What does a stubbed toe or a splinter in a finger have to do with your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, suffering a heart attack or succumbing to colon cancer? More than you might think. As scientists delve deeper into the fundamental causes of those and other illnesses, they are starting to see links to an age-old immunological defense mechanism called inflammation — the same biological process that turns the tissue around a splinter red and causes swelling in an injured toe. If they are right — and the evidence is starting to look pretty good — it could radically change doctors’ concept of what makes us sick.
Most of the time, inflammation is a lifesaver that enables our bodies to fend off various disease-causing bacteria, viruses and parasites. Inflamation subsides after the microbe has been killed, and healing begins.
However, sometimes the problem is a genetic predisposition or something like high blood pressure or pro-inflammatory foods or inactivity/weight gain or a variety of other factors, which keeps the process going. In such event, inflammation becomes chronic rather than transitory. When that occurs, the body turns on itself with aftereffects that seem to underlie a wide variety of diseases.
Virtually all major degenerative diseases involve chronic inflammation. That means heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, kidney conditions and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s all have direct links to long term inflammation. In other words, chronic inflammation may be the engine that drives many of the most feared illnesses of middle and old age.
This concept is so intriguing because it suggests a new and possibly much simpler way of warding off disease. Instead of different treatments for, say, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases, premature aging and colon cancer, there might be a single, inflammation-reducing remedy that would prevent all three.
There are things we all can do to dampen our inflammatory fires:
1. Lose Weight: This advice may sound terribly familiar, but we have fresh reasons to follow through. Losing weight induces those fat cells to produce fewer inflammatory cytokines. So does regular exercise, 30 minutes a day most days of the week.
2. Include Probiotics: The bacteria in our guts have also been linked to inflammation. Several studies have shown that probiotics can help reduce inflammation in the gut. There is also evidence that probiotics can reduce the inflammation associated with psoriasis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
3. Switch to Organic Diet: Organic Fruits, vegetables, sprouted whole grains and fish are full of substances that disable free radicals and help douse chronic inflammation. So, include them in your diet as much as possible. On the other hand reduce the consumption of red meat, processed foods and bakery products.
When cooking food, use herbs like rosemary and oregano generously as they are rich source for antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
4. Take Anti-Inflammatory Supplement: Among anti-inflammatory supplements, Turmeric Supplement is at top of my list. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Serrapeptase, Green tea and Omega-3 fatty acids are other supplements that one may consider.
5. Kill the Stress: Whether we like it or not, our bodies aren’t well-suited for our hyper-busy lifestyles. Chronic stress, lack of sleep and mental/emotional burn out increase stress hormones that can fuel chronic inflammation. While slowing down is easier said than done, it’s critically important in order to tamp down inflammatory stress hormones.
For reducing stress, you can try gentle exercise, walks in nature, meditation, sport, or anything that can help calm your mind. You may also take a powerful nootropic like Nitrovit to help you handle stress.
By making a few lifestyle adjustments, we can put out the fires of chronic inflammation and reap the benefits of more energy, greater mental clarity, improved mood, better immunity and long-term protection against chronic disease.