In the ongoing battle against disease, an anti-inflammatory diet along with an earnest effort to reduce stress may hold the keys to combatting persistent, low-grade inflammation and protect the body against tissue damage and cellular aging. As the body ages, chronic inflammation is known to escalate, and has been identified as a significant contributor to the cause and advancement of many conditions. The immune system’s ability to regulate inflammation is directly affected by stress. When under stress, immune cells don’t properly respond to hormonal control, resulting in higher levels of inflammatory chemicals. By disturbing the immune system, stress induces inflammation peripherally and centrally, leading to various stress-related diseases.
Homeostasis refers to the bodily processes that maintain a stable internal environment necessary for survival, such as body temperature, oxygen level and blood pH balance. Chronic stress is a state of threatened homeostasis brought about by psychological, environmental or physiological stressors. Prolonged stress creates multiple neurochemical, neurotransmitter and hormonal imbalances. These imbalances lead to diversified stress-related diseases that all appear to converge on inflammation. Research has shown that excessive inflammation plays a critical role in the progression or onset of stress-related diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders and cancer, as well as cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Our daily food choices appear to influence the level of inflammation in the body. A diet heavy in processed foods, unhealthy fats, excessive alcohol, refined carbohydrates and ever ubiquitous sugar is believed to accelerate the inflammatory disease process. These unhealthy foods contribute to weight gain, which in itself is a driver of inflammation. A poor diet is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A diet that provides nutrient-rich whole foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, fish and a higher intake of antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits, is associated with reduced markers of inflammation, lowered risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as improved mood and overall quality of life.
Impeding inflammation through a healthy diet and lifestyle, as well as stress reduction, may help to delay the onset of age-related diseases. While some factors associated with inflammation, such as aging and genetic predisposition, can’t be altered, modifiable lifestyle changes can help to decrease inflammation to prolong or prevent disease onset. As chronic stress is associated with dysregulation of the inflammatory response, interventions targeting stress risk factors are beneficial to overall health and disease prevention. Research-backed ways to reduce stress include aerobic exercise, yoga, journaling, sufficient sleep, focused breathing, meditation and time in nature.
Perhaps most importantly, researchers in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins have added to evidence that rising chronic inflammation from midlife onward is linked to visual structural changes in the brains of those with poor cognition and dementia. The data suggests that efforts to curb inflammation may be key to preventing or delaying cognitive decline in later years. Inflammatory compounds known to be markers of chemical damage to the heart and blood vessels may also damage the brain. Taking steps to curb inflammation may be considered a reversible factor to prevent or reduce cognitive decline and neurodegeneration. As modifiable lifestyle factors are within each person’s control, it’s possible that even those in midlife who follow an overall pattern of healthy behaviors can lower their dementia and age-related disease risk.
- Clinical evidence suggests that natural compounds found in ginger and turmeric/curcumin comprise effective, powerful and beneficial anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
- In addition to antioxidant actions, ginger and curcumin work to reduce inflammation by blocking inflammatory cytokines and inhibiting enzymes necessary to produce inflammatory compounds, while also modifying immune system responses to protect normal immune function.
- Turmeric/curcumin supports sirtuin 1, a stress response silencing factor associated with healthy aging and longevity.
- Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have be shown to be effective in reducing inflammation, as well as improving joint pain in those with arthritic conditions.
Professional Supplement Center offers high quality supplements in support of overall heath and healthy function:
Advanced BioCurcumin® with Ginger and Turmerones by Life Extension®: This highly absorbable formula provides bioavailable turmeric extract, curcuminoids, turmeric oil and gingerols in support of a healthy inflammatory response and digestive, immune, joint, brain and overall health.
Professional Choice Omega by Professional Supplement Center®: This sustainably sourced Alaskan IFOS Five-Star Certified fish oil provides 820 mg of EPA and DHA essential fatty acids in support of cardiovascular, joint, brain, nervous system and overall health, as well as a healthy inflammatory response. Free of wheat, gluten, corn, yeast, soy protein, dairy products, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO formulation.
Turmeric & Ginger by Nature’s Answer: This holistically balanced formula provides gingerols, curcuminoids and turmeric rhizome extract delivered in QUIK-SORB® Extractacaps® for fast absorption and enhanced nutrient delivery. Considered medicinal herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric and ginger support healthy joint function and help alleviate minor aches and pains associated with daily life.
Zyflamend Whole Body by New Chapter®: This botanical blend is designed to naturally balance and support a healthy whole body inflammatory response and relieve minor pain and soreness, as well as provide support for joint flexibility and comfort. The product is formulated with 10 pure herbs including turmeric rhizome, holy basil, organic supercritical ginger rhizome extract and organic green tea. Free of gluten and artificial colors and flavors. Non-GMO, vegetarian formulation.
Stress Suppress by Diamond Formulations: Formulated to address symptoms of daily physical and mental stress, Stress Suppress provides specific ingredients known to support healthy levels of calming neurotransmitters that enhance the body’s ability to cope with stress, elevate mood and support relaxation without drowsiness. Free of wheat, yeast, soy, gluten, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO, vegetarian, kosher formulation.
The inflammation theory of disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492709/
Inflammation: The Common Pathway of Stress-Related Diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5476783/
The Anti-Inflammatory Diet. https://www.verywellhealth.com/anti-inflammatory-diet-88752
How stress influences disease: Study reveals inflammation as the culprit. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162546.htm
Here’s How Stress and Inflammation Are Linked. https://www.everydayhealth.com/wellness/united-states-of-stress/link-between-stress-inflammation/
SIRTUIN 1; SIRT 1. https://www.omim.org/entry/604479
Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16531187
Neurology: More Fuel for Curbing Inflammation. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/publications/hopkins_medicine_magazine/medical_rounds/fall-2018/neurology-more-fuel-for-curbing-inflammation
It May Be Possible to Counter Some of the Genetic Risk of Alzheimer’s With These Lifestyle Changes. https://time.com/5625778/alzheimers-genetic-risk-prevention/?utm_source=time.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=time-health&utm_content=2019071519pm