Archive for the ‘Inflammation’ Category

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Vitamin D Prevents Systemic Inflammation to Keep Chronic Diseases in Check

December 3, 2012
Vitamin D Prevents Systemic Inflammation to Prevent Chronic Diseases

Vitamin D Prevents Systemic Inflammation to Prevent Chronic Diseases

The connection between cellular saturation of the prohormone, vitamin D and development of chronic conditions ranging from cancer, dementia, stroke and heart disease have been well documented among forward-thinking scientists for at least a decade now. The specific mechanism of action has not been well documented though, as most studies have not drawn a clear line between blood levels of vitamin D and disease prevention.

High Vitamin D Status Inhibits Inflammatory Messengers to Prevent Chronic Disease

High Vitamin D Status Inhibits Inflammatory Messengers to Prevent Chronic Disease

High Vitamin D Status Inhibits Inflammatory Messengers to Prevent Chronic Disease

Researchers from National Jewish Health reporting in The Journal of Immunology have discovered specific molecular and signaling events by which vitamin D inhibits inflammation to help prevent and possibly even treat a host of potentially deadly diseases. Current levels considered satisfactory by most medical professionals did not inhibit the inflammatory cascade, leading to the progression of many forms of disease. Conversely, individuals that maintain significantly higher blood levels of vitamin D had lower levels of inflammatory markers known to aggravate disease progression and were protected against the major killers so prevalent today.

The study author, Dr. Elena Goleva noted that this research “goes beyond previous associations of vitamin D with various health outcomes. It outlines a clear chain of cellular events, from the binding of DNA, through a specific signaling pathway, to the reduction of proteins known to trigger inflammation.” Current guidelines call for minimum vitamin D blood serum levels of 20 ng/ml, a benchmark set decades ago that was intended to prevent rickets in children and promote bone health. Researchers conducting this study found improvement in inflammation levels at a minimum of 30 ng/ml. leaving millions at risk for chronic disease.

Check Vitamin D Blood Levels Every Six Months to Prevent Inflammation

Check Vitamin D Blood Levels Every Six Months to Prevent Inflammation

Check Vitamin D Blood Levels Every Six Months to Prevent Inflammation

Scientists conducting this study examined the specific mechanisms exhibited by vitamin D to act on immune and inflammatory pathways. They incubated white blood cells with different saturation levels of vitamin D and then exposed the culture to an inflammatory molecule known to promote intense inflammatory responses. Cells exposed to low levels of vitamin D (less than 15 ng/ml) produced excessive levels of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha, associated with disease development and progression. The highest level of inflammatory inhibition occurred at 50 ng/ml and above as cells become fully saturated with the prohormone and maximum immune response is observed.

Researchers identified a new location where the vitamin-D receptor appears to bind directly to DNA and activate a gene known as MKP-1, interfering with the inflammatory cascade promoted by long-term stress and a highly refined, processed food diet. Dr. Goleva concluded “The fact that we showed a dose-dependent and varying response to levels commonly found in humans also adds weight to the argument for vitamin D’s role in immune and inflammatory conditions.” Maintain your vitamin D blood levels above 50 ng/ml (measured with the 25(OH)D test) to afford maximum protection against chronic inflammatory-mediated diseases.

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Fish Oil Supplements Improve Systemic Inflammation to Slash Heart Disease Risk

November 1, 2012
Omega-3 Fats Slash Inflammation to Fight Cancer and Heart Disease

Omega-3 Fats Slash Inflammation to Fight Cancer and Heart Disease

It is a commonly accepted fact within the medical research community that systemic inflammation is a primary cause of many forms of cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases that take the lives of millions well before their time. Poor diet, stress and lifestyle factors all contribute to inflammation that overworks body metabolism and encourages damage to the delicate vascular system that feeds our heart. Production of inflammatory chemical markers such as cytokines are accelerated over months and years of exposure that creates an environment known to encourage the spread of cancer cells and propagate cardiovascular disease.

Two independent studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have found that supplementing Omega-3 fats lowers the release of inflammatory biomarkers that are involved in damage to cells called soluble adhesion molecules. Researchers have demonstrated that Omega-3 fats from fish oil supplements effectively lower levels of circulating adhesion molecules to decrease risk of atherosclerosis and counteract the pro-carcinogenic action of these damaging compounds produced by long-term inflammation throughout the body.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Inhibit Adhesion Molecules to Lower Heart Disease Risk

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Inhibit Adhesion Molecules to Lower Heart Disease Risk

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Inhibit Adhesion Molecules to Lower Heart Disease Risk

To prepare their work, researchers conducted a meta-analysis on eighteen separate studies that examined the effect of soluble adhesion molecules (sICAM-1) and Omega-3 fats and their impact on systemic inflammatory markers in the body. The results showed that Omega-3 supplements were associated with sICAM-1 reductions in both healthy people and subjects with abnormal blood lipid levels.

The scientists commented “This finding suggests that omega-3 PUFA reduces inflammation by selectively inhibiting monocyte activation rather than endothelial activation… and supports the notion that omega-3 PUFA can be supplemented to prevent the development and progression of atherosclerosis.” The Omega fats were found to lower levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol molecules and decrease particle size, both factors known to lower cardiovascular risk. The fats were also found to inhibit platelet aggregation or clumping and resolve particle adhesion properties to allow blood to flow freely through the vascular arteries.

Eat Fish Three Times Each Week or Supplement Daily with Distilled Fish Oil

Eat Fish Three Times Each Week or Supplement Daily with Distilled Fish Oil

Eat Fish Three Times Each Week or Supplement Daily with Distilled Fish Oil

A second research study performed in France determined that Omega-3 fats lower breast and prostate cancer risk in a cohort of 408 individuals with the disease, compared to 760 healthy control subjects. The scientists found a direct correlation between cancer development and Omega-3 supplementation, again by inhibiting the expression of adhesion molecules required for cancer cells to propagate.

Oily fish is the natural food source for pre-formed DHA and EPA Omega-3 fats. Many people avoid fish due to mercury contamination and unknown harvesting methods, making supplementation with a moleculary distilled form a viable option. Plant-based Omega-3 sources such as walnuts and flax seeds do not provide a good source of the necessary pre-formed long-chain fats, and while they are very healthy foods, do not yield a reliable supply of EPA and DHA fats. Read supplement labeling for a brand yielding 1,200 to 2,400 mg each day of combined EPA/DHA Omega-3 fats to lower the risks associated with heart disease and cancer.

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Low Glycemic Diet Reduces Deadly Systemic Inflammation

June 7, 2012
Low Carbohydrate Diet Reduces Inflammation Levels to Prevent Disease

Low Carbohydrate Diet Reduces Inflammation Levels to Prevent Disease

Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have published the result of a study showing that a diet rich in slowly digested carbohydrates, such as leafy green vegetables, legumes and other high-fiber foods, significantly reduces markers of inflammation associated with the onset of chronic disease. The work, reported in The Journal of Nutrition, explains that a diet rich in high-fiber foods significantly improves insulin signaling and resistance that promote life-shortening diseases including cancer, cardiovascular, stroke and dementia.

Monitoring the glycemic-load of different foods lowers the risk of blood glucose spikes and also increases a hormone that helps regulate the metabolism of fat and sugar. Health minded individuals will want to ensure they eat between thirty and fifty grams of fiber from a variety of food sources each day to control systemic inflammation and lower disease risk.

Low Glycemic Diet Lowers Inflammatory Blood Marker by Nearly a Quarter

Beans, Lentils and Lean Protein Lower CRP Blood levels to Prevent Cancer and Diabetes

Beans, Lentils and Lean Protein Lower CRP Blood levels to Prevent Cancer and Diabetes

The random controlled study involved eighty healthy men and women selected from the Seattle, WA area. Half were considered to be of normal weight, and the other half were overweight or obese as measured on a standardized BMI scale. Researchers found that among overweight and obese study participants, a low-glycemic-load diet reduced a biomarker of inflammation called C-reactive protein by about 22 percent.

Other studies in the past have suggested a correlation between dietary carbohydrate and sugar consumption as measured by the glycemic index of foods and systemic inflammation. This research is important because the C-reactive protein is associated with an increased risk for many cancers as well as cardiovascular disease.

Lowering Blood Glucose Levels Increases Adiponectin to Guard Against Cancer and Diabetes

Monitor Post-Meal Blood Glucose to Eliminate Dangerous Spikes

Monitor Post-Meal Blood Glucose to Eliminate Dangerous Spikes

Dr. Marian Neuhouser, a member of the Cancer Prevention Program in the Public Health Sciences Division at the Hutchinson Center noted “Lowering inflammatory factors is important for reducing a broad range of health risks. Showing that a low-glycemic-load diet can improve health is important for the millions of Americans who are overweight or obese.”

Neuhouser and her team also found that increasing low glycemic load foods in the participants diet by just five percent resulted in increased blood levels of a protein hormone called adiponectin. The hormone is known to protect against a number of different cancer lines as well as metabolic disorders such as type-2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and hardening of the arteries.

Many health-minded people know the importance of avoiding processed carbohydrates and sugar-laden foods while increasing dietary fiber. Dr. Neuhouser concluded “Whenever possible, choose carbohydrates that are less likely to cause rapid spikes in blood glucose… these types of low-glycemic-load carbs include whole grains; legumes such as kidney beans, soy beans, pinto beans and lentils as well as fruits such as apples, oranges, grapefruit and pears.” This study provides another chapter to the growing body of research that demonstrates the importance of dietary choices to prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes and most chronic illnesses.

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Arginine Supplementation Holds Key to Suppress Brain Cancer

April 17, 2012
Arginine is Shown to Inhibit Cancer Formation in the Brain

Arginine is Shown to Inhibit Cancer Formation in the Brain

A diagnosis of cancer, especially the most prevalent form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma can be devastating, with a dismal prognosis for this particularly fast moving form of the disease. Many cancer lines develop and progress due to a decline in immune function, allowing single cancer cells to form groups that eventually break apart and metastasize to different organs in the body. T-cells (composed of white blood cell neutrophils) are responsible for destroying aberrant tumor cells before they have the opportunity to develop.

Immune response declines as we age, in large part due to excess sugar consumption, systemic inflammation and poor cellular oxygenation. Researchers publishing in the journal Clinical Cancer Research have found that natural arginine supplementation may reactivate cancer-fighting T-cells in glioblastoma patients, allowing reactivation of the immune system to fight cancer progression.

Arginine Supports Health Immune System Response to Fight Brain Cancer

Arginine Stimulates the Immune Response to Fight Cancer

Arginine Stimulates the Immune Response to Fight Cancer

White blood cell components known as neutrophils are an ancient and nonspecific type of immune cell that neutralizes invading bacteria and viruses. Neutrophils respond to inflammation throughout the body and effectively provide a powerful immune response to knock out the pathogen. In response to overweight and obesity from poor diet and lifestyle choices, a low-level state of inflammation develops and persists for months and years.

Neutrophils become desensitized to the persistent systemic inflammation and become less responsive to disease-causing agents. Cancer cells thrive in an inflamed cellular environment and if left unchecked, lead to the destruction of healthy tissue and tumor formation. Neutrophils stop the immune response by secreting an enzyme called arginase. After they secrete arginase, commonly they die and are excreted by the body. Researchers have found that patients with glioblastoma do not exhibit the normal neutrophil-mediated immune response and cancer cells grow and spread unabated.

Arginine Supplementation Boosts Immune System Response Help Prevent Chronic Disease

Arginine Supplementation Lowers Systemic Inflammation to Halt Cancer Progression

Arginine Supplementation Lowers Systemic Inflammation to Halt Cancer Progression

Scientists from the University of Colorado Cancer Center found T-cells are critically dependent on arginine for activation and function. They were able to determine immune system response is not dependent on an increase in arginase, but rather the resulting lack of arginine that suppresses the immune system. The researchers concluded group “that persistent arginase production from neutrophils suppresses the immune system and keeps cancers from becoming immune targets.”

Arginine is a well researched natural compound largely associated with lowering blood pressure and cardiovascular health. The result of past research demonstrates that arginine is a precursor to the production of friendly nitric oxide and supports blood vessel relaxation to effectively lower out of range blood pressure readings in at-risk individuals. Cancer prevention can now be added to the list of chronic conditions that benefit from regular arginine supplementation (experts recommend 500 to 1,000 mg per day in healthy adults, based on body weight).