Antioxidant

What's All the Buzz About Inflammation?

Go to any health website these days and one of the first things you will see is either a reference to, or an article about inflammation.  Modern research shows that inflammation is being blamed for anything from Alzheimer's to obesity to heart disease.  How can one condition cause so much destruction to the human body? Why is it rampant, and what can we do about it?

Inflammation refers to swelling and irritation of our bodily tissues in response to an outside irritant.  We get inflammation when our bodies are highly acidic - and much of the highly processed foods we eat in America ARE highly acidic.  Eating sugar or worse, high fructose corn syrup creates an acid condition in the body as does eating refined carbohydrates such as white breads or pastas. 

Inflammation is not necessarily a bad thing when it is acute - it is actually our body's natural response to an infection or irritant.  According to Medical News Today,

  • Inflammation is the body's attempt at self-protection to remove harmful stimuli and begin the healing process.
  • Inflammation is part of the body's immune response.
  • The first stage of inflammation is often called irritation, which then becomes inflammation - the immediate healing process.
  • Inflammation is followed by suppuration (discharging of pus). Then there is the granulation stage, the formation in wounds of tiny, rounded masses of tissue during healing.
  • Acute inflammation - starts rapidly (rapid onset) and quickly becomes severe.
  • Chronic inflammation - this means long-term inflammation, which can last for several months and even years.
  • Our infections, wounds and any damage to tissue would never heal without inflammation - tissue would become more and more damaged and the body, or any organism, would eventually perish.
  • Chronic inflammation can eventually cause several diseases and conditions, including some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, periodontitis, and hay fever.
  • Although scientists know that inflammation plays a key role in heart disease and several other illnesses, what drives inflammation in the first place is still a mystery.
  • It should be remembered that inflammation is part of the healing process. Sometimes reducing inflammation is necessary, but not always.

So - how do we keep our bodies out of the chronic inflammation stage, or heal them if we are already there and experiencing health problems?

First of all, we stop putting garbage into our bodies that causes this state (yes, the allopathic medical profession says what causes inflammation is a mystery per the above, but there is plenty of evidence that food additives, high fructose corn syrup, and acidic conditions create inflammation).   Read food labels, and get rid of anything in your pantry that has high fructose corn syrup, a list of ingredients that goes on for miles and reads like greek, and is highly processed (convenient but deadly).  Better living through chemistry is no longer a good idea in this day and age.  Secondly, limit eating out to a couple of times a month, OR go to a restaurant where you know food ingredients and nutrition information will be listed.  Make sure you keep the sugar and fat down.  Third, take steps to alkalize your body.  How do you do that?  Eat more green veggies - even if you hate them now, over a short period of time your taste buds adjust and you start loving them.  Go to a farmer's market and buy fresh ones, they taste a lot better than what you get in the grocery store and have more nutrients.  Try to buy the darker green varieties - Iceberg or lighter lettuce is just like eating paper; it has almost no vitamins and minerals.  The darker varieties have more "phytonutrients" - plant chemicals that help prevent everything from cancer to insulin resistance. 

Even if you do these things, there are still more steps you can take to obtain optimum health.  Inflammation can be caused by an allergy that you don't know you have.  Doctors and insurance companies don't always authorize allergy tests, or they just authorize the cheaper "back scrape" method that is less than accurate.   You can find several online companies that will allow you to purchase a kit to test at home that is simple and convenient.  You can then take the results to your doctor and get the bigger test authorized.  And many of these tests take HSA cards too, so you can pay with pretax dollars. 

You can also take supplements that help with inflammation, or better yet, use meal replacement shakes that have patented, engineered ingredients that fight inflammation.  I am presently using Tumeric supplements which really seem to have made a difference

These supplements have Black pepper also, which has been shown to improve the efficiency of Tumeric as an inflammation fighter. 

I am also enjoying two meal replacement shakes daily from Isagenix that contain a proprietary blend of branched chain amino acids, trace minerals (as our soil is depleted of them), healthy fats and 24 grams of protein. 

I also recommend staying out of intense heat - this weekend's heat really turned up my chest pains as the area of the blood clot in my heart was inflamed.   Heat is generated by inflammation, so having environmental excess heat is a no brainer for worsening bodily inflammation.  Bad luck for those who live in Arizona! 

Stay tuned for more as I discover more healthy tips and information - hope this helps my readers. 


CoQ10 - What Is It and Why Take It?

Another great supplement recommended by my Sutter cardiologist during my recent hospital "vacation"was CoQ-10.   This is not one that I have taken in the past with any regularity - as I thought heart disease would be the very last thing that I would ever have to suffer through.  Not so!

What is CoQ-10?   It is a co-enzyme (a substance that assists other enzymes with critical body processes) and an antioxidant; your body uses it to produce energy and it is found in every cell you have!  Think of it as a little mini generator inside your cells, without it, your cells couldn't do their jobs.  If you are on statin drugs to control cholesterol (and I now have been added to the many who have to take them), you should supplement with CoQ-10 as these drugs reduce the amount of natural CoQ-10 in your body by blocking their synthesis.   CoQ-10 levels also decrease with age.  

The cardiologist recommended that I visit Dr. Weil's website to learn more about these supplements.  Per Dr. Weil, CoQ-10 helps you have a healthy heart in several ways.   It supports blood vessel wall health, overall heart muscle health, overall circulatory health, and assists in maintaining the normal oxidative state of LDL cholesterol.   It also may help with migraines, and of all things, sperm motility.  It shows promise in the treatment of high blood pressure as well.  Dr. Weil recommends 90 to 120 mg of CoQ-10 if you have heart issues or are on statin drugs.

How can you get it from food?  CoQ-10 is found in its heaviest concentration in heart tissue (gnaw on those giblets!), but can also be gotten from sesame oil, canola oil, beef, chicken, herring, rainbow trout, broccoli, and cauliflower.  

If you take supplements, it is best to take them with food as CoQ-10 requires oil for absorption.