Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Salicylates (Found In Aspirin) May Reduce Neuropathic Pain

Today's post from (see link below) takes a look at the possibility that Salicylates (most commonly found in aspirin) may be able to help control the symptoms of neuropathy by reducing so-called proinflammatory cytokynes (you're going to need to Google that one - not enough space here). Recent research suggests that Salicylates will target these cytokines, thus reducing  the symptoms that make our lives miserable. It's a short article and interesting but you may need to increase your background knowledge through your own research to understand the science behind it. One thing is sure (and the article emphasises this) you should consult with your doctor or neurologist before taking too much aspirin.

Dear Pharmacist: Salicylates may be key to easing neuropathy
SUZY COHEN For the Herald Review Apr 13, 2016

We take for granted the comfort we feel in our hands and feet, but some people have lost that comfort, and they suffer all day long with strange nerve-related concerns. There is new research about aspirin that could help them; but first, let’s talk about that nerve pain, called “neuropathy.”

Neuropathy feels like you are touching or stepping on pins and needles. It can affect you all over, not just your hands and feet. Depending on various factors (race, age, weight, alcohol consumption, insulin and A1c), your experience of neuropathy may also include pain, vibration or buzzing sensations, lightheadedness, burning sensations (even in your tongue), trigeminal neuralgia or cystitis.

Recognizing what your neuropathy stems from is critical to you getting well. For some, it is due to a vitamin deficiency. For example, vitamin B12 or probiotics that help you to manufacture your own B12 in the gut. For others, it could be that wine you drink with dinner because wine is a potent drug mugger of B1 (thiamine) which protects your nerve coating. By a mile, the most common cause of neuropathy is diabetes.

Approximately half of all people with diabetes experience diabetic neuropathies, mainly in the hands and feet. Some doctors will tell you that maintaining healthy blood glucose will reverse neuropathy but that’s not true, we know from The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial that even intensive glucose control is insufficient to control the risk of diabetic neuropathy.

It’s tough love, but I need to say it: Uncontrolled neuropathy can cause a 25 percent higher cumulative risk of leg amputation. So, gaining control is important for your independence. I’ve written about natural supplements for neuropathy in the past (articles are archived at, and you can have a free ebook “Spices that Heal” which offers more natural advice (get it by signing up for my email newsletter).

New research was published last March in Current Diabetes Reports. Scientists confirmed that targeting inflammatory cytokines can help relieve diabetic neuropathy. Oftentimes, that bad gateway called NF Kappa B (NFKB) opens its floodgates, and spits out proinflammatory cytokines such as COX-2 (Celebrex lowers this), nitric oxide synthase, lipoxygenase, TNF alpha and a lot of pain-causing interleukins (IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8).

The researchers reported that something as simple as salicylate therapy could help reduce some of these cytokines as well as circulating glucose, triglycerides, C reactive protein and free fatty acids. When you think of salicylates, please understand this is a broad group of compounds found naturally in the plant kingdom. Salicylate is the main ingredient in aspirin and other analgesics, both prescribed and over-the-counter. Salicylates include spearmint, peppermint (even in mint toothpaste) and in muscle rubs. White willow bark is an herb that is morphed and turned into aspirin. They’re not right for everyone; so please ask your doctor about salicylates for neuropathy. Also ask if you can have a blood test to evaluate some of the proinflammatory markers I noted above.

Suzy Cohen can be reached at

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