If you were to consider the one condition present with most illnesses in the body, it would be inflammation. There’s a simple explanation for this: inflammation is an action of the immune system and is set off to fight whatever is negatively impacting your health.
Inflammation is interesting because it is both the result of illness and the cause of chronic conditions. For example, when you have a head cold, your nasal passages become inflamed as white blood cells rush to fight the infection, leading to a stuffy nose. On the other hand, chronic inflammation is often linked to the damage caused by health conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, and arthritis.
Inflammation is deeply connected to our health, so let’s further discuss the role of inflammation in the body and how you can reduce inflammation.
All inflammation is not bad. In fact, some inflammation is essential for our health. But as with many things, too much of it can be a bad thing.
The types of inflammation we experience can be broken into two categories: acute and chronic.
The most common type of inflammation, and the type that you can most easily recognize, is acute inflammation. This type of inflammation pairs with an injury and is often distinguished by redness, swelling, warmth, and pain. This reaction occurs because of the release of white blood cells to the injured site.
Acute inflammation is how the body speeds up the healing process and fights infections, which is essential to your wellbeing.
In some cases, the immune system continues to release white blood cells and chemical messengers, prolonging the reaction and allowing inflammation to linger, something called chronic inflammation. This occurs because the body perceives itself as being under attack, which is why it continues to pump out white blood cells to protect itself.
The problem with chronic inflammation, though, is that the white blood cells may start to attack nearby tissues and organs that are entirely healthy.
When the immune system senses a threat, it sends white blood cells to the site as a way to process the offender and return the system to normal. However, in some cases, this places other organs and tissues in your body at risk.
One example of this is in those who are overweight. Very often, those who are overweight have more visceral fat cells, which are a type of deep fat that surrounds the organs. The immune system may see these fat cells as a threat, sending white blood cells to attack them. However, this then increases stress and damage to the organs surrounding these fat cells.
One of the biggest problems with chronic inflammation is that it is “invisible,” not showing physical signs in the same way that acute inflammation does.
The only way to detect chronic inflammation is through a blood test. One common type of blood test measures C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein produced by the liver that increases in response to inflammation. Another blood test for inflammation is the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which is best for those with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Research has shown that chronic inflammation is associated with health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and bowel diseases (e.g., ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease)
Here’s where the challenge appears, though. Because chronic inflammation can persist for a long time, it’s hard to tell what comes first. Does inflammation cause these diseases to develop, or is chronic inflammation a by-product of the disease? While scientists are not sure about this, they suspect that it may be a little bit of both.
Additionally, most of the diseases associated with chronic inflammation are also considered to be age-related diseases because your risk of developing them increases as you get older. One potential reason for this increasing risk is that the older you become, the longer chronic inflammation impacts your body and the more damage it can cause. There is also new evidence that links oral health with heart health.
Research has shown that regular exercise can help prevent conditions linked with chronic inflammation, especially obesity and heart disease. A 2017 study found that just 20 minutes of walking on a treadmill offers anti-inflammatory effects, and these results are expected for other moderate-intensity exercises.
While no specific diet has been proven to prevent chronic inflammation, there are certain foods you can fill your diet with that prohibit the inflammatory response.
One food group to focus on includes polyphenols, an antioxidant that lowers inflammation. Foods high in polyphenols include:
Not only do anti-inflammatory foods have properties that inhibit the inflammatory response, but many of these foods have also been linked with a lower risk of conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and weight gain, all conditions that occur with chronic inflammation.
It is also recommended to limit foods that promote inflammation, such as red meat, refined carbs (e.g., white bread, pasta, pastries), fried foods, and foods and drinks with added sugars.
Yet another antioxidant that can help to reduce inflammation is glutathione. It plays a vital role in the immune system while also helping you to reach peak physical and mental function.
The anti-inflammatory effects of glutathione revolve around its ability to remove potentially damaging free radicals as they are produced in the cells, slowing down cellular inflammation. With cellular inflammation as one of the common culprits of diseases associated with aging, such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases, the effects of glutathione help reduce the risk of these conditions.
In fact, research has shown a link between low glutathione levels and nearly 70 diseases associated with aging, including those listed above. Additionally, glutathione levels gradually decrease as you age, with one study finding that those between the ages of 40 and 94 had 17% lower glutathione levels than those between the ages of 20 and 39.
Supplementation with glutathione is crucial to ensure your body can properly fight chronic inflammation and protect itself from dangerous health conditions. The Original Glutathione Formula ® can help increase your glutathione levels and provide your body extra protection against age-related and inflammatory-linked diseases.
Inflammation, to some extent, is good, especially when it comes to acute inflammation that speeds up the healing process and fights infection. However, when the body perceives itself to be under constant attack, chronic inflammation can occur, which is often associated with age-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and many others.
Reducing chronic inflammation through exercise, diet, and glutathione supplementation can go a long way in promoting anti-inflammatory actions in the body and reducing the risk of developing inflammation-related diseases. When it comes to your overall health, reducing chronic inflammation is key.
Lang, C. A., Naryshkin, S., Schneider, D. L., Mills, B. J., & Lindeman, R. D. (1992). Low blood glutathione levels in healthy aging adults. The Journal of laboratory and clinical medicine, 120(5), 720–725.
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