Monday, March 29, 2010

Reducing Obesity and Lowering Inflammation

Inflammation – Your Friend. And a Deadly Enemy.
By guest blogger Boyd Jentzsch
Inflammation is an important defense of your bodyʼs immune system to infections,  injured or damaged cells, and irritants. Inflammation is your bodyʼs attempt to remove damaging stimuli and start the healing process.

Inflammation is Your Bodyʼs Friend

Without inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal. Over time the progression of destroyed tissue would threaten your survival. In this very real sense, inflammation is a very important friend to your body.

Chronic inflammation (basically, prolonged inflammation), over time, changes the type of cells at the site of inflammation. This leads to the simultaneous destruction of both your injured tissue, and the tissues that are being repaired by the inflammation process.

Chronic Inflammation is Your Deadly Enemy
This over-expression, or lack of control, of the normal protective mechanism of inflammation caused by the continuing (or chronic) inflammation, has been linked to a large number of highly destructive health conditions, including:
• Alzheimerʼs disease
• Arthritis (rheumatoid)
• Atherosclerosis
• Several forms of cancer
• Cognitive decline
• Digestive system diseases
• Hay fever
• Heart disease
• Insulin resistance
• Obesity
• Osteoporosis
• Type-2 diabetes.

Even low levels of inflammation, over many months and years, can cause these diseases to be unleashed, and progress.

The regular American diet, and increasingly the diet of those all over the modern world, is known to foster low chronic inflammation in most people. This is why it is very important for you to control, reduce, and eliminate chronic inflammation.

Chronic Inflammation Kills Healthy Tissue
It is thought this wide range of seemingly unrelated diseases is caused by the dominating presence of macrophages in the injured tissue. These macrophage cells, called into action by the inflammation process, are powerful defensive agents of your body.

But the toxins macrophages release to protect your body from infections (including reactive oxygen species – free radicals which cause oxidative damage) are injurious to your bodyʼs healthy tissues as well as to invading pathogens. Consequently, chronic inflammation is almost always accompanied by healthy tissue destruction.

Recent studies show that the oxidative effect of the free radicals (from macrophages) on lipids (blood fats), normally present in cellular membranes, contributes to disruption of the balance of your immune tolerance, and ultimately provokes chronic inflammation.

Over time, chronic inflammation causes the disruption of the tightly controlled balance between immune responses and healthy tissue destruction. More and more healthy tissues are destroyed, leading to the many different forms of the highly deadly diseases noted above.

Reducing Obesity and Lowering Inflammation
It is now known that high levels of several inflammation-related markers are associated with obesity. In clinical studies, inflammatory-related molecule levels were reduced and increased levels of anti-inflammatory molecules were seen within weeks after subjects began a proper diet full of anti-inflammatory foods or supplements, and they reduced their weight. The association of systemic inflammation with obesity and insulin resistance is the subject of intense clinical research.

Chronic Inflammation Must Be Controlled
For these reasons, the control, lowering, and elimination of chronic inflammation is one of your most important goals for eating healthy, and taking dietary supplements. Without eliminating chronic inflammation, most of the other reasons individuals take supplements will ultimately prove to be of little value.

Making your body healthy must begin with understanding, and eliminating, chronic inflammation.

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