There is an inflammatory component in every illness and symptom. When we are able to reduce inflammation, we are often able to see a reduction in symptoms, an improved quality of life and a regression in many common illnesses! Addressing diet and using targeted nutraceuticals are two ways to begin to reduce inflammation and see whole body benefits.
What is inflammation
Without context, inflammation is just another buzzword but inflammation is in fact, something we need to be mindful of if we want to live healthy, vibrant lives.
Inflammation is a healing mechanism. The body engages the inflammatory response when there is a physical injury or damage to cells and organs from infections, food sensitivities or excess free radicals.
The inflammatory response is meant to be short term, lasting only for a week or two. What we are seeing now is a shift from this acute, beneficial inflammation to unresolved, long-term inflammation.
Because inflammation is part of the body’s immune system, when there is excess inflammation in the body that lasts beyond the beneficial period- we see a reduction in immune function. This sets the stage for chronic disease to present.
The body has a remarkable ability to heal when we remove the triggers that are at the root of chronic inflammation. Above getting to the root, using targeted nutrition and supplements that calm the lingering inflammatory response can expedite the healing process.
There are several avenues we can take to reduce inflammation.
The best course of action is to always start with diet. Oftentimes food sensitivities and processed foods are the prime culprits of inflammation. To add to this, a diet low in anti-inflammatory foods like fruits and vegetables also contributes to an elevated inflammatory repose.
The level of inflammation present in the body will dictate the trajectory of an inflammatory plan.
When Nutraceuticals are Necessary
Because inflammation doesn’t target a specific tissue, chronically high levels of inflammation can show up in a variety of ways.
If there is disease or pain present, nutraceuticals can be useful to collapse the time on healing. Lingering inflammation in the body can show up as and contribute to migraines, digestive diseases, alzhemiers, dementia, cognitive decline, arthritis, joint pain, any autoimmune condition, hormonal disorders, cancers, acne, eczema, psoriasis, depression & anxiety. When any of these are present, using supplements can be beneficial.
What are the Most Effective Natural Anti-inflammatories?
When it comes to choosing a natural anti-inflammatory agent, there are a couple points to consider. There are several anti-inflammatory supplements on the market, and each serves their purpose. Some anti-inflammatories are more suited for low levels of inflammation, daily maintenance of inflammation or as a prevention strategy to keep inflammation low in the body and some are more therapeutic in nature.
Our two favorite therapeutic anti-inflammatory supplements are: Curcumin and P.E.A.
Curcumin is the most bioactive part of the popular spice turmeric.
It is the most researched herbal remedy for inflammation, and it is used in conditions ranging from mild joint pains to advanced cancers.
Curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory because it stops Nf-𝜿B. Nf-𝜿B is near the top of the inflammatory cascade. When this pathway is blocked, it stops inflammation happening downstream.
The closer a substance gets to the beginning of an inflammatory cascade, the more therapeutic it is!
In addition to being a strong anti-inflammatory, curcumin also binds and eradicates certain pathogens which, oftentimes, are an underlying cause of inflammation.
PEA is a natural anti-inflammatory fatty acid produced by the body and is one of the most powerful ways the body naturally resolves inflammation.
It accumulates where there is inflammation but, when there is unresolved inflammation for months or years, PEA production gets down-regulated.
In essence, PEA “gets used up/runs out”. When inflammation levels are high, the body runs out of the materials to make PEA. Supplementing with PEA has been shown by over 300 studies to reduce inflammation in a clinically significant way.
P.E.A and curcumin work synergistically together to bring down inflammation, while repairing the tissues that have been damaged to inhibit the inflammatory cascade. Implementing these two nutraceuticals together has an extremely potent anti-inflammatory effect that can help restore homeostasis in the body. They both have also been shown to reduce pain. This provides implications for both short and long-term benefits.Author: Lisa Kowalyk, CNP, B.Kin