00:18:00] said, age-related macular degeneration, all these things-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Diabetic retinopathy.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Diabetic retinopathy. If we were to reverse engineer a lot of those things, they start off with some blood flow issues to the eye. But what’s causing those blood flow issues to the eye? In most of the people, it’s high circulating insulin that’s causing the change of blood flow, which is causing a problem in the eye. There’s no question. Again, a lot of things that can fix insulin can also help your eyes out, no question, and it’s funny, again, because [00:18:30] you mentioned pine bark earlier, how many people message us and tell us how much they’ve improved their eye health by taking pine bark extract. Again, pine bark extract is very good for promoting increased blood flow, so it only makes sense that the eyes would benefit from that.
I mean, the eyes definitely benefit from improved blood flow. Right? Again, it’s one of those things that if you’re worried about your eyes or if you’re having eye issues you better be worried about your [00:19:00] brain as well because you’ve increased your risk of having brain problems. Eyes can be an early indication that that’s going to be a problem down the future, but the good thing is the very same thing that you would do to protect your brain, in a lot of ways, are the same things that you would do to help improve your eye health.
You want to definitely, again, take that into consideration. Our eyes are not in a vacuum. They’re not independent of other things. Because of the way that the blood goes into the eye it could be a good indication that there’s some serious problems happening behind [00:19:30] the scenes in even bigger blood vessels, and so you want to definitely pay attention to the health of your eyes. We always say pay attention to the health of your skin, pay attention to the health of your eyes, and pay attention to the health of your hair because it’s also a … Hair is a great biomarker. Right?
If all the sudden … We hear this a lot with hormone stuff. Women all the sudden, they’re like, “Man, I’m just losing hair.” Okay. There’s something going on. Hair doesn’t just all the sudden for no reason start to fall out in clumps, or get thinner, or get course, or all those things. Okay. [00:20:00] That’s a biomarker. There’s something going on. Same thing with skin.
All the sudden somebody’s skin doesn’t look as healthy as it used to. That’s an indication of something going on in the gut. Eyes? Eyes are definitely an indication … What I’m talking about, I’m not talking about just you got bad vision. I’m talking about macular degeneration. I’m talking about glaucoma, those kinds of things. That’s an indication that there’s something going on and you better start paying attention to the health of your brain as well. Right? Is there anything else you want to add on that?
Dr. Martin Sr.: Nope. I think we covered it.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Naturally, to protect [00:20:30] your eyes we love pine bark extract. Absolutely love pine bark extract.
Dr. Martin Sr.: And the dry eyes too. Think about that because that’s a big thing now with all the blue light. People live and make their living on a computer, your iPad, and just the blue light. Right? I believe that really has an effect too on that, so to protect your eyes from that I love HiDHA oil. Omega-3 is tremendous for eyes. Navitol, again, is very, very good.
I can’t know if I said this on a podcast [00:21:00] or not, but the last time I went to my optometrist he told me that my eyes were better now than they were 10 years ago. They actually improved. Again, that’s keeping insulin down. That is trying to practice what we preach here as much as you can. Navitol. I take high dosage DHA, and think of all the microcirculation behind the eyes, and my eyes are better. My eyes are better now than they ever have been. Well, at least for 10 years. Right?
[00:21:30] I need glasses to read, but my distant vision is better, and I know that. I find that I don’t need my glasses. I’m so used to wearing them. I wear them all the time, but I don’t need them unless I’m reading. I’ve got to use them for reading. Right? At 66 years old, like the guy said, “Man, your eyes are in good shape and they’re better than they used to be.” Well, I try and-
Dr. Martin Jr.: That’s something that we hear a lot. Right?
Dr. Martin Sr.: … take of care of them. Right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: We do get a lot of messages along the lines like, “Hey, the stuff that I’m taking, can that help with my eyes? [00:22:00] Because my optometrist says my eyes are doing better.” Yeah, absolutely. Again, eyes are a window into what’s going on. Right? It’s-
Dr. Martin Sr.: Good eating, and …
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, and a window into circulation and a whole bunch of stuff, so that’s encouraging because we get a lot of questions about the eyes. Again, what you just mentioned is exactly our philosophy on anti-aging. Right? Anti-aging is internal. The external skin, hair, and everything will reflect what’s going on internally, [00:22:30] so if your insides are healthy, if your mitochondria are healthy, if you’re all those kind of things then it’s going to be reflected on the outside appearance. Eyes are one of those things as well.
All right, so we’re out of time, but we want to thank you for listening. If you have any questions you can email us at email@example.com. Also, if you’re not a newsletter subscriber head over to our website, martinclinic.com, and sign up for our newsletters. Also, we have a private Facebook group and it’s great. We get a ton of questions. We try to go in there and answer as many questions [00:23:00] as we can. It’s a tremendous community, so you can go to our website and join our private Facebook group as well, and then every Thursday morning you do Facebook Live and you answer a ton of questions that way as well, so there’s a lot of ways to get ahold of us.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I do my rants.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. Facebook Live is a great medium for that, isn’t it? It’s just a great way. It is one of those things that’s amazing now that a person has the ability to publish and bypass TV stations and all those kind of things to get their message out. It is neat, and it allows you to kind [00:23:30] of get things off your chest every once in a while because sometimes I’m glad when I’m reading these studies … Because, again, we’re coming off a week where the last two weeks there have been two bad studies. One on coconut oil.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, craziness.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Terrible study. I hate even to use the word study. Then the one on low carb will shorten lifespan, which again was a … That study’s been destroyed and it’s been shown for what it is, which is a terrible study. They manipulated the data in a sense. They didn’t include … Basically, nobody ate less than 40% [00:24:00] carbs almost. I think it was like 37% carbs, so that’s not even a low carb diet by anybody’s definition in the sense of low carbs, so there’s so many things wrong with that study, but it got a ton of headlines.
There are times when I read these studies and it’s like I’m kind of glad. When I used to coach hockey with the parents we had the 24-hour rule, which is like, “Hey, you may not like me during the game, but you got to give it 24 hours because otherwise, everybody’s going to say something stupid that they’re going to regret.”
Dr. Martin Sr.: Yeah, cool down.
Dr. Martin Jr.: There’s a 24-hour cool down period. It’s kind of like the same [00:24:30] thing. That’s the problem with social media, and a lot of people get themselves into trouble because they can instantly give a hot take all day long, and sometimes their hot take and when they think about it after it’s like, “That’s not really what I meant,” and so we’re constantly-
Dr. Martin Sr.: You’re in trouble.
Dr. Martin Jr.: Oh, yeah. Things go viral all the time because you know somebody just got mad at something, jumped on Facebook or Twitter or whatever and just said something they completely regretted. Right? Yeah, that’s the power of social media, but it’s allowed us and it’s allowed you to directly [00:25:00] put yourself in front of people that have health questions and the ability to answer those questions, so it’s fantastic. Again, we want to thank you for listening and have a great day.