6 Ways To Fight Inflammation

If inflammation ranks low on your list of health concerns, it may be time to bump it up. The reason: Inflammation, or your body’s response to injury or infection, has been associated with arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. So what can you do to fight it? Exercise, finds a new study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science In Sports.

Nearly 5,000 men and women took a physical exam that measured their levels of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a recognized marker for cardiovascular disease. The subjects then wore an activity-tracking accelerometer for seven days. The findings: Adults who were physically active had 33% lower CRP levels than inactive adults. While other research has found a connection between self-reported activity and inflammation, this is the first study to use objectively reported activity measures.

Still, an association doesn’t mean inflammation causes a particular condition, says Aditi Nerurkar, MD, an integrative medicine physician at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “Inflammation is tricky, even for doctors,” she says. “But we do know that high levels of inflammatory markers—like CRP—aren’t a positive thing.”

via 6 Ways To Fight Inflammation.


Foods that fight inflammation – Harvard Health

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator.

Your immune system attacks anything in your body that it recognizes as foreign—such as an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical. The process is called inflammation. Intermittent bouts of inflammation directed at truly threatening invaders protect your health.

However, sometimes inflammation persists, day in and day out, even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. That’s when inflammation can become your enemy. Many major diseases that plague us—including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s—have been linked to chronic inflammation.

One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy, but from the grocery store. “Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Choose the right foods, and you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. Consistently pick the wrong ones, and you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process.

via Foods that fight inflammation – Harvard Health.

Health-promoting Nordic diet reduces inflammatory gene activity in adipose tissue — ScienceDaily

The next Mediterranean?

Health-promoting Nordic diet reduces inflammatory gene activity in adipose tissue -- ScienceDaily

A nordic study led by the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Eastern Finland discovered that the health-promoting Nordic diet reduces the expression of inflammation-associated genes in subcutaneous adipose tissue. In overweight persons, the expression of these genes reduced without weight loss. To a certain extent, the adverse health effects of overweight are believed to be caused by an inflammatory state in adipose tissue. The results were published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Overweight is associated with problems in sugar and lipid metabolism as well as with atherosclerosis, and these may be caused by a low-grade inflammatory state resulting from disturbed adipose tissue function. Long-term research into the role of diet in the function of adipose tissue genes and inflammatory state remains scarce.

via Health-promoting Nordic diet reduces inflammatory gene activity in adipose tissue — ScienceDaily.

Seeking Proof For Why We Feel Terrible After Too Many Drinks : The Salt : NPR

Really interesting article. Click through to read more

On a hangover being an inflammatory response

[Scientists] finally have a survey instrument that they can give somebody and assess, “You have a Level 9 hangover, and you have a Level 7 hangover,” and they finally started to see that overlap with both migraine and also an inflammatory response, so the kind of thing you would have if you had the flu — where you feel achy and you feel slow and your brain doesn’t work as fast and [you have] general malaise. Looking at that, they can go, “K, let’s see if in fact this is an inflammation.”

If you look at people with hangovers, the same markers in the blood that you would see with an inflammatory response, things like cytokines, for example — which are molecule[s] that the immune [system] uses to talk to itself — actually do seem elevated, and even better, you can induce what looks like a hangover by giving somebody those same molecules. … That’s good news because if you say, “Well, it’s an inflammatory response,” then maybe I can go with anti-inflammatory drugs, and we have those.

via Seeking Proof For Why We Feel Terrible After Too Many Drinks : The Salt : NPR.

Stress-Busting Diet: 8 Foods That May Boost Resilience : The Salt : NPR

Eat more when you’re stressed? You’re not alone. More than a third of the participants in a national survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health said they change their diets during stressful times.And many of us are quick to turn to either sugary foods or highly refined carbohydrates such as bagels or white pasta when the stress hits.

“There can be a bit of a vicious cycle,” says David Ludwig, a professor of pediatrics and nutrition at Harvard University and a researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital. “When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses.”

Now, of course, we can’t control lots of the events and circumstances that lead to stress. But, Ludwig says, “our body chemistry can very much affect how that stress gets to us.”

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High salt intake linked to premature cellular aging

By Nathan Gray+


Related tags: Premature aging, Salt, Sodium, Aging, Telomere, Hypertension

Related topics: Sugar, salt and fat reduction, Science & Nutrition, Preservatives and acidulants

Overweight or obese teenagers who consume lots of salty foods show signs of faster cellular aging, according to new research.

The study investigated whether high salt intake is linked to cellular aging by assessing its association with leukocyte telomere length, especially in the context of obesity – finding that high dietary sodium intake was associated with shorter telomere length in overweight and obese adolescents “suggesting that high sodium intake and obesity may act synergistically to accelerate cellular aging.”

Led by Dr Haidong Zhu of Georgia Regents University  in the USA, the team noted that some studies have suggested the increased early onset of conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and type 2 diabetes may be because the aging process in children and adolescents is accelerated – resulting in the premature development of ‘adult’ diseases.

Previous research has also found that the protective ends on chromosomes (known as telomeres) naturally shorten with age, but the process is accelerated by smoking, lack of physical activity and high body fat.

The new data, presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology & Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity & Metabolism Scientific Sessions 2014, is the first to examine the impact of sodium intake on telomere length.

“Lowering sodium intake, especially if you are overweight or obese, may slow down the cellular aging process that plays an important role in the development of heart disease,” said Zhu.

Study details

As part of the study 766 people aged 14-18 years old were divided into the lowest or highest half of reported sodium intake. Low-intake teens consumed an average 2,388 mg per day, compared with 4,142 mg per day in the high-intake group.

Both groups consumed far more than the 1,500 mg per day maximum recommended by the American Heart Association, said the study.

After adjusting for several factors that influence telomere length, researchers found:

In overweight and obese teens, telomeres were significantly shorter with high-sodium intake, with a T/S ratio of 1.24 vs. 1.32. The T/S ratios is the ratio of the length of the telomere to the length of a single gene.

However, in normal weight teens, telomeres were not significantly different with high-sodium intake (T/S ratio of 1.29 vs. 1.30).

“Even in these relatively healthy young people, we can already see the effect of high sodium intake, suggesting that high sodium intake and obesity may act synergistically to accelerate cellular aging,” said Zhu.

Inflammation link

The team noted that obesity is associated with high levels of inflammation — which also speeds up telomere shortening — and increases sensitivity to salt, which may help explain why higher sodium intake had a greater effect in that group.

via High salt intake linked to premature cellular aging.