As part of the body’s immune response, acute inflammation is the beginning of the biological healing process. A central component of innate immunity, inflammation is a local response to pathogens and injured tissue. Per the British Journal of Nutrition, acute inflammation is “marked by increased blood flow, capillary dilation, leukocyte (white blood cell) infiltration and the localized production of a host of chemical mediators,” all in pursuit of the identification and destruction of toxic agents and the repair of damaged tissue. Generally considered to be a protective mechanism, the trouble begins when anti-inflammatory mediators don’t resolve, and pro-inflammatory pathways don’t switch off. The balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines plays a critical role in the body’s response to an inflammatory stimulus.
Low grade inflammation is defined as a two to four-fold increase in circulating levels of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, as well as other markers of immune activity. Chronic inflammation can occur when the body sends an inflammatory response to a perceived threat when a response is unwarranted, or can result from a failure to eliminate the cause of acute inflammation. The association between chronic low-grade systemic inflammation and chronic disease development is well recognized, yet the question as to why the immune system goes awry, signaling attacks on and destruction of its own healthy tissues, remains unclear. Obesity, bacteria; and the western lifestyle, characterized by sedentary habits, sleep deprivation, and a diet rich in industrially refined foods, are considered likely contributors to systemic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation can remain silent and symptomless and persist for years until a serious disease presents itself. Elevated unresolved inflammation can affect the body’s organs and tissues, and lead to conditions such as chronic sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as some cancers and Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s diseases. The American Heart Association recommends blood tests that measure levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation. Elevated levels of CRP are linked to plaque formation and a higher risk of developing coronary artery disease.
Scientists have found that obese people have higher levels of white blood cells, and ultimately, persistent inflammation. Studies also show that reducing inflammation through weight loss, along with modifiable dietary and lifestyle factors, may offer a disease-prevention strategy. Certain foods, supplements and nutraceuticals are known to target a range of compounds associated with inflammation. Astaxanthin, omega-3 essential fatty acids, and turmeric may help to slowly reduce or prevent inflammation without the side effects of anti-inflammatory OTC formulations and pharmaceuticals.
-Substantial evidence suggests that foods and nutrients, such as those found in a Mediterranean style diet, help to modulate both acute and chronic inflammation.
-Foods that help reduce inflammation include fatty fish, berries, leafy greens, nuts, olives and spices, including ginger, rosemary, cinnamon, garlic and turmeric.
-Foods that fuel inflammation include fried foods, red and processed meats, sugary foods and refined carbohydrates.
-Moderate intensity physical activity can improve weight and cholesterol, enhance cardiac and lung functions, calm stress and reduce inflammation by the release of hormones that decrease production of immune substances.
-Sleeping for fewer than six or more than eight hours nightly is associated with higher levels of C-reactive protein. Although sleep requirements vary, as a general rule, aim for the optimal amount of sleep.
-Omega-3 essential fatty acids are associated with lower levels of proinflammatory markers. An Ohio State University study showed that daily consumption of omega-3’s reduced acute and chronic inflammation, as well as anxiety in a group of young healthy people.
-Astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory, has been shown to cool the fires of the inflammatory process in peer reviewed scientific studies.
-Tart cherries’ powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to significantly reduce levels of key inflammatory markers.
– B vitamin insufficiency can harm the lining of the blood vessels through increased clotting, oxidative stress, and interactions with white blood cells. Magnesium deficiency is also thought to play a role in chronic inflammation, and those deficient in vitamin A are more likely to have a prolonged inflammatory response.
Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements in support of a normal inflammatory response and overall health:
Astaxanthin 4 mg by Pure Encapsulations®: Derived from Hawaiian microalgae cultivated under pristine and highly controlled conditions, this powerful antioxidant naturally supports skin, macula, joint, immune and cardiovascular health. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.
ProOmega® Lemon 1000 mg by Nordic Naturals: Clinically shown to provide high intensity, therapeutic support with high levels of pure omega-3 fatty acids, this deep-sea fish oil provides support for cardiovascualar, liver, joint, immune, brain and eye health, as well as a healthy natural inflammatory response. Gluten free, no artificial ingredients.
Tart Cherry Ultra by Enzymatic Therapy: Tart cherries provide anthocyanins, beneficial antioxidant phytonutrients known to inhibit oxidative damage. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, sugar, yeast and artificial ingredient free, vegetarian formulation.
Vitamin A 10,000 IU by Douglas Laboratories: One softgel provides 10,000 IU of vitamin A palmitate in support of eye and cellular health, and a healthy immune response. Contains soy and fish oil.
Active B-Complex by Integrative Therapeutics: Active B-Complex provides a full complement of bioavailable B vitamins in support of numerous biochemical processes that support good health and bodily function. Gluten, dairy, sugar, yeast and artificial ingredient free, vegetarian formulation.
Chelated Magnesium by Douglas Laboratories: One tablet provides 100 mg of elemental magnesium in the form of magnesium amino acid chelate for optimum absorption and assimilation in the body.
Low-grade inflammation, diet composition and health: current research evidence and its translation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4579563/
Lifestyle factors and inflammation: associations by body mass index. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23844105
Understanding Autoimmune Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/Autoimmune/default.asp
Physical Activity & Hypokinetic Disease. http://www.wwu.edu/depts/healthyliving/pe511info/infection/Causes.html
Inflammation: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php
Lifestyle Approaches That Calm Inflammation. http://www.clevelandheartlab.com/blog/lifestyle-approaches-calm-inflammation/