What is inflammation?
Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response. When something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body, there is a biological response to remove it. The signs and symptoms of inflammation can be uncomfortable but are a show that the body is trying to heal itself. Acute, short-term inflammation is characterized by pain, redness, immobility, swelling and heat. These five acute inflammation signs only apply to inflammations of the skin. If inflammation occurs deep inside the body, such as in an internal organ, only some of the signs may be noticeable. Chronic inflammation is when inflammation stays longer than necessary, causing more harm than benefit – such as in the case of arthritis.
What causes inflammation?
When we hear the word inflammation, we tend to associate it with conditions like arthritis and other more serious issues. When considering what causes inflammation in the body, however, there are so many common causes that are not associated with disease states. These include dietary practices. So, what foods cause inflammation? The answer is that eating diets high in certain polyunsaturated fats, simple carbohydrates – especially refined sugars, and common allergens like casein and gluten are inflammation-promoting. In addition, being in colder temperatures3, experiencing menopause (with hormone fluctuations), experiencing psychological stress and exposure to environmental toxins can also result in increased inflammation.
How to reduce inflammation
If you want to know how to reduce inflammation in the body, a review of the prior paragraph is a good start. Clean up your diet. Choose monounsaturated fats like olive oil or polyunsaturated fats like corn oil. Eat less refined carbohydrates like sugar and products made from white flour. Avoid foods to which you have a known allergy. Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins. If you’re not sure how, I recommend my book What’s in Your Blood and Why You Should Care: How to Cleanse and Detoxify Your Blood for Optimum Health (©2019 Square One Publishers). In addition, you can supplement your diet with resveratrol.
Resveratrol anti-inflammatory effects
A good answer to the question, “What helps with inflammation?” is resveratrol.
Resveratrol (RSV) is a natural substance found in grapes, peanuts and Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum). RSV’s effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory agent was seen in a randomized, placebo-controlled study investigating the effectiveness of 40 mg RSV or placebo daily (for six weeks) on oxidative and inflammatory stress in normal subjects. The results were that RSV significantly reduced oxidative stress (P < 0.05) and also significantly suppressed levels of several inflammatory markers, including TNF-alpha, IL-6, and C-reactive protein (P <). There was no change in these indices in the control group given the placebo.
Likewise, in a study  of firefighters, supplementation with 100mg/day of resveratrol for 90 days (100mg/day, plasma biomarkers of inflammation were reduced after a physical fitness test, including IL-6 and TNF-α. This adds further credence to resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory effects.
It is important to note that the subjects in the two studies just discussed were a normal, non-diseased population. That means that RSV is likely to be effective for inflammation caused by dietary factors and lifestyle practices previously discussed.
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