By Frank Tabino | Category: Uncategorized
There is overwhelming scientific evidence that inflammation is at the root of all disease. Before a cell becomes diseased, inflammation prevented the cell from functioning properly. When the inflammation become chronic and widespread throughout the body, you are more likely to suffer from a disease. If left to continue, chronic systemic inflammation will eventually strike a devastating blow to your health. This type of inflammation is strongly linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, diseases of the digestive system and Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic systemic inflammation is also linked to the obesity epidemic in this country.
The medical establishment often overlooks this fact, yet persuasive scientific evidence exists that correcting chronic inflammation may have a positive impact on many of the diseases of aging. What causes this chronic inflammation? Experts believe it is caused by our diets, specifically, the pro-inflammatory foods in our diet. As researchers focused on pro-inflammatory foods, they have uncovered an array of dietary supplements that can reduce chronic system inflammation by nearly 70%.
What is inflammation? It is the response of the immune system to infection or irritation. Sometimes the inflammation causes visible redness and swelling, such as in sunburn or an injured arthritic joint. This is known as acute inflammation; the swelling and redness is usually present for only a short period. The more dangerous inflammation is chronic low-grade inflammation, which occurs at the cellular level. This type of inflammation is not visible to the naked eye, but doctors can check you for chronic inflammation using blood tests.
You may have heard the term, C-Reactive Protein (CRP) from previous articles or some of my radio shows on this topic. CRP is a naturally-occurring protein that is produced in the liver, in response to an inflammatory situation somewhere in the body. Blood tests of elderly people with multiple conditions show this inflammatory marker to be elevated. There is a strong link between high CRP levels and heart diseases, cancer Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Scientists have also uncovered a link between elevated CRP and obesity. Yes, that’s right…chronic inflammation can make you fat.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone, author of The Wrinkle Cure, makes a very strong argument that chronic inflammation is the reason for America’s growing waistline. Researchers now suspect that chronic inflammation is the cause of excess body fat, food addictions and out-of-control appetites. And this type of inflammation will not go away with Ibuprofen. Chronic systemic inflammation wages a continual battle against your body. The effect of this chronic inflammation is at the cutting edge of medical science.
Many of today’s health problems are what I call, diseases of the diet. Diet is a contributing factor, but diet can also reverse or prevent these diseases. Dr. Weston A. Price, a pioneer of nutritional research, demonstrated this in his classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Nearly eight decades ago, Dr. Price documented primitive cultures that changed their “hunter-gatherer” diet and adopted western dietary habits. When compared to similar tribes that had not come in contact with the so-called “civilized” western-diet, the tribes adopting the western diet exhibited crooked teeth, bone deformities and low immunity to disease.
Eating natural, unprocessed foods, is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy. Your diet should be balanced, meaning it contains all of the essential macronutrients, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Good sources of protein are fresh, wild fish, free-range chicken and turkey, and grass-fed lean beef that are free of antibiotics or growth hormones.
Your diet should include fats, but they should be healthy fats like those found in salmon and sardines, olive oil or coconut oil. These healthy fats are what are missing from most American’s diets. Fad diets, like no-carbs, no-fat, etc., come and go, but the way to live a long and healthy life is to eat moderate portions of natural unprocessed foods. Eating a well-balanced natural diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your skin looking young and radiant. One of the most ridiculous concepts of all is the “no fat” craze of the 1980’s. Not only did people not lose weight on a no fat diet, but they became even fatter.
Omega III Fish Oil
Our body needs fat to stay healthy, especially the Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids. Furthermore, science has shown us that the optimum ratio of these essential fatty acids (EFA) is 1:1. However, the average American consumes 20 times more Omega six than Omega III fatty acids. This unhealthy EFA ratio got its start with the ridiculous no-fat craze and continues today with processed and fast-foods. However, when you add additional Omega III fatty acids to your diet and your EFA ratio becomes closer to the optimum 1:1, unusual changes begin to happen. Scientists now believe that Omega III fatty acids, primarily found in cold-water fish, can increase your sensitivity to insulin, which can help prevent diabetes and help you maintain a healthy weight. Insulin receptors in the cellular membrane control the passage of substances in and out of the cell. Omega III essential fatty acids keep your cellular walls flexible, which increases insulin sensitivity and lowers insulin levels.
You may think that a high-insulin level is safe. Aren’t high levels of insulin better for diabetics? The answer is NO. High levels of insulin promote inflammation. High levels of insulin create an “insulin insensitivity,” which pushes the levels of insulin even higher and signals the body to store fat. Adding Omega III fatty acids to your diet will help your body utilize energy more efficiently, which means there is less energy stored as fat. Some doctors recommend eating at least one serving of fresh fish per day or daily supplementation with quality fish oil capsules, produced from cold-water fish and certified to be mercury-free. I personally prefer fish oil capsules. You should take at least 1000mg daily of high quality fish oil. My choice in Omega III fish oil is Pro EPA, by the industry-leader Nordic Naturals. Independent testing confirms Nordic Natural remains the leader for purity, freshness and concentration.
Fat is an efficient energy source for the body; especially for muscles such as your heart. But if you don’t burn fat for energy…guess what happens? Rather than waste energy, the body will send fat to its main storage areas, and you know where they are. Fat cells are not only unpleasant looking, but they produce inflammatory hormones. Fat tissue in overweight people is loaded with cells called macrophages, which ingest pathogens and other foreign materials and release inflammatory hormones. These inflammatory hormones decrease fat burning, increase fat storage and the vicious cycle begins.
Carnitine is a naturally-occurring amino acid that the body uses to convert fat into energy. Carnitine’s main function in the body is to shuttle fats into the mitochondria (the cell’s power plant) to produce cellular energy. The more efficiently your body converts fat to energy, the less fat will be stored. Storing less fat will reduce the inflammatory load on your body and increase your energy level, which may be just what your weight control program needs. I recommend Acetyl L-Carnitine, a unique form of L-Carnitine, which can help your body by mobilizing fat cells, and aid in the production of acetyl choline, an important brain chemical. Take 1000mg (2 capsules) daily. You can take up to six capsules daily. For best results, make sure you have adequate omega-3 fatty acid intake.
Chronic systemic inflammation can have devastating effects on your health. Making smart food choices is the first step in stopping inflammation. Your protein should come from cold-water fish, wild not farmed and free-range poultry and organic grass-fed beef, free of hormones and antibiotics. Add more “live” food to your diet like fresh organic fruits and vegetables. And start supplementing your diet with anti-inflammatory nutrients including Omega III fish oil, and Acetyl L-Carnitine.
There are many more anti-inflammatory nutrients which have been uncovered through nutritional research. I have done several radio shows on this topic. To listen to any of the shows, go to the Natural Health Hour Archives and search for shows on inflammation.
I will continue to bring you information on this important topic. Look for the next installment of anti-inflammatory nutrients.