by PF Louis
There’s a silent killer on the loose and it’s called chronic inflammation.
According to Dr. Barry Sears, author of The Anti-Inflammation Zone: Reversing the Silent Epidemic That’s Destroying Our Health: “Chronic inflammation is the evil mother of the most prevalent and devastating diseases that routinely kill Americans.”
For example, heart disease, obesity, cancer and dementia are all linked to chronic inflammation. Worst of all chronic inflammation may not exhibit any symptoms until damage and loss of function occurs. Unlike acute inflammation, chronic inflammation is low-grade and systemic.
It causes damage under the radar over an extended period of time – typically years – until a recognized disease manifests. Managing inflammation is the key to maintaining one’s health.
Study confirms antioxidants reduce inflammation
A 2009 Russian study with mice demonstrated that naturally occurring fat soluble antioxidants reduce inflammation.
Fifteen days prior to being artificially induced with acute inflammation the experimental or treatment group was given fat soluble antioxidants: Coenzyme Q9, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha-Tocopherol, Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene15. The control group of mice was not given any antioxidant.
The researchers concluded that unique antioxidant combinations could be used therapeutically to reduce the inflammatory response and stimulate the immune system.
What are antioxidants and free radicals?
Antioxidants are organic compounds found in food especially in brightly colored vegetables and grains. Common antioxidants in food include: vitamin A, C and E; beta-carotene, lycopene and the trace mineral selenium.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating an electron. However, the donating antioxidants become free radicals in the process with one exception, glutathione, which is created by the liver.
It’s called the master antioxidant because it can refresh antioxidant molecules that have become free radicals, reversing them back to antioxidants!
Providing the body with a higher ratio of antioxidants to free radicals and providing your liver with precursors to glutathione, such as cysteine or NAC, are the solutions to this dilemma.
Whole glutathione can’t get by the gut intact. Antioxidants and glutathione precursors for the liver must be supplied through the diet and supplementation (http://www.naturalnews.com).
Oxidative stress, inflammation, and disease
Oxidative stress is a natural byproduct of metabolic function, especially within our toxic environment. Oxidation occurs when oxygen molecules lose an electron and become damaged or unstable and morph into free radicals.
A domino effect is created as the free radical tries to regain stability by stealing an electron from another molecule, and so on.
When a molecule loses an electron it’s damaged. Even if the molecule steals an electron and regains stability, it’s still damaged.
Damaged cells create an inflammatory response that becomes chronic. These damaged cells lose functionality and eventually die.
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are the basis of many age-related, chronic diseases. Chronic conditions account for more than 75% of health care spending. Seven out of ten Americans die each year from chronic diseases, not acute infectious diseases.
A 2005 CDC statistic showed one out of every two adults had at least one chronic illness.
Good and bad inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s emergency response to an injury caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, environmental toxin, or impact and excess heat. Acute inflammation is essential to the healing process.
It’s the primary mechanism that enables the body to repair damage and restore homeostasis and functionality.
When the threat is removed and the repair work has been successfully completed, the inflammatory response shuts off, symptoms abate and the body reverts to normal operating mode.
On the other hand, a serious problem arises when inflammation becomes chronic.
In this situation the body is continuously fighting off a repeat offender. A never ending war of attrition ensues.
Eventually the immune system is weakened and the body malfunctions and slowly becomes vulnerable to life threatening disease states. In the beginning numerous sporadic and vague symptoms emerge and then solidify into a diagnosable disease.