Chronic inflammation contributes to many leading causes of death in the United States:
- heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- kidney disease
- chronic lower respiratory disease
Fortunately, fish oil, sesame lignans, and other integrative interventions can counteract destructive chronic inflammation.
Causes of Chronic Inflammation
Several factors contribute to chronic inflammation:
- Mitochondrial dysfunction
- Advanced glycation end products due to elevated blood sugar levels
- Uric acid crystals
- Oxidized lipoproteins (such as low-density lipoprotein)
Risk Factors Associated with Chronic Inflammation
Several risk factors promote chronic inflammation:
- Increasing age
- High saturated fat intake
- High sugar intake
Testing for Chronic InflammationBlood tests that can detect chronic inflammation include:
- High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)
- tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α)
- interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β)
- interleukin-6 (IL-6)
- interleukin-8 (IL-8)
Conventional Medical Treatments
Drugs that can help address chronic inflammation include:
Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
Several dietary and lifestyle changes can help reduce chronic inflammation:
- Low-glycemic diet
- Reduced consumption of:
- total and saturated fat
- Increased exercise
- Fish Oil: A higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with lower levels of markers of TNF-α activity, CRP, and IL-6.
- Curcumin: Curcumin, a constituent of turmeric, has been studied in over 7000 published scientific articles and is known to modulate several important pathways including the ones involved in inflammatory processes.
- Magnesium: In several large observational studies, greater magnesium intake was associated with lower hs-CRP, IL-6, and TNF-α activity.
- Tea polyphenols: Tea polyphenols have been shown to produce reductions in CRP in human clinical studies.
- DHEA: Supplementation was shown to significantly decrease TNF-α and IL-6 levels in elderly volunteers, as well as lower visceral fat mass and improve glucose tolerance.
- Sesame lignans: Supplementation reduced the levels of a pro-inflammatory vasoconstrictor by approximately 30%.