It is difficult to think of any chronic disease that is not either caused or worsened by inflammation. Today, we are going to look more closely at the inflammatory process and how diet and supplements can help create normal inflammatory balance.
The purpose of inflammation is to help restore tissue that is affected by infection, trauma or disease.
Think of this like a playground see-saw. On one end we have forces that cause inflammation, while on the other the forces that reduce it.
When this delicate balance goes wrong it can lead to chronic inflammation, which will worsen existing problems and even cause new ones.
All inflammation comes directly or indirectly from our immune system. It is our white blood cells that govern inflammation. This process is directly related to diet and, in particular, fats and a vast array of biologically active antioxidants.
The chemistry of all this is very complex, but there are some simple facts. Fats in our diet have huge influence over inflammation. Omega 6 oils and some animal fats tend to push our bodies towards inflammation. Omega 3 and some other plant oil tend to have anti-inflammatory benefits.
Two of the most biologically active anti-inflammatory compounds are curcumin from turmeric, and OPC from grape seed extract.
Firstly, they help block an unwanted inflammatory response and, secondly, they help produce an anti-inflammatory effect on inflamed tissue.
I was speaking with someone recently who had been affected by long-term inflammation in his spine. Adding high doses of Curcumin and OPC has resulted in his back being much more comfortable and, as a bonus, his swollen fingers are much better.
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John Arts is a qualified nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health. You can read back issues at: www.abundant.co.nz