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Top 20 Natural Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Spices
Top 20 Natural Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Spices   There are many herbs and spices that can combat inflammation and they[...]
Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Anti Inflammatory Foods   Everyone in life experiences acute inflammation, swelling that is caused by a sudden injury or infection[...]
Natural Anti-Inflammatory Supplements
Natural Anti Inflammatory Supplements   Living with the pain and swelling of inflammation is unbearable. The body's immediate reaction is[...]

What Is Inflammation Anyway?

Inflammation is actually a protective response in the body that is designed to protect a body part or keep out harmful substances such as bacteria, viruses and irritants. Inflammation is a key player in the body’s immune system and works by sending blood and other fluids from the vascular system to the affected area of the body. The result of the increased fluids includes swelling, redness, pain, tenderness and loss of function. Inflammation is helpful to the body, especially during an impact related injury. It serves as a protected cushion to help prevent further injury and allow the body’s healing properties to be rushed to the site and begin working. Swelling can also become a sort of slippery slope when inflammation causes an increased swelling response that turns into a dangerous and vascular restricting event.

Acute Inflammation?

Acute inflammation is a temporary condition caused by an injury or infection. The swelling that follows a blunt trauma injury caused by the rush of fluids to the affected area is acute inflammation. It also encompasses the swelling that is associated with infection. When an area of the body becomes infected, the tissues become inflamed with the body’s attempts to the eliminate the harmful substance whether it be a bacteria or virus. The fluids that are sent to the infection include valuable white blood cells that attack and kill the foreign substance. The result of the white blood cells in use is seen as a production of pus. The swelling associated with acute inflammation can start in seconds after the injury or insult and continue up to several days.

Chronic Inflammation?

Unlike acute inflammation, chronic inflammation lasts much longer, sometimes for many years. It is often caused by an autoimmune response in the body in which the body, for an unknown reason, detects its own cells as foreign pathogens and begins an attack. Examples of inflammation due to an autoimmune process are found in diseases such as arthritis, lupus, Chron’s disease, peptic ulcers, hepatitis and many more. The inflammation that is caused by allergies and asthma is also due to an autoimmune response. Prolonged exposure to pathogens that cause bronchitis, along with smoking and periodontal disease are associated with chronic inflammation. Obesity is also a possible cause. The increased size of swollen fat cells releases proteins called cytokines that have been found to be responsible for initiating an inflammatory response.

Chronic inflammation has more far reaching effects than most people realize. Chronic inflammatory responses have been seen in heart tissues that cause pain and discomfort. More research has found that chronic inflammation plays a large role in many diseases. Patients suffering from colon cancer that were given anti-inflammatory medications were found to have a higher survival rate than those who received none. Stress hormones have been linked with a higher inflammatory response and work by cleaving themselves to fat cells and causing subsequent swelling. The process encourages fat storage and multiplication of fat cells in the body which in turn perpetuate the process as the new cells create an even further increased response.

Anti Inflammatory Supplements

How do Anti Inflammatory Supplements Work?

Anti inflammatory supplements work in different ways according to each one’s chemical composition and how the chemicals react to substances in the body that produce inflammation.

Omega 3 is a popular supplement that is taken for its anti inflammatory properties. It works in the body by reducing cytokines by inhibiting the protein’s receptors thereby nullifying the inflammatory response. Fish oil is the best source of concentrated amounts of omega 3. The supplements are sold as capsules of fish oil and can be taken in different doses according to individual needs.

Antioxidants work to decrease swelling by attacking oxidants. Oxidants are a by product of immune cells that are working to fight infection, or in the case of chronic inflammation, fight the body’s own healthy cells. The harmful oxidants are also often referred to as free radicals and cause damage to cells along with inflammation. Supplements that have an effective antioxidant mechanism include Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Selenium. All can be found in varying strengths and research should be done on the proper amount needed for individual use.

Flax Seed Oil is especially effective in individuals that are suffering chronic skin inflammation. Patients suffering from dermatitis find flax seed oil particularly effective. The supplement works in a similar way to Omega 3 by converting to EPA and DHA which are essential fatty acids; helpful fats that regulate cell activity and promote healthy cardiovascular function. Flax Seed Oil can come in capsules that are similar to Omega 3 or in oil form.

Resveratrol is a powerful anti inflammatory that has a strength that has been shown to be more effective than ibuprofen, aspirin and indomethacin. It works by inhibiting bio chemicals that cause inflammation such as COX 1 and COX 2. Research suggests that resveratrol may also act to decrease the inflammatory response in immune cells and may also reduce T cell production. T cells play a part in the swelling that is seen in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune response related diseases. Resveratrol has also shown to inhibit granulocytes which are the main cause of inflammation in diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Resveratrol can be taken orally as a supplement or injected directly into an affected joint by a physician.

Ginger has long been known for its key role in reducing inflammation. Gingerols, the active anti-inflammatory ingredient in ginger, inhibits swelling by working against biochemicals such as COX and lipoxygenase. Effective relief from the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis has been shown after an accumulative build up after three months of administration.

Zinc has been traditionally used to feign off colds and flu, but recent research has found that it also carries anti inflammatory properties. In a recent study, researchers found that trial subjects who were given three 25mg doses of Zinc per day had decreased levels of TNF alpha, one of the cytokines produced by fat that causes inflammation.

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