150 years of Bayer

There are a few reasons why I wanted to start blogging and one of them is to neutralize my frustrations when I hear something outrageously wrong in a forum or setting where I cannot say anything or reply to it on the spot.  There are many settings for that, but watching television news is a big one for me. Usually my dear wife receives most of my frustration and I have decided to change that.

Just this Monday, ABC News’ Diane Sawyer introduced this “amazing” medical news about research done at Stanford that the little Bayer aspirin had done it again.  Then because she has no brain or no time to dissect the news herself, she asked her valet “medical expert” Richard Besser to chime in and explain to us what this news means.  As usual he contributes nothing but summarizing the news, adding no value, no analysis of any sort or any questioning of the story. He just repeats the news like a parrot for us the “lay” persons.  I just found out that Richard Besser used to be the spokesperson for the Center for Disease Control where I am certain he developed his parroting skills.

Anyway, the totally bogus analysis of the findings unofficially claims that taking aspirin will lower the risk of the deadliest of skin cancers, melanoma.  Take a listen and read the story at http://abcnews.go.com/Health/aspirin-linked-lower-risk-deadly-skin-cancer/story?id=18704991

Please tell me you can see through this “commercial”?  Any naïve person listening to this will immediately assume that they should take or continue to take the little “trillion dollar profit to Bayer” pill.

Did you know that aspirin, which was once a headache pill, has grown to be a total body health pill in the last four decades?   I saw a television ad last year which “interestingly” stopped being aired nearly in the same week.  This beautiful ad showed a beautiful image of the brain, and then of the body while the words “If you can increase brain health, then the rest of the body is a no-brainer” were spoken in concert with the image.  In essence, this ad implied that aspirin would increase brain health and that resultantly the rest of your body would be healthier too.

Sarcasm coming; By now Bayer aspirin can prevent heart attacks, can save your life if you are having a heart attack, can reduce your headaches, can reduce your knee, lower back and upper back pain, PMS pain, and many more pains.

Their web site says; Aspirin Regimen “For over 100 years, consumers have relied on Bayer® Aspirin as a time-tested, highly effective pain reliever. And, in the last thirty years, aspirin has emerged as a “wonder drug” for its many lifesaving uses.”

And in the last few decades the Bayer company, according to many unsubstantiated research and news reports, claims it can prevent colon cancer, skin cancers and likely many other cancers, just like in this news release “Aspirin Reduces Risk of Death From a Range of Cancers, Researchers Find.”

Did you know that when looking under the hood, when analyzing all of the research papers; nowhere has it been proven or determined that Aspirin can prevent or cure any cancers?  There are innuendos and half messages.  In all of the papers that I have read, none of the trials have been substantiated by non-placebo, non-commercial evidence or true academic research.  In this latest news on skin cancer, the 60,000 women participating in the unrelated five-year study all had different diets, different lifestyles, different stress factors, different genetic makeups, etc.  This Stanford research would be failed and thrown out by any credible researcher.

While Diane Sawyer and her valet and the syndicated news channels are fed this unsubstantiated commercial advertisement for the Bayer company, no one brings up that fact that the number one preventable cause of the number one and two leading causes of annual deaths in America; cardiovascular and cancer diseases, is eating too much and too much of the wrong food leading to obesity.

Not a word of this is mentioned.

Of course all of you Ninja Wellness Warrior know about this!  I just needed to get it out of my system so I can continue watching entertaining news and not break up my marriage.  I know some would tell me to stop watching television, but instead I have decided to never (not that I was) purchase a Bayer drug.  I have decided in this moment to eat even better than yesterday.  I have decided to renew my Wellness Ninja Warrior vows.

2 thoughts on “150 years of Bayer

  1. Maryse Thomas says:

    Great post!! And here is my two cents for anyone that is skeptical…

    First of all, if you’re interested, you can find the Stanford paper in question here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23483536

    The problem with large scale studies is that researchers can almost always weasel their way into finding some sort of statistical significance. But statistical significance does not equate to practical significance.

    If you take a look at the stats in this paper, it is indeed true that post-menopausal caucasian women that use aspirin had a lower incidence of melanoma than those who took non-aspirin NSAIDs or no painkillers at all. However, the researchers conveniently chose to leave out some of the most telling statistics. These include correlation coefficient and the coefficient of determination. These tell us, among other things, how much of the variation in instances of melanoma can actually be accounted for by aspirin use.

    My guess is that the Stanford researchers performed these calculations and left them out because they did not support their findings. After all, what good is publishing a paper with no results?

    The moral of the story is it might be true that women that take aspirin have a lower risk of skin cancer, but this does not necessarily mean that the aspirin is what protected them: correlation does not equal causation.

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