Preventing inflammation

What do heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, stroke and cancer all have in common?

New research has shown that a condition known as chronic inflammation can be linked to heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and cancer. Currently chronic inflammation is treated with drugs which cause the inflammation to subside. Scientists are now looking into what causes the inflammation, and how this condition may be prevented.

Inflammation is a natural response. Areas of your body become inflamed when they are exposed to injury or outside irritants. If they didn’t, you would be unable to heal properly. If, however, the irritant does not go away, the inflammation cannot subside. A growing body of research is showing that abdominal fat and an unhealthy diet can lead to chronic inflammation.

For example, when you eat a high-fat meal your bloodstream is flooded with ‘bad’ cholesterol. Your white blood cells then rush to the besieged areas, and embed themselves in the artery walls, in order to gobble up excess lipids. This causes damage to the arteries, which can lead to heart disease, heart attack or stroke. If you eat high-fat meals all the time, your body never has a chance to recover, which causes chronic inflammation.

What can you do?
If you are overweight, the first step is to reduce your abdominal fat. Even losing a couple of kilos can help. You can also try eating foods which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon or canola oil, increasing your dietary fibre, which can help to prevent insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes), and ensuring you get three servings daily of low-fat dairy to help reduce inflammation. Just be sure to check that any low-fat foods you purchase do not have added sugar or artificial sweeteners, as these can also cause health problems.

To find out more about chronic inflammation and its links to heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and cancer, read the Wall Street Journal’s article The new science behind America’s deadliest diseases.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    20th Jul 2012
    Inflammation is often caused by allergic responses, and the most allergenic food is dairy products. Most mammals normally become lactose intolerant after weaning, but some human populations have developed lactase persistence, in which lactase production continues into adulthood. It is estimated that 75% of adults worldwide show some decrease in lactase activity during adulthood.[3] The frequency of decreased lactase activity ranges from 5% in northern Europe through 71% for Sicily to more than 90% in some African and Asian countries. From lactose intolerance to dairy allergy is only a short step. The suckling off animals by infants was a repeated theme in classical mythology. Most famously, the legendary founders of Rome – the twins Romulus and Remus – were portrayed as having been raised by a she-wolf which suckled the infants, as depicted in the iconic image of the Capitoline Wolf. The Greek god Zeus was said to have been brought up by Amalthea, portrayed variously as a goat who suckled the god or as a nymph who brought him up on the milk of her goat. Similarly, Telephus, the son of the demigod Heracles, was suckled by a deer. Several famous ancient historical figures were claimed to have been suckled by animals; Cyrus I of Persia was said to have been suckled by a dog, while mares supposedly suckled Croesus, Xerxes and Lysimachus. Mowgli, the jungle boy in Rudyard Kiplings story was supposedly raised by a wolf, and Tarzan, the brain child of Edgar Rice Burroughs, was raised by an ape.
    In reality, though, such stories probably owed more to myth-making about such prominent figures, as they were used as evidence of their future greatness.
    On the other hand, many humans are now raised and suckled by a cow. This is reality, not just a myth. As milk's composition is based on raising an offspring of the same type as the mother. It is unlikely to be a healthy choice, in particular after the weaning process, when the production of lactase ceases. As undigested foods tend to be converted to fats and stored on a cellular level one can see that dairy is the first thing to avoid in order to loose weight and reduce toxicity (inflammation) in the body.
    Nan Norma
    20th Jul 2012
    Where does your information come from as I read such diverse articles every day and honestly don't know who or what to believe anymore.
    20th Jul 2012
    Hi Nan,
    The info about humans suckling from different animals comes from Myths and legends of the past.
    Visit will give you a wealth of information on dairy allergies, Wikipedia"s 'Lactose intolerance' will give important information about lactose persistence as well as lactose intolerance.
    Type in 'Arthritis and dairy products' gives you a choice of half a million articles on dairy allergy causing inflammation and swelling of joints.
    Clinical experience with clients suffering from a wide range of diseases caused by dairy allergies amounts to a list too long to display here. We also have the ethic code of practise to consider, however, the above articles will keep you busy for a while!

    Have fun, Kino
    Nan Norma
    20th Jul 2012
    Thanks kino I will.
    22nd Jul 2012
    Omega-3 fatty acids also includes flaxseed oil not only salmon oil or canola oil. Try soy milk - a kinder choice for those not interested in exploiting animals.

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