All Posts tagged anti-inflammatory

Ginger – a natural anti-inflammatory

Ginger is a warming spice with a stimulating effect on the body. I have recommended ginger to treat Vertigo and motion sickness. Ginger has been recommended to alleviate nausea, and it is a safe remedy for morning sickness.

It is also used to help colds, indigestion, joint pain, diarrhea and nausea; ginger has analgesic, sedative, and antibacterial properties and it contains essential fatty acids, phytochemicals, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, B-vitamins, and zinc.

I especially like Ginger for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is useful for treatment of most kinds of arthritis and offers a big advantage over NSAIDs and aspirin, both of which are irritating to the stomach.

The underground stem, or rhizome, is the part that is used as a spice; it is in the same family as turmeric and cardamom. There are several forms of ginger: fresh, dried, pickled, preserved in syrup, crystallized and powdered.

Excessive doses of ginger may cause mild heartburn, diarrhea and irritation of the mouth; it may also cause some mild gastrointestinal side effects, such as belching, heartburn, or stomach upset. This may be controlled by taking ginger supplements in capsules.

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Anti-inflammatory Foods

Grass-fed beef and other animal foods. As opposed to traditional, grain-fed livestock, meat that comes from animals fed grass also contains anti-inflammatory omega-3s, but in lower concentrations than coldwater fish. Free-range livestock that graze in pastures build up higher levels of omega-3s. Meat from grain-fed animals has virtually no omega-3s and plenty of saturated fat. Cooking tip: Unless it’s ground, grass-fed beef may be tougher, so slow cook it.

Olive oil. Olive oil is a great source of oleic acid, another anti-inflammatory oil. Researchers wrote in the October 2007 Journal of the American College of Nutrition that those who consume more oleic acid have better insulin function and lower blood sugar. Shopping tip: Opt for extra-virgin olive oil, which is the least processed, and use it instead of other cooking oils.

Spread Olive Oil on dark-green lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and other salad veggies. These are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, nutrients that dampen inflammation.

Cruciferous vegetables. These veggies, which include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale, are also loaded with antioxidants. But they provide one other ingredient — sulfur — that the body needs to make its own high-powered antioxidants, such as one called glutathione.

Turmeric. This spice contains a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory compound, according to a report in the August 2007 Biochemical Pharmacology. Turmeric has long been part of curry spice blends, used in southern Asian cuisines. To use: Buy powdered curry spice (which contains turmeric and other spices) and use it as a seasoning when pan-frying chicken breasts in olive oil. Turmeric
 

Ginger. This relative of tumeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, and some research suggests that it might also help control blood sugar. Suggestion: Brew your own ginger tea. Use a peeler to remove the skin off a piece of ginger, then add several thin slices to a cup of hot water and let steep for a few minutes.

Garlic Clove

Garlic. The research isn’t consistent, but garlic may have some anti-inflammatory and glucose-regulating benefits and it may also help your body fight infections. At the very least, it won’t hurt and makes for a tasty addition to food. Kitchen tip: Dice garlic and fresh rosemary, and rub them on a whole chicken before roasting.

Green Tea Green tea. Like fruits and vegetables, green tea contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds. It may even reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Suggestion: Drink a cup a day — or brew it like sun tea, refrigerate, and serve.

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Anti-Infammatory Diet Updates

 
Eating right and getting regular exercise is the best way to achieve and/or maintain health. I remember hearing Jack LaLanne say, “Diet is King & exercise is Queen, and when you put them both together you build a Kingdom.” 

Inflammation can be low-grade or it can flare up or progress into chronic or acute disease states, including serious autoimmune problems such as arthritis.  Although inflammation should lead to tissue repair and remodeling, when it becomes chronic, it prevents healing and should be viewed as a disease process. 

Nutritional imbalances  (deficiencies and excesses of various nutrients) can cause inflammation .

The Diet
The most important thing is too  eat fresh food, whatever it may be. Avoid packaged or processed foods—the more a food is processed, the less healthful it will be. Consume lots of plants. Plants have antioxidant properties and phytonutrients that quench inflammation.

Vegetables are always at the top of the list. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are also anti-inflammatory, including fish and, to a lesser extent, plant foods like flax seeds and walnuts.

Because plant-based foods are among the richest sources for powerful antioxidants and phenolics (including flavonoids) that reduce inflammation, the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fresh plant-based foods and phenolic-rich olive oil, has grown in popularity.

I recommend not eating  grains and enjoy high-fiber foods like beans, peas, lentils, oatmeal, nuts, and avocados. Consume more fish, especially salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish that contain those omega-3 fats.

Processed Foods and Meats

Avoid anything with more than a very small amount of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, white flour products, sodas and sweet drinks, chips, and fried foods of all types, other than lightly stir-fried vegetables.

White flour increases inflammation.

Red meat isn’t necessarily bad. It is what we do to red meat that makes it bad for us by feeding cattle grains such as corn, instead of allowing them to eat the field grasses that they were intended to eat. An alternative to beef is buffalo or bison—these animals are grass-fed and, interestingly, will not eat corn.

For the carnivores among us, the preferred protein solution is buffalo or bison, grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and wild-caught fish, particularly salmon and tuna.

For those with rheumatoid arthritis: Increase EPA intake from marine sources such as oily fish (salmon, sardines, herring, trout, black cod) and oysters, aiming for consuming these foods several times a week, and to reduce dietary sources of arachidonic acid (meat, high-fat milk and cheese products, eggs) as much as possible. Make sure your diet is low in arachidonic acid and supplement with fish oils.

 

In a recent study at Lund University’s Antidiabetic Food Centre in Sweden, 44 healthy, overweight subjects aged 50 to 75 were fed an anti-inflammatory diet consisting of antioxidants, slow-release carbohydrates, omega fatty acids (oily fish), whole grains, probiotics, and viscous dietary fiber. After only four weeks, the results showed LDL cholesterol had dropped by 33 percent, blood lipids by 14 percent, blood pressure by 8 percent, and a risk marker for blood clots by 26 percent. A marker of inflammation in the body was also greatly reduced.5

A diet free of gluten has positive effects on symptoms and clinical signs of inflammatory diseases. Such a diet would be void of arachidonic acid, free of potentially allergenic wheat, dairy, and egg products, and high in plant-based antioxidants and other potentially anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.

What Sodas Bring to the Table
Soda is the beverage of choice for many Americans, especially children. In addition to the high sugar content, which causes blood sugar levels to spike, soda is loaded with phenylalanine and phosphate, which affect pH and deplete bone density. A 2007 study found that “The caramel content of both regular and diet drinks may be a potential source of advanced glycation end products, which may promote insulin resistance and can be proinflammatory.” In addition, “Consumption of one or more soft drinks per day was associated with increased odds of developing metabolic syndrome, obesity, increased waist circumference, higher blood pressure, hypertriglyceridemia, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.”6

Supplement with anti-oxidants – these will stimulate the immune system, decrease platelet aggregation, modify cholesterol metabolism, reduce blood pressure, and possess anti-bacterial and antiviral activity. One of the most effective supplements I use for inflammation is using the UltraInflamX protein powder by Metagenics. This can be taken as 2 scoops with water or fresh juice twice daily. 

References

1. Seaman DR. Clinical nutrition for pain, inflammation, and tissue healing. Self published. 1998.

2. Seaman DR. The diet-induced pro-inflammatory state: A cause of chronic pain and other degenerative diseases. J Manip Physiol Ther. 2002; 25:168-179.

3. Adam O, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of a low-arachidonic acid diet and fish oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatol Int 2003 Jan;23(1):27-36.

4. Salas- Salvadó J, et al. Effect of a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts on metabolic syndrome status: one-year results of the PREDIMED randomized trial. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(22):2449-2458.

5. Hafström I, et al. A vegan diet free of gluten improves the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: the effects on arthritis correlate with a reduction in antibodies to food antigens. Rheumatol 2001;40(10):1175-79.

6.Dhingra R, et al. Soft drink consumption and risk of developing cardiometabolic risk factors and the metabolic syndrome in middle-aged adults in the community. Circulation 2007;116:480-88.

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Grape Seed Extract – anti-inflammatory & prostate fighter

Grape Seed Extract, which has been used as a potent anti-inflammatory for generations of men who suffer from prostate cancer, works in a startling way against the cancer cells by preventing them from reproducing at a genetic level.  The effect is epigenetic, meaning it is an outside factor that can influence gene expression.  One marker scientists use to identify tumor cells is a change in a process called histone acetylation, and special proteins that assist the process are called histone acetyltransferases (or HATs, for short).  Grape Seed Extract was able to interrupt the activity of the HATs in prostate cancer cells by 30-80%, and slowed down the amount of hormone-sensitive growth within the cell by decreasing the number of protein messengers in it.  So not only did the Grape Seed Extract slow down the tumor cells, it actually kept them from growing. 

Unfortunately, if something like Grape Seed Extract can work on an epigenetic level to shut down cancer cells, that means there are plenty of chemicals out there that can switch them on the same way.  But as the editors of Journal of Medicinal Food wrote in response to the findings, this study is a good case in point of the failure to make genotype (the set of genes you’re born with) automatically determine phenotype.  Put another way- we’re more than just our genetic code, and we have the ability to alter what gets switched on or off through our interaction with the environment.

S.Y. Park, Y.-H. Lee, K.-C. Choi, A.-R. Seong, H.-K. Choi, O.-H. Lee, H.-J. Hwang, and H.-G. Yoon (2011). “Grape Seed Extract Regulates Androgen Receptor-Mediated Transcription in Prostate Cancer Cells Through Potent Anti–Histone Acetyltransferase Activity.” Journal of Medicinal Food 14 (1/2) 2011, 9–16.

 

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Anti-inflammatory Power of Resveratrol

New research has observed the suppressive effects of resveratrol on inflammation and oxidative stress in humans—the first time such effects have been observed.

Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are part of the root causes of many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s.

The new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, investigated the effects of resveratrol-containing Polygonum cuspidatum extract (PCE) on oxidative stress and inflammation by measuring its suppressive effect on reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and range of inflammatory mediators.

The study, led by Prof. Paresh Dandonda from the University at Buffalo, suggests that resveratrol may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation through increased expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines, and a reduction in pro-inflammatory molecules.

The aims of the new study were to investigate the effect of PCE on oxidative and inflammatory stress in normal human subjects. The researchers wrote: “There is data showing the anti-inflammatory effects [of resveratrol] in vitro, but there is no data demonstrating this in humans.”

In the study, 20 healthy participants were randomized to receive placebo or PCE (containing 40 mg resveratrol) over a six-week period.

Researchers observed that the resveratrol-rich PCE suppressed ROS generation and also suppressed binding of the pro-inflammatory cytokine NFkB.

In parallel to these effects, the study witnessed a reduction in the expression of two major pro-inflammatory molecules (JNK-1 and IKKB), leading to an anti-inflammatory response. The study also saw a reduction in the expression of SOCS-3, a protein that is modulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines.

“The observations suggest a potent anti-inflammatory effect of PCE-containing resveratrol.”

The results demonstrated in the research are the first time that such findings have been seen in humans, but are consistent with potential anti-atherogenic and anti-aging effects of resveratrol, concluding that PCE “has a comprehensive suppressive effect on oxidative and inflammatory stress.”

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Published online ahead of print

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Acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) & hearing loss

Did you know that a side effect of  acetaminophen is hearing loss?  Can Tylenol really cause hearing  loss? 

Here’s what we already know: A steady intake of acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) puts your liver at risk. And regular use of these painkillers to address chronic headaches can actually contribute to the cycle of recurring headaches.

In addition,  recently a  Boston team examined data from the past 18 years of research conducted through the Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study which followed medical records of nearly 27,000 men who were at least 40 years old when the study began.

The question was: Is there a link between painkiller use and a toxic reaction in the auditory nerve? Results showed that men younger than 50 who took a painkiller at least twice each week dramatically increased their risk of hearing loss. Compared to men who used painkillers less frequently or not at all, NSAIDs use accounted for increased hearing loss of more than 60 percent. Those who took acetaminophen at least twice each week DOUBLED their risk of hearing loss.

For the average person, hearing loss of about one percent each year is typical. That may sound like a drop in the bucket, but those drops add up. The math is easy: in just the decade between 40 and 50, most of us loose 10 percent of our hearing.

Unlike most other causes of hearing loss, this one can be modified. You can try a non-drug alternative to acetaminophen and NSAIDs called DoloroX by Xymogen. Call 1-800-647-6100 or www.Xymogen.com PIN# TUC 500

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Depression – What’s a Natural Remedy?

Increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression.  The optimum omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is 1:1. But because omega-6 is abundant in processed foods (while the primary dietary source of omega-3 is fish) the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of a typical American diet is by some estimates more like 20:1; a ratio that’s been linked to a wide range of chronic health problems.

A Dutch research team out of  Rotterdam recruited more than 260 subjects with symptoms of depression, and about 460 randomly selected control subjects. A blood sample was taken from each subject. In their analysis of the samples, researchers found what they called a “direct effect of fatty acid composition on mood.” Subjects with depressive disorders had a significantly higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids compared to subjects who were not depressed. 

Walnuts and flaxseed contain alpha-linolenic acid, which is converted to omega-3 in the body. But only fish contains both omega-3s – eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docohexaenoic acid (DHA). Salmon, tuna, swordfish, lake trout, herring, mackerel, and sardines are all good sources of EPA and DHA . The drawback with fish is the potential for mercury contamination when dark-meat fish (such as tuna and swordfish) is eaten several times each week.

In my opinion, supplements of fish oil (EPA-DHA 720 by Metagenics) provide an easy way to ensure a good intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Mercury content: zero. I recommend at least 2-3 grams per day for depression. When clients are under my direct supervision I add other specific supplements for individual needs.

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Resveratrol – Do You Take It?

Resveratrol is a component of red wine and has been shown to provide important health benefits, including:
Anti-inflammatory effects
Inhibition of blood clotting
Help in prevention of LDL cholesterol from depositing arterial plaque
Stimulation of an enzyme that promotes repair of DNA
Protection of heart and nerve cells

2008 research from the UK reveals another potential benefit for type 2 diabetics.

High levels of glucose cause cellular damage to the blood vessels of type 2 diabetics. Specifically, the – the mitochondria – these will become weakened, setting off a reaction that produces free radical activity. Studies show that regular exercise is the ideal way to stimulate and repair mitochondria. And along with a daily exercise regimen, a little resveratrol might help.

Resveratrol may protect damaged cells by preventing a “leakage” of electrons from the mitochondria. If you have type 2 diabetes I definitely recommend Resveratrol.

The resveratrol supplement I recommend is Resveratin (30 mg) by XYMOGEN. Order by calling 1-800-647-6100.

In addition to red wine, resveratrol can be found in red grape skins, peanuts, and some berries. Red grapes also contain anthocyanins – antioxidants that protect arteries and microcapillaries – a key benefit for patients with circulation-related health problems such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and varicose veins.

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Daily Ginger Consumption Found To Ease Muscle Pain

For centuries, ginger root has been used as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments such as colds and upset stomachs. But now, researchers at the University of Georgia have found that daily ginger consumption also reduces muscle pain caused by exercise.

Ginger has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects and decrease pain. Cooking with ginger is one way to increase your intake. Another way to benefit from the pain-relieving effects is to make a shake with UltraInflamX 360.

UltraInflamX® Plus 360° is a medical food made by Metagenics formulated to provide specialized nutritional support—including reduced iso-alpha acids (RIAA, from hops), L-glutamine, and easily digestible rice protein. UltraInflamX includes ginger and rosemary. It also provides turmeric extract, which has been shown in research to inhibit the activities of a wide variety of enzymes, cytokines, eicosanoids, and reactive species implicated in pain and inflammation.

Another recommendation to help decrease pain is to increase EPA-DHA consumption (Omega 3 fish oils). I recommend EPA-DHA 720 by Metagneics.

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Oncoplex SGS – What you need to know about broccoli

Sulforaphane
– Found in broccoli (sprouts & seeds), Brussel sprouts & Kale.
Most potent transcription inducer of phase II & III detoxification & antioxidant enzymes via Nrf2.
– Increases production of antimicrobial peptides
– Bacteriocidal against H. pylori
– Anti-inflammatory: indirect inhibition of COX-2 enzymes
– Protective against airway inflammation (asthma, COPD, diesel exhaust)
– Decreases endothelial inflammation (diabetes, CVD); lowers blood pressure & LDL-cholesterol in lab animals.
– Protection against ARMD
– Neuroprotective against Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s & Huntington’s Disease
– Resveratrol & sulphoraphane may be a viable approach for the treatment of glioma (Neurochemical research. 35(1):152-161, Jan 2010)
– May offer a possible treatment option for RA (Arthritis & Rheumatism. 62(1):159-170, 2010)
– Potential treatment for oxidant-induced airway disease (Riedl MA et al)
– Anti-inflammatory effects (Juurlink B, et al 2004)
– Protects against oxidative damage to retinal pigments in the eyes (age related macular degeneration) (Xiangqum, G et al 2004)
– A broccoli rich diet was found to perturb several pathways that lead to prostate cancer, including growth factor pathways, inflammation and insulin signaling (Traca M, et al 2008)
– Sulforaphane delayed the appearance of tumors (Zhang, Y et al 1994)

To get these benefits I recommend OncopPLEX ES. It provides 290-320 mmol/gram of Sulforaphane – the amount found in approximately 3.75 pounds of broccoli!!!

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