Describe inflammation and the benefits and problems with it?

-Jul 20, Dr Sara Palmer Hussey, PhD, Health -

Acute inflammation is a vital immune response that protects and heals the body following physical injury or infection. Acute inflammation is normally localised and involves dilation of blood vessels as well as increased vessel permeability to improve blood flow to the affected area, the experience of which is felt as localised pain, heat, swelling and redness. 

What is inflammation?

Acute inflammation is essential. However, chronic inflammation, often silent, involves the persistent perpetuation of the pro-inflammatory response. Chronic inflammation can result from a viral or microbial infection, environmental antigen (e.g., pollen), autoimmune reaction or persistent activation of inflammatory molecules. The persistent low-grade attack on all body tissues caused by chronic inflammation precedes and characterises most degenerative diseases. It impairs the functioning and repair of tissues and cells and accelerates ageing. 

Which foods and nutrients tame inflammation?

Increasing dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids generally decreases inflammation, whereas increasing dietary intake of omega-6 fatty acids increases inflammatory markers. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the typical Western diet is about 16:1. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil is 1:4, which helps redress the balance.

How turmeric helps inflammation

Turmeric is also a potent anti-inflammatory. Turmeric has been proven to counteract inflammation more effectively than many drugs, yet it is a natural substance and one of the safest compounds ever discovered. As inflammation is central to cancer initiation, promotion and metastasis, turmeric is a powerful ally not only against ageing, but also against cancer.

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