Hats off to your old friend, inflammation.
Over the course of your life inflammation has saved your from countless foreign invaders like viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and even toxins.
When these bad guys come around they trigger what’s called acute inflammation which unleashes the protective power of your immune system very quickly, in a localized area, for a short amount of time.
- An invader is detected
- Your inflammatory response kicks in
- The invader is neutralized
- Inflammation is turned off until it’s needed again later
This is how a healthy inflammation response is supposed to work, but for millions of Baby Boomers their inflammatory response is stuck in the ON position, and the longer it stays on the more likely it is to accidentally destroy friendly cells in the process. This is howhy chronic inflammation often leads to disease.
Common Inflammatory Diseases
Chronic inflammation often manifests as an “itis” disease. “-itis” is a suffix that literally means “inflammation” as seen in disease names like:
- Colitis = inflammation of the colon
- Arthritis = inflammation of the joints
- Gastritis = inflammation of the stomach lining
Inflammation has been the known cause of these diseases since they were named, but more recent research blames chronic inflammation as the cause of many non “-itis” diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and even Alzheimer’s.
Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease
High levels of inflammation have been linked to a variety of cardiovascular complications including high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, as well as cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Diabetes is now being studied as the root cause of cardiovascular inflammation. Researchers have found that high sugar levels in the blood damages the delicate lining of blood vessels which then triggers the immune system to dispatch a protective inflammatory response.
Inflammation and Diabetes
Recent studies show a connection between low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance. As inflammation increases so does insulin resistance; as insulin resistance increases so does fat cell production; as fat production increases so does inflammation… and the cycle continues. The reason fat cell production leads to more inflammation is because fat cells actually secrete pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines. This means the more fat you have, the more inflamed your body becomes, which then creates conditions conducive to the production of more fat.
Inflammation and Cancer
Many cancers begin at sites of infection or irritation where inflammatory response is high. It has been discovered that if the natural inflammatory response is stifled then cancer cells cannot successfully evolve into tumors or migrate to different areas of the body.
Inflammation and Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s has long been associated with the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques and tangled tau proteins in the brain, but new research shows the presence of a 3rd party — inflammation. In an attempt to save the brain from harm, protective immune cells called microglia run around destroying beta-amlyoid plaque and tangled tau proteins, but in the process they also may destroy healthy brain tissue.
8 Ways to Keep Chronic Inflammation at Bay
Now that you see all the ways chronic inflammation can lead to disease I’m sure you’re wondering what you can do to start reducing it. Here are 8 ways you can keep chronic inflammation at bay:
- Lower blood sugar: high blood sugar can damage and inflame the cardiovascular system
- Lose weight: fat cells secrete inflammatory proteins called cytokines
- Exercise: just 20 minutes of moderate exercise has been shown to reduce inflammation
- Eat foods that inhibit inflammation: fatty fish, olive oil, leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts
- Avoid foods that encourage inflammation: fried foods, refined carbohydrates, soda, red meat and margarine
- Take curcumin from turmeric: There are countless brands out there but we recommend Curcumin 46x
- Add superfoods to your diet: Mega Nutrition Organic Superfood is a drink mix made of superfoods that control blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and boost healthy immune response.