How to Beat Inflammation: Part 4

Overcoming The Pain and Disease of America’s #1 Silent Killer

This is the last of a 4 part series looking at one of the key factors in muscle growth and recovery, but unchecked can also be a silent killer. 

Click here for Part 1.
Click here for Part 2.
Click here for Part 3.

HOW TO DEAL WITH INFLAMMATION
The best way to avoid or minimize chronic inflammation is to prevent it in the first place, or in other words, “kill it in the cradle” before it goes on for too long.

Given the brief discussion above, it’s easier to identify the things we want to avoid, as well as the things we need to do more of.

Nutrition:
Anti-inflammatory diets are worth investigating. These diets include lots of leafy green vegetable, tomatoes, olive oil, nuts, and fatty sources of fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines.
Minimize intake of simple sugars, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods.
As much as possible, minimize intake of artificial colorings, flavorings, and sweeteners.
Fast intermittently. Even if fasts are just 14 or 16 hours (overnight) once a week, this allows critical downtime for your gastrointestinal tract to repair and heal.
Avoid or minimize alcohol.

Supplements:
Omega 3s: Numerous studies have shown Omega 3 to have powerful anti-inflammatory capabilities, and may be a top choice of supplements in this regard.
Turmeric/Curcumin: Lots of medical interest in these two compounds and a quick review of the corresponding research shows why––turmeric is a source of curcumin, and both have been used for centuries in Asia for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Hemp Oil: Studies have shown that one of the components of hemp oil, cannabidiol (CBD), exerts powerful anti-inflammatory effects by reducing cytokines. For this reason, this non-psychoactive nutritional supplement has been used to support people with many forms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Vitamin C: Along with supporting connective tissue repair and white blood cell count, Vitamin C also exhibits strong anti-inflammatory activity. In fact, studies suggest that too much Vitamin C may actually inhibit muscle growth by diminishing growth-stimulating neuromuscular signals.
Baking soda: According to a study on inflammation by the Medical College of Georgia, which was published in The Journal of Immunology, there is strong evidence that baking soda––an old-time, cheap, over-the-counter antacid––can encourage our spleen to promote an anti-inflammatory environment that could be therapeutic in the face of inflammatory disease.
Moderate Coffee Intake (1-3 cups/day): Coffee contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, which may offer some protection from the inflammatory process.

Lifestyle:
• In Cases of Strain or Sprain: First and foremost, seek medical attention as needed. In most cases, R-I-C-E will likely be recommended in the initial phase; rest, ice, compression, and elevation. All these components are aimed at decreasing secondary tissue damage.
• Lose Bodyfat: As discussed above, bodyfat, especially visceral bodyfat, or the fat inside your abdomen, releases cytokines (inflammatory agents) into the body 24/7, causing chronic inflammation. Obviously it goes without saying, but reducing bodyfat every little bit helps.
• Exercise: This is also another no-brainer, as exercise reduces blood sugar, helps reduce bodyfat, helps make the body more insulin resistant, and “burns up” the stress hormone, cortisol. As with reducing bodyfat, every little bit helps, although twenty minutes of moderate intensity exercise three times per week is considered the recommended minimum.
• Oral Hygiene: As the inflammatory components circulate in your bloodstream, it can have systemic effects––even low-grade inflammation can have systemic implications on the arteries and other various organ systems. This is known to be especially true in the case of chronically inflamed gums. They don’t take much to inflame, and many people think they are “just fine” in this area. One simple test is to floss your teeth. If the gums bleed at all, it is likely an indication that there is inflammation in the gum line. Brushing your teeth twice per day and flossing at least once per day can reduce the bacteria that causes inflammation.

MEDICATIONS
Although it is beyond the scope of this report, despite the risk of severe side effects, medications are warranted in many cases. This is particularly true when needing to medically manage the more severe inflammatory and/or auto-immune type cases.

Similarly, over-the-counter preparations can be justified in short-term situations. However, you should always look to other effective, natural alternatives with less potential for side effects whenever possible.

THE WRAP
In a nutshell, inflammation is a good news, bad news proposition. It needs to be managed in the short-term and minimized in the long-term. That said, it’s not something that needs to be suppressed all the time, as inflammation is the cornerstone of healing and even muscle growth. Chronic inflammation is always bad news though. Learn all you can, work with your doctor, and live the healthiest, inflammation-free lifestyle possible.

Stay healthy and stay strong!

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About the Author: Dr. Tom Deters

Dr. Tom Deters is the former Editor in chief and publisher of Muscle & Fitness magazine and publisher of both FLEX and Men’s Fitness magazines. He has published hundreds of articles and given hundreds of seminars on training, performance nutrition, diet strategy and bodyfat control.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.