Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Anti-inflammatory supplements lower inflammation in a study of healthy, overweight men

It’s long been thought that a primary contributor to disease is the presence of low-grade chronic inflammation, especially in individuals who are overweight. What too many physicians fail to understand is that unrecognized and untreated silent, systemic, low-grade inflammation is the root cause of all chronic degenerative illness...whether it be heart disease, obesity and diabetes, dementia or cancer.

Netherlands scientists recently performed a study of overweight (but otherwise healthy) men to see if the use of certain supplements might lessen inflammation and, therefore, lessen the potential to develop diseases. The researchers treated the test subjects with only a handful of common nutrients known for their anti inflammatory effect...with good results. The supplements included green tea extract, Vitamins E and C, Resveratrol, Omega 3 fatty acids and tomato extract.

In the study, the scientists used C-reactive protein as an inflammatory marker (interleukin 6 is another). A CRP test is a common blood analysis here in the US used to reveal the level of inflammation in an individual’s body.

The men were split into 2 groups, one group receiving a placebo and the other receiving the supplements for a period of 5 weeks. Blood draws and urine samples were taken to measure nflammatory and oxidative stress defense levels along with 120 plasma proteins, 274 lipids, free fatty acids, and polar compounds, and the transcriptomes of peripheral blood cells and fatty tissues.

The results of the study were not as clear-cut as hoped. Although the plasma adiponectin concentrations increased by 7%, showing improvement (low plasma adiponectin levels are found in obese individuals and predict the development of type 2 diabetes) but C-reactive protein levels did not change—in other words, the levels of inflammation remained constant. Nevertheless, some slight changes were detected such as decreased inflammation of fatty tissue, improved endothelial function, affected oxidative stress, and increased liver fatty acid oxidation, all positive indicators that the supplements were improving the individual’s levels of inflammation.

This study leads researchers to believe that the use of certain dietary supplements can decrease inflammatory processes. If this is the case, it shows great promise for a non-drug treatment that can be started with many individuals right now.

The list of things which cause chronic inflammation and, therefore, chronic disease is short and relatively easy to modify or rid yourself of. They include:

  • Poor food choices such as refined white sugar and corn syrup, flour and rice, processed foods with saturated and trans fats;
  • Stress
  • Lack of exercise
  • Chronic or hidden infections: viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi
  • Hidden environmental or food allergies
  • Heavy metal or pesticide or mold toxicities

An anti-inflammatory lifestyle is easier to follow than you might think, but you have to be the one to lead it, too.

The study can be found by following this link.

Feel free to send me a health question!

To your health,
Dr. David Blyweiss