Inflammation: the hero and villain we don’t acknowledge
“Suppression of inflammation is the most important driver of longevity” — https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4634197/
We’re always pursuing new ways of improving quality of life and I’d love to share with you some of our findings and advice to take advantage of this research.
The latest feature of our research at Meports, is Inflammation.
It’s widely agreed that most if not all diseases stem from chronic inflammation and if you’re genetically predisposed to some of these diseases you should pay attention.
Inflammation absolutely serves a purpose, by way of your immune system fighting off threats by releasing soldier-like, T cells (a white blood cell). When prolonged, however, it can result in serious illness and even death.
Super common auto-immune diseases like Arthritis and even Eczema are the product of your immune system thinking something good is actually harmful and thus sends these soldier cells to attack certain regions of your body.
There are genetic factors that make you predisposed to specific chronic inflammatory conditions such as the presence of APOE4. This increases your likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s by 11x.
Ok stop scaring me, how do I reduce Inflammation?
Good news! Researchers are starting to crack the case of inflammation reduction. I know you are empirically minded so I’ll do my best to include research on claims.
- Curcumin, an active ingredient in the spice, Tumeric, has proven to consistently produce anti-inflammation effects. To add, it also improves memory and mood. Could this be why areas of India have among the lowest rates of neurodegeneration in the world? I do love me some chicken tikka masala…
- Vitamin D has been proven to protect from oxidative stress and inflammation, which are possible mechanisms for neuroprotection. Side note, my 23AndMe report indicates I have low methylation of vitamin D, which means I have to go above and beyond in supplementation, the sun just isn’t enough!
- Saunas help create anti-inflammatory heat shock proteins. Some researchers recommend 20 mins, but I personally can only do 10 mins at a time after a nice HIIT workout.
- Probiotics are significant in recent research (although we don’t know the full picture yet) which carry “good” microbiome to your gut. It’s important to have a diverse gut microbiome in order to ward off unneeded inflammation. I started making my own Kombucha and Kimchi last year and will never turn back. Some other probiotic packed foods include Kefir, Sourdough and Greek Yogurt. If you can’t stand any of these, there is a super powerful medical grade probiotic supplement (it comes in a freezer bag) called VSL #3. Warning: it’s super expensive.
- Physical Activity is another evidence-based method of reducing inflammation which includes HIIT exercise and active stretching. Both of these really go without saying however :).
How do I know if it’s working?
This is where much of my knowledge is lacking, but I do understand that there are certain biomarkers that allow you to measure inflammation in specific areas of the body.
- Resting Heart Rate is a strong indicator of chronic inflammation because it conveys trends in your heart’s efficiency. If you use a FitBit, this is easy to track. Seeing sudden (monthly) decreases in resting heart rate would be cause for alarm. It’s important to take this aspect of your health into your own hands because when you visit a physician, they are only seeing a 1 hour window into your heart rate trends.
- Blood Tests are difficult to spot direct correlations and do so via tertiary markers. ESR, CRP, and Plasma viscosity are some blood tests that detect increases in protein. In this way, they are used as markers of inflammation.
- Mood tracking may sound silly and subjective but if you think about it, every aspect of your body serves a function for survival and mood (happiness vs depression) is no different. Listen to your mood, record it and pinpoint what it is you ate, and did that day to see spikes and troughs in mood.
What do you think of this:
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LEGAL: I am not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be one on the internet. This DOES NOT constitute medical advice. If you have a medical condition or medical questions, seek a professional.