Aging is a normal part of life, but does it have to be? We are not talking about the legendary fountain of youth but harnessing the knowledge of the aging process to slow it.
Look at a picture of Scott and Mark Kelly, both astronauts with NASA. Scott looks older than his brother. The initial results from the study into why the twin has aged differently is the stress and subsequent increase in inflammation associated with space travel. It has aged Scott faster than his brother.
Aging is also associated with the onset of cancer and heart disease. Both diseases have an underlying component related to inflammation.
Although acute inflammation is associated with healing; chronic inflammation is associated with damage and disease. There are solutions such as supplements for inflammation and eating a balanced diet. Read on to learn more about acute and chronic inflammation.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is your body’s response to an injury. For example, when you scrape your knee capillaries in the area enlarge, this increases the blood flow to the area.
There is, then, an increased ability to move fluids and proteins to damaged cells.
Finally, neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, enter the area to remove the damaged cells. This is an amazing process that helps us to heal from both minor and major trauma.
There are two types of inflammation: acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. Read on to learn about the differences.
What is Acute Inflammation
Acute inflammation begins quickly and resolves quickly. Symptoms are only present for a couple of days up to a few weeks. In acute inflammation to body gears up to deal with the injury, then shuts down once the repairs are over.
Examples of acute inflammation are listed below:
- acute bronchitis;
- a sore throat from a cold or flu;
- a scratch or cut on the skin;
- high-intensity exercise;
- a physical injury.
In cases of acute inflammation, the body performs as it is designed and repairs itself. The signs of acute inflammation are described below.
Symptoms of Acute Inflammation
When you experience acute inflammation, it is associated with pain, redness, immobility, swelling, and heat. All of these are the result of the inflammatory process described above.
Pain comes from increased sensitivity of nerve endings. The redness and heat come from the increased blood flow to the small arteries. Swelling and immobility are the result of increased fluid from blood and nutrient exchange in the area.
What is Chronic inflammation?
Chronic inflammation lasts for a long time. The system of acute inflammation begins but never shuts off or stops.
This can be because the underlying cause is never stopped. For example, your wrist hurts from typing, but you never address it, and it leads to chronic inflammation and results in carpal tunnel syndrome.
In some cases, during the inflammatory process, neutrophils confuse healthy cells for damaged cells, and the body attacks itself.
The visual signs of aging are also the result of an inflammatory response.
Examples of instances of chronic inflammation are:
- rheumatoid arthritis;
- periodontitis (gum disease);
- ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease;
Damaged cells need inflammation to heal, but chronic inflammation causes diseases and contributes to heart disease and cancers.
The symptoms of chronic inflammation are also harder to identify, which allows it to go unnoticed.
Chronic Inflammation and How to Stop It
The good news is that research into chronic inflammation has found that specific vitamins, antioxidants, and supplements can help to stop the inflammation process. This improves both your health and your looks.
Dietary Changes to Lower Inflammation
An anti-inflammatory diet consists of a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It also avoids processed and fried foods; red meat; and simple sugars.
One of the most well known anti-inflammation diets is the Mediterranean Diet. Below is a list of foods that are typically found in the Mediterranean Diet:
- olive oil;
- nuts, such as walnuts and almonds;
- leafy greens, including spinach and kale;
- fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel;
- fruit, including blueberries and oranges.
Your diet should also include a lot of water and fiber, and limit the intake of sugary drinks and alcohol.
Diets full of fruits and vegetables are also full of vitamins and antioxidants that help to stop chronic inflammation. Our current food supply, unfortunately, is often lacking in some of these key nutrients. Supplementation, in this case, can help to support a healthy diet in reducing chronic inflammation.
Supplements for Inflammation
Many are turning to supplements to address the issue of chronic inflammation. Look for supplements that are back by science.
Herbs such as the South African devil’s claw, ginger, turmeric, and cannabis or CBD Oil all have anti-inflammatory properties. Several supplements are being looked at specifically for their impact on inflammation.
Devil’s claw is as effective as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for reducing inflammation and pain in those with osteoarthritis.
Every day more and more research is being done into the effects of supplements on inflammation.
Slowing the Aging Process
While inflammation is a big piece of the aging process, there are also other physiological processes that influence aging. Telomere length also appears to be connected to both health and the aging process. Shorted telomeres appear in individuals with certain diseases and cancers. These cancers are also associated with increases in inflammation. Lack of insulin and glucose control also contribute to certain cancers and increases in chronic inflammation.
Although more research is needed, many supplements are showing promise in slowing the aging process.
Ready to be Proactive About Aging?
If you are ready to get serious about addressing inflammation and slowing the aging process. Begin by modifying your diets. Then explore adding the necessary supplements. There are many high-quality supplements for inflammation, click here to learn more.
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