Control Inflammation with Proper Nutrition & Supplementation

Chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions. Chronic inflammation (and a lot of other health issues) start with the gut. A significant amount of the body’s defenses reside in the GI tract — yet it is often the last place practitioners look. Bloating, frequent bouts of diarrhoea or constipation, gas and pain, heartburn and acid reflux are early signs of an inflamed digestive tract. Your digestive tract was designed to eliminate viruses and bacteria in your food before they infect your body. It takes sustenance from the food you eat and ridding your body of the rest. With an inflamed gut you just won’t get results for the hard work you put in in the gym.

Our evolution from the hunter-gatherer diet to convenience and fast food is putting significant amounts of stress on our metabolism and GI tract. The modern diet offers us an upside-down ratio of fatty acids (omega 3, 6, and 9), too much sugar and carbs, and high levels of wheat, dairy and other common allergens. For most people, high-carb, low-protein diets are inflammatory. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower, corn, peanut and soy, are high in linoleic acid, an omega 6 essential fatty acid that the body converts into arachidonic acid, another omega 6 fatty acid that has a pro-inflammatory influence. These same oils contain almost no omega 3s (found in rich supply in coldwater fish, phytoplankton, and flaxseed), which soothe inflammation. Refined sugar and other foods with high glycemic values jack up insulin levels and put the immune system on high alert again increasing inflammation.

The first step in reducing inflammation is to pay attention to your diet, in particular your consumption of carbs, essential fatty acid intake and food sensitivities. I’ve seen repeatedly that low-carb diets reduce inflammation dramatically, however it does require you to listen to your own body and carefully observe which foods cause bloating & irritation. Probiotics have been proven to be very effective in treating symptoms of irritable bowel but If you think you might have a food sensitivity, I recommend going on an elimination diet for two weeks to see how you feel. You may find that avoiding certain foods restores more than just your digestive health. In addition to Probiotics, curcumin has shown to be very effective in reducing inflammation, especially in the short term as a kind of emergency inflammation management band-aid. Curcumin can inhibit many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation. Without getting into the gory details, the key takeaway here is that curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights at the molecular level.