Reducing Inflammation - You can reverse this epidemic...

Inflammation is now thought to play a role in pathological conditions ranging from anemia and allergy to coronary heart disease, diabetes, dementia, psoriasis and even stroke. From inflamed gums that may contribute to cardiovascular disease, to playing a crucial role in fanning the flames of cancer cell growth, inflammation has been implicated in many more diseases than was previously believed.

Fifty million Americans suffer form chronic daily pain, much of this can be related to inflammation. Those who suffer from chronic daily pain have a significant statistical increased probability of 55%-207 increased risk of dying from Cancer. The problem is that with most pharmacological measures to inhibit inflammation (Arachodonic cascades to PGE2) there are serious side effects. Side effects such as GI bleeds, liver damage, kidney damage, and a wide variety of other serious effects.

Here are some of the strategies that we recommend to reduce inflammation:

You need to Sleep

  • Lack of sleep may stimulate an increase in chronic inflammatory responses

Don't cook your foods at high temperatures

  • Foods cooked at high temperatures can produce a browning effect in which glycotoxins are formed from the reaction of sugars and oxidized fats with protein. Glycotoxins may contribute to low-grade chronic inflammation. High glycemic foods may also contribute to the inflammatory process. Dietary modifications to reduce inflammation should include elimination of foods and cooking processes that contribute to a chronic state.

Keeping your circulating insulin levels down

  • Foods that spike blood sugar spur inflammation. In new research at Harvard, women who ate foods with the highest glycemic load had nearly twice as much inflammation. Such foods include white potatoes, white rice, white bread, sugar and highly processed cereals.
  • Increased insulin levels also increase the production of arachidonic acid (AA) a major player in the inflammation cycle.
  • If you are producing to much insulin you are prone to inflammation. If you are overweight you are probably producing to much insulin, if you are storing your fat around your mid section you are a probably producing to much insulin.
  • Increased levels of insulin production eventually lead to type two diabetes.

Increase consumption of anti-inflammatory foods

  • Eat foods that help subdue inflammation, such as ginger, curry powder, olive oil, grapes, garlic, celery, blueberries and tea

Avoid foods know to cause inflammatory responses

  • Avoid foods such as: refined carbohydrates (white pasta, breads, bagels cookies, muffins, cake, crackers), other starches such as white rice, potatoes.
  • Get ride of your bad fats: margarine, butter, lard, crisco, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil.

Obesity and inflammation - North Americans are most overweight people on earth which makes them the most inflamed.

  • Overweight people usually have high inflammation. As pounds disappear, inflammation subsides. In obese women who lost an average of 39 pounds, inflammation levels dropped 32%, University of Vermont research found.

Arachodonic acid - AA (Promotes inflammation) - Fatty cuts of meat, egg yolks

  • Great strides have been made in understanding the mechanisms involved in chronic inflammatory disorders such as arthritis. One culprit is the excess accumulation of Arachodonic acid that cascades down into pro-inflammatory agents such as prostaglandin E2, leukotrienes, and thromboxanes. The prostaglandins cause pain and the leukotrienes cause swelling and the redness that is associated with inflammation.
  • Drugs such as Celebrex inhibit the COX-2 enzyme that inhibits Arachodonic acid from breaking down into prostaglandin E2. The problem is that Arachodonic acid can cascade down via other pathways to produce equally damaging leukotrienes and thromboxanes. In order to block the formation of prosta-glandin E2, leukotrienes, and thromboxanes, it is critical to reduce Arachodonic acid levels.
  • Limiting foods that convert to Arachodonic acid can help reduce inflammation. Arachodonic acid is a precursor to both prostaglandin E2 and the pro-inflammatory cytokine leukotriene B(4) (Brock et al. 1999).
  • Another dietary factor that can lead to high levels of Arachodonic acid is the over consumption of high-glycemic index carbohydrates that cause excess production of insulin (Kreisberg et al. 1983). These quickly digestible foods include fruit juices or rice cakes. Food heavy in polyunsaturated fats or saturated fats can also increase prostaglandin E2.
  • Use turmeric in your cooking, this yellow indian spice inhibits an enzyme that is used in the production of AA.

Trans Fatty Acids

  • Hydrogenation , which is used to turn oils into margarine, shortening, or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, produces trans- fatty acids, which are twisted molecules. Twisted, their shape changes, and they lose their health benefits and acquire toxicity instead.
  • According to the Harvard School of Public Health, trans- fatty acids double risk of heath attack, kill at least 30,000 Americans every year, and increase diabetes. Other research shows that they interfere with vision in children, interfere with cerebral cortex function (lower intelligence), interfere with liver detoxification, make platelets more sticky, correlate with increased prostate and breast cancers, interfere with insulin function, and in animals (no human studies done) interfere with reproduction. They also interfere with EFA functions, and make EFA deficiency worse.
  • Frying has been known for 40 years to increase cancer and heart disease. During frying, oils are exposed to the destructive effects of light, air, and heat, all at the same time.
  • Cooking is best done with water (steam, poach, boil, pressure cook). Hard (saturated) fats (ghee, lard, coconut, palm) are damaged less when used in frying than are the liquid oils.
  • U Erasmus. Fats That Heal Fats That Kill . Alive Books, Burnaby, Canada. 1993.
  • U. Erasmus. Choosing the Right Fats . Alive Books, Burnaby, Canada. 2001.

Avoid Omega 6 oils

  • Omega 6 fats lead to inflammation these are: safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil. These oils are especially bad if you have high levels of circulating insulin in your body.

Night shade vegetables

  • Some vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant may actually make inflammation worse. These vegetables are part of the nightshade family of plants and contain a chemical alkaloid which in some people be an irritant.

Fish oil (EPA/DHA)

  • A common problem in today's diets involves overproduction of pro - inflammatory hormone-like "messengers" (such as prostaglandin E2) and underproduction of anti-inflammatory "messengers" (such as prostaglandin E1 and E3).
  • The good news is that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help to suppress the formation of undesirable prostaglandin E2 and promote synthesis of beneficial prostaglandin E3 (Kelley et al. 1985; Watanabe et al. 2000).
  • Gamma - linolenic acid (GLA) induces production of the anti-inflammatory prostaglandin E1 (Das et al. 1989; Fan et al. 1997). What you eat can significantly affect whether you have more of the beneficial prostaglandin's (E1 and E3) as opposed to the pro-inflammatory prostaglandin E2.
  • Because prostaglandin E2 is a culprit in inflammation, reducing the consumption of foods that are high in omega-6 fatty acids and increasing the consumption of omega-3 rich foods, such as salmon and other fish, can be beneficial.
  • The docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) fraction of fish oil may be the most effective nonprescription supplement to suppress pro-inflammatory cytokines. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a precursor of PGE1, a potent anti-inflammatory agent. A product called Super EPA/DHA provides 1400 mg of EPA and 1000 mg of DHA in 4 capsules.

Drink in Moderation

  • Drinking alcohol reduces inflammation, which may be one reason moderate drinkers have less heart disease. In a new study at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, non-drinkers showed one-third more inflammation than low to moderate drinkers.

Take Vitamin C and E

  • These antioxidants suppress inflammation. In Belgian research, people with the lowest vitamin C levels had the worst inflammation and peripheral (leg) artery disease. And inflammation dropped 30% to 50% in normal and diabetic people given 1,200 IU of vitamin E daily in studies at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Inflammation leads to more inflammation and much more...

  • When your body is in a state of inflammation your adrenal glands put out high levels of the hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is your bodies natural way of dealing with an inflammatory response acting as a natural anti-inflammatory. This works well in the short term but the problem is that cortisol has some very nasty side effects in the long term. Cortisol increases insulin resistance which makes you gain weight and cause more inflammation. It also decreases immune function and adversely effects your nervous system.

Use Olive Oil

  • Newly pressed extra-virgin olive oil contains a chemical called oleocanthal.
  • Olive olive may act very similar to Ibuprofen in it ability to reduce inflammation.
  • Ibuprofen is an inhibitor of the cyclooxygenase enzymes COX-1 and COX-2,which catalyse steps in the biochemical inflammation pathways derived from arachidonic acid to pro-inflammatory prostaglandins [PGE2].
  • Oleocanthal, like ibuprofen, caused dose-dependent inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 activities with reduced pro-inflammatory prostaglandin-biosynthesis [PGE2].
  • Long-term consumption of extra-virgin olive oil that contains oleocanthal may protect against some diseases by virtue of its COX-inhibiting activity, including a reduction in the risk of developing some cancer, increased cardiovascular health, reduction of platelet aggregation in the blood, and reduced incidence of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Oleocanthal in extra-virgin olive oil may be responsible for the various health benefits Mediterranean diet.

Phytochemistry: Ibuprofen-like activity in extra-virgin olive oil Enzymes in an inflammation pathway are inhibited by oleocanthal, a component of olive oil Nature September 1, 2005, pp. 45-46

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