Posts Tagged inflammation

So Just What Is Disease? A Grand Unified Theory

via: GreenMedInfo
by: Capt. Randall
August 3, 2012

Does the common use of the word “disease” bypass critical reasoning to effectively mislead scientific thought?  Modern medicine describes hundreds of individual “diseases.”  Each “disease” is generally named for a group of symptoms and the area of the body affected. Many are suffixed by -itis, meaning inflammation of… like tonsill-itis or arthr-itis.  And interestingly, recent studies are finding inflammation involved in virtually all of them.  Does this terminology serve to pigeonhole distinct “diseases” and distract us from seeing the big picture of inflammation as the disease?  Have we been looking at secondary pathologies and opportunistic microbes, and treating them at symptom-level… instead of addressing a common root cause? Is there some imaginary partition that separates human health from chemistry, physics and cell biology?

Whether inflammation is acute like appendicitis or chronic like atherosclerosis and obesity, an immune response is taking place. In-flam-mation literally means “on fire” and is classically marked by the Latin: rubor, tumor, calor and dolor — or redness, swelling, heat and pain — so we know from those words that oxidation is at work.

Oxidation is simply fire or rust or whenever one molecule seizes an electron from another molecule. The needy oxidant grabs or shares the electrons of an electron rich anti-oxidant. When the electrons are stolen from chemical bonds, those molecules (like DNA) come apart or are deformed (like fats) and said to be oxidized, burnt.

Inflammation does not just happen; a bacterium or toxin or some other irritant triggers an immune response. The ammunition used by the body for immune firefights is singlet oxygen, an all-purpose defensive weapon. With an unpaired electron, an oxygen radical is a powerful oxidant.

It can deconstruct and destroy pathogens, poisons, cell debris and other unwanted substances, molecule by molecule, by snatching the electrons that hold them together. Immune cells initiate the conflagration, armed with mini-flamethrowers that generate oxidative bursts of singlet oxygen to burn the area clean.

Continue Reading At: GreenMedInfo.com

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Sugar, Inflammation and Longevity

via: NaturalNews
Monday, July 23, 2012
By: Angelo Druda

[NaturalNews] Ancient Roman and Indian doctors used sugar topically to treat infections and internally to sweeten less palatable medicines. It was, however, fairly unknown in the common marketplace. The tropical conditions required to grow sugar and the labor intensive difficulty of harvesting the plant ensured the rarity of it’s sweetness. But slavery ended all of that.

Sugar finally made its way into Europe in the sixteen hundreds, and it set off a demand that rivals in madness the modern cravings for cocaine and heroin. The dramatic expansion and institutionalization of the African slave trade was in direct response to the demand for sugar and was ignored and tolerated by the ever growing numbers of European sugar addicts. Today sugar is everywhere in our lives, even though it is not a true nutrient or necessary for human life.

The sweetness of sugar directly affects the stomach, spleen and pancreas. Sugar burns hot in the gut which is exactly what we like about it. It sets off a fire in the belly and lifts our energy for a time. The digestive system is naturally nourished and boosted by sweetness. It is however, the natural and grounded sweetness found in fruits, vegetables, grains and herbs that regenerates the stomach, spleen and pancreas and not the concentrated and fiery excess that sucrose provides. So there is a price to be paid for the sugary treat.

We learn as infants that the simplest way to make ourselves feel better is by putting something consoling in our mouths. This early response becomes something we can all resort to over the course of our lives. In the modern world the food choices are endless and the corporate purveyors of junk food stand ready to sell us their remedies for the boredom, doubt and discomfort that we feel in the midst of our lives.

Excess sugar in the blood stream causes the pancreas to excrete excess insulin. Regular ingestion of sugar causes the body to become resistant to insulin’s sugar clearing effects. Since insulin promotes the storage of fats, weight gain quickly ensues. With little more than a teaspoon of sugar a day, inflammation levels begin to significantly increase. Elevated levels of inflammation dramatically accelerate degeneration in the body and can lead to a host of cell damaging diseases, that greatly reduces longevity.

In 2008 it was determined that over one third of American children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Those numbers have only increased. Modern research demonstrates that even short term obesity dramatically effects the present and future health of the person. In addition to this insulin resistant weight gain we see increasing blood pressure and circulatory degeneration, elevated levels of cell damaging inflammation, and a probable increase in risk for cancer. All this for our children today.

Continue Reading At: NaturalNews.com

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Chronic Inflammation Causes Virtually All Leading Diseases

via: NaturalSociety
by: Lisa Garber
July 18, 2012

Glancing through the channels of news media and pharmaceutical ads, the overriding impression we have about health is that cancer, dementia, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes are things that simply happen to us. We are simply genetically pre-programmed to get sick at some point past age 40, but this just isn’t true. While genes may play a role in our health quality, many experts agree that chronic inflammation causes virtually all leading diseases due to a poor diet and lack of exercise.

Inflammation in the Body

When we experience an injury, our bodies’ natural response is inflammation. Wendy Weber, a program director at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, explains: “You need to have inflammation when you have a wound and the immune system goes in to heal it. Yet we don’t want too much inflammation in our system causing damage to our arteries” and the body.

Cat scratches swell on our arms because our bodies are fighting bacteria. Our glands swell when we’re experiencing allergies or a sniffle because it’s fighting irritants or infection. The problem is when the irritants and infection don’t go away—smoking, excess fat in the diet, lack of detoxification of the body through sweat and exercise.

Reducing Inflammation and Risk of Disease

“We’ve learned that abdominal fat tissue is a hotbed of inflammation that pours out all kinds of inflammatory molecules,” says Dr. Peter Libby of Harvard Medical School. Losing excess weight lowers levels of C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation. This can be achieved in a matter of weeks.

Another Harvard medical professor, Christopher Cannon, advocates an anti-inflammatory diet—high in whole grains, unsaturated fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, poultry, eggs, and some dairy.

As The Daily Show faithfuls will remember, Dr. David B. Agus touted other ways to reduce inflammation earlier this year with his book, The End of Illness. They include:

  1. Avoiding vitamins and supplements and obtaining nutrients from whole foods wherever possible.
  2. Exercising regularly and moving during the day.
  3. Attaining a lean body mass.
  4. Minimizing use of tobacco products.
  5. Avoiding sources of inflammation (including foods like butter, sugar, red meats, and white foods like pasta and rice).

We’ve already celebrated how turmeric is fantastic at preventing chronic disease and reducing inflammation. In numerous studies, researchers have attributed turmeric with preventing Alzheimer’s, slowing the spread of breast cancer into lungs, and reducing pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients. Turmeric even exhibits cancer-blocking properties according to a UCLA study – allowing many individuals to realize that beating cancer with nutrition is indeed possible.

To harness the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric, try:

  1. Brewing turmeric tea.
  2. Sprinkling turmeric over deviled eggs, egg salad, or over grilled meat.
  3. Add turmeric to almost any lentil or cauliflower recipe.
  4. Mix turmeric into party dips and serve with raw vegetables.
  5. Try this healthy smoothie: blend or juice half an apple, a teaspoon of local honey, and ¼ teaspoon of turmeric with milk or an unsweetened alternative.
  6. Or, purchase a high quality organic turmeric supplement.

Additional Sources:

Freakonomics

The Wall Street Journal

Continue Reading At: NaturalSociety.com

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Heal your thyroid by banishing inflammation, boosting immunity and improving digestive health

via: NaturalNews
Thursday, July 19, 2012
By: PF Louis

[NaturalNews] Thyroid hormones regulate other hormones, including the adrenal glands’ adrenaline production. Thyroid gland hormones also influence cellular metabolism, digestion, libido, and overall energy.

There are three maladies involving the thyroid. Not everyone knows he or she has a thyroid issue even while exhibiting low energy or the inability to lose weight. One is an autoimmune disease and the other two are conditions.

The disease is known as Hashimoto’s disease, which actually slowly destroys the thyroid while potentially creating both conditions. In addition to both conditions alternating with Hashimoto’s disease, a swollen thyroid or goiter which becomes evident.

The two conditions are hypothyroidism, not enough hormone production or utlization, and the other is hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid that causes too much hormone production.

Hypothyroidism is the more common condition with its symptoms of low energy, fatigue, low libido, overweight problems and sensitivity to cold.

Hyperthyroidism can lead to nervousness, restlessness, manic behavior, and difficulty concentrating. Goiter and weight loss can also manifest. Pre-Nazi Germany used sodium fluoride to reduce the excessive hormone production of hyperthyroid patients.

Now, fluoride is in over 75 percent of USA’s public water supplies, to keep American citizens dumb and docile with decreased thyroid hormone production.

It’s a good idea to eliminate the possibility of Hashimoto’s disease before pursuing hypothyroid solutions because the solutions for hypothyroidism are actually dangerous for those with Hashimoto’s disease.

Hypothyroidism signs and remedies

Hypothyroidism may be the most common hormonal deficiency in the Western world. It can even occur when the thyroid does produce enough thyroid hormones that are not utilized properly. That’s known as thyroid hormone resistance, which produces the same symptoms as hypothyroidism.

Many who think they have fibromyalgia may simply have one of these two manifestations of hypothyroidism. According to Dr. John Lowe, conventional testing can fall short of diagnosing hypothyroidism, especially for those with thyroid hormone resistance.

Continue Reading At: NaturalNews.com

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How antibiotics destroy your immune system

via: NaturalNews 
Monday, July 16, 2012
by: Craig Stellpflug

[NaturalNews] Your immune system is constantly on a seek-and-destroy mission status – on the lookout for foreign invaders, naturally occurring cell defects and mutant cells. The immune system has a vast capacity to remember bad guys and deploy tactics that worked in the past to annihilate the enemy. Some of the fastest growing cells in the human body are immune cells.

Over 80 percent of the body’s immunity is built in the intestinal tract by the friendly bacteria balance that resides there. The intestinal flora starts building in an infant while in the womb but doesn’t really take off until after eight days of age. Starting with the colostrum milk, the gut begins to populate with more bacteria while the infant’s immune system starts an inventory of good and bad cells in the body. This inventory is a life-long process and the immune system never forgets an invader.

Where the problem begins

The absolute worst thing to do to any infant is to give them an antibiotic. Antibiotics indiscriminately kill bacteria, both good and bad. One round of antibiotics will permanently change the baby’s immune system, and because a majority of neuro-chemicals are also made in the gut, the baby’s neurology is also altered. The antibiotics that have been touted as the savior of mankind from disease are costing us in cancer and degenerative, chronic diseases.

Once the very first antibiotic is administered to the infant or child, the bacteria in the gut is wiped out and the immune system is permanently altered in its ability to manufacture appropriate immune cells. Fungus in the gut is now unopposed and begins to proliferate unchecked by the friendly bacteria. After fungus sets up strongholds then parasites move in to share the bounty of food and minerals meant to feed the body. This is the first step for chronic disease and cancer.

The same process happens when an adult takes even one round of antibiotics. Everything changes permanently and takes years of targeted nutrition and probiotic therapies to recover a semblance of normalcy in the body systems.

The role of heavy metals

Over 80 percent of heavy metals are removed from the body via the friendly bacteria in the gut. Certain bad bacteria and fungus actually prefer to retain and move heavy metals into the body and transport these metals to different tissues and organs to weaken them for future invasion. Fungus is a clean-up organism that feeds on compromised tissues. Eventually a bad fungus will invade healthy tissues as it gains strength and your body weakens.

The cancer double-whammy

Once the bad bacteria balance occurs and the fungus sets up shop, the intestinal wall becomes leaky, allowing partially digested foods, bacterium and allergens to cross into the blood. Now the already weakened immune system has double-duty to perform trying to clean up the gut while tracking down these new threats to the body. To think this all started with a well-meaning but seriously wrong pediatrician and misinformed parents.

Cancer is a disease of inflammation. The gut compromises and leakage of particles into the blood causes inflammation throughout the body. Chronically inflamed organs become targets of heavy metals, viruses, bacterium and fungus. But the damage doesn’t stop there as the highly processed foods we eat cross the now compromised gut barrier; causing pancreas stress and trouble. Chronic stress weakens organs to make them more susceptible to disease and cancer.

Where it ends

It ends with you making informed decisions before submitting to any medical treatment, including taking antibiotics. You are the one who gleans the benefits or suffers the consequences – not the doctor who collects your co-pay up front and makes you sign “informed consent” papers before treatment.

Sources for this article

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/02/bacteriablood/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antibiotics/FL00075
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1994795/

Source: NaturalNews.com

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The silent killer: Modern lifestyle promotes Leaky Gut and low-level chronic inflammation

via: NaturalNews
Monday, July 16, 2012
By: Eric Hunter

[NaturalNews] Chronic low-level inflammation is often considered the foundation of disease. The big debate is where this inflammation stems from and how we can reduce it. Research the last 10 years has increased our knowledge on leaky gut and how it affects our health. Today we find a growing number of experts who believe that increased intestinal permeability might be the most important source of inflammation in modern societies.

The world’s leading expert on Paleolithic diets, Dr. Loren Cordain, has studied the subject in depth. When Dr. Cordain and his team published their seminal paper on Leaky Gut and autoimmunity a decade ago, there was little information on the subject available. Since then, the amount of research on Leaky Gut has skyrocketed thanks to people such as Cordain, Dr. Alessio Fasano, Dr. Leo Galland and other scientists around the world.

What’s happening with our digestive systems?

Most of our immune system is located in the gut, and the gut wall is the main interface between us and the external environment. When the intestinal lining is working correctly it only allows properly digested proteins, carbohydrates etc. to pass through.

Anti-nutrients and other components in common food staples increase intestinal permeability and damage the gut wall. Lectins, saponins, gliadin, certain hormones and bio-active peptides seem to cause the biggest problems. These nutrients can be found in milk, wheat and other grains, potatoes, hot spices, legumes and alcoholic beverages. Sugar and other refined carbohydrates can also increase intestinal permeability by changing the gut flora. Birth-control pills, anti-acids and other pharmaceuticals have also been linked to increased intestinal permeability.

A disrupted intestinal barrier allows increased passage of unwanted food components, bacteria and viruses. Certain bad bacteria contain a substance in their cell wall called Lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS binds to cells lining the gut and increases synthesis of pro-inflammatory substances. This interaction immediately causes the immune system to become inflamed.

Chronic low level inflammation drives heart disease, cancer, type 2-diabetes and autoimmunity. Leaky Gut has also been connected to a variety of skin conditions, gastrointestinal problems, mental disorders and other ailments.

Gut Flora is vital in development of both the suppressive and aggressive part of the immune system. It provides energy for out gut epithelial cells, and the bacterial layer supports a healthy intestinal lining. A diverse Gut Flora is also needed for proper digestion. Antibiotics, a western diet and other factors can damage Gut Flora and therefore, promote Leaky Gut.

Prevention and treatment

Avoiding foods introduced with the agricultural revolution will be your best prevention and treatment against Leaky Gut. Foods that have to be processed or heated in some way to be edible usually cause issues. Some people will be more sensitive to certain foods while others can eat them in moderation.

Avoiding pharmaceuticals will also be important in preventing Leaky Gut. Probiotics from fresh plants and plant products, fermented foods and supplements will promote healthy Gut Flora and intestinal lining. Prebiotics, soluble fiber that feeds beneficial flora, can be found in onions, leeks and apples. Changing your diet will, in most cases, cause rapid healing of the gut wall. More severe gut dysbiosis and Leaky Gut will often need more comprehensive methods.

Sources for this article include

The Paleo Diet Explained
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52A3ayfxfTs&feature=player_embedded

Cordain L, Toohey L, Smith MJ, Hickey MS. Modulation of immune function by dietary lectins in rheumatoid arthritis. The British journal of nutrition 2000;83(3):207-17.

Fasano A. Leaky gut and autoimmune diseases.
Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2012 Feb;42(1):71-8. doi: 10.1007/s12016-011-8291-x.

Fasano A, Shea-Donohue T. Mechanisms of disease: the role of intestinal barrier function in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal autoimmune diseases.
Nat Clin Pract Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Sep;2(9):416-22.

Gut. 2003 Feb;52(2):218-23. Early effects of gliadin on enterocyte intracellular signalling involved in intestinal barrier function.Clemente MG, De Virgiliis S, Kang JS, et al.

Type 2 Diabetes and Endotoxemia
http://thepaleodiet.blogspot.no

Source: NaturalNews.com

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Vitamin B6 deficit promotes inflammation, heart disease and cognitive decline

via: NaturalNews
Thursday, July 12, 2012
By: John Phillip

[NaturalNews] As cardiovascular disease continues to take the lives of millions of unsuspecting individuals worldwide, a continual stream of scientific evidence is emerging to show that many who suffer from this illness could be spared by relatively simple dietary and lifestyle interventions. Prior studies have shown that low vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate (PLP)) status are the root cause behind most inflammatory diseases, including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes and new research indicates that vitamin B6 and B12 deficiencies are linked to cognitive decline and depression.

Researchers reporting in The Journal of Nutrition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University in Boston have now provided conclusive evidence that low levels of vitamin B6 significantly increases the risk for diseases mediated by systemic inflammation, with special emphasis on the leading cause of mortality in the US, cardiovascular disease. Including natural foods such as leafy greens (spinach and kale), seeds and nuts to your diet may go a long way to cut the risks associated with heart disease, loss of cognition and early death.

Vitamins B6 and B12 are essential to prevent cognitive decline and depression

Researchers examined 2,229 men and women as part of the Framingham Offspring study and found that those individuals with the lowest plasma levels of vitamin B6, experienced the highest rise in circulating inflammatory markers. The study monitored 13 individual inflammatory markers, including interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor alpha and intercellular adhesion molecule-1, each known to be an independent risk factor in increased risk of inflammation and cardiovascular disease in particular.

Additional evidence supporting the importance of B vitamins is presented in The Journal of Nutrition to demonstrate that both vitamin B6 and B12 are essential to prevent cognitive decline and team together to provide natural relief from depression. Prior studies have demonstrated that supplementation with both B vitamins lowers damaging levels of the amino acid homocysteine and are associated with improvements in a range of mental tests including global cognition and spatial memory.

Using questionnaires to assess dietary and health factors, researchers analyzed the data to determine that low vitamin B12 concentrations were associated with higher scores to assess degree of depression and low B6 status related to poor mental status, a measure of cognitive abilities. The full spectrum of B vitamins are essential to energy metabolism in the human body and the latest research confirms that a well-balanced diet and daily supplementation can help prevent a range of chronic, debilitating conditions including heart disease, dementia and depression.

Sources for this article include:

http://jn.nutrition.org
http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Prevention/33532
http://jn.nutrition.org
http://www.nutraingredients.com

Source: NaturalNews.com

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