Aspirin has long been prescribed for its heart-health benefits and has recently been touted for its use in cancer prevention. A new study delved into just how this over-the-counter drug works to help thwart the disease.

Read: Are You Taking Aspirin Daily? Benefits And Risks Revealed In New Study

Previously, it was thought that aspirin worked by decreasing inflammation in the body, but researchers at Veterans Affairs found a new development indicating that it may have more to do with how the medicine affects the platelets in your blood. Platelets assist with blood clotting and forming new vessels, but this can also encourage tumor growth.

In lab testing, the team found that aspirin blocks platelet and cancer cells from interacting by stopping inflammation causing enzyme COX-1, from activating. Regular aspirin as well as a specially formulated version known as PL2200 Aspirin were used. The created version contains a type of lipid that reduces regular aspirin’s effects on the gastrointestinal tract. In fact, scientists noted that the easier-to-digest formula was just as effective if not slightly more than the traditional.

According to MedicalXpress, Aspirin-PC/PL2200 is currently in development by Houston-based PLx Pharma, Inc. They also report that research leader Dr. Lenard Lichtenberger has a financial stake in the company.

Last year, a long-term study followed subjects over the course of about 30 years and found that people who popped the pill regularly had a decreased risk of colon, rectum and gastrointestinal tract cancers. However, there has been no link that regular aspirin use could lower the risk of breast, prostate or lung cancer.

Read: Health Benefits Of Aspirin: Regular Use May Lower Risk For Advanced Prostate Cancer

Taking aspirin does come with its side effects, however, and should not be used in conjunction with certain medications and supplements, according to the Mayo Clinic. Of course, a chat with your doctor is always recommended before taking treatment into your own hands.

See Also:

Aspirin Is The Best Thing You Can Take After A Mini Stroke, Study Says; Reduces Future Risk By Up To 80%

Heart Attack Signs You Need To Recognize To Save Your Life: Common And Uncommon Symptoms