Understanding the science of inflammation and chronic inflammation, especially its harmful effects on the body, has grown enormously over the past couple decades. Having been the subject of thousands of academic and medical research studies, inflammation has now been implicated in scores of health ailments from sore, fatigued muscles and deteriorating joints to brain dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. The abundance of recent scientific information has spilled over so far into the popular media that it’s virtually impossible not to read, see, or hear something daily about this physiological activity and the damage that can accompany it.
Inflammation is a natural and necessary component of our immune function and is also part of a built-in protection and healing process for most tissues. This is referred to as acute inflammation, (because of its pronounced effect and relatively short duration), and it serves an important role in our health and well-being. For instance, it is part of the body’s defensive response to bacterial and viral infections, (such as colds, flus, cuts and scrapes of the skin, etc.), as well as to cells that have become irreparably damaged or pre- cancerous. Acute inflammation is marked by pain, redness, immobility, swelling and heat/ fever. Besides controlling infections, this type of inflammation also helps immobilize and cushion injuries such as sprains and muscle strains, allowing healing to occur more quickly and efficiently. Without acute inflammation, we would be far more prone to illness and infections, and far less able to heal even minor injuries.
The problem with inflammation arises when our biochemistry gets out of balance, immune processes aren’t reined in, and inflammation is allowed to become continuous and long- lasting. We refer to this as chronic inflammation. It is also known as “silent inflammation” because it does not have the same obvious and overt characteristics as acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to the most deleterious and damaging effects on the body, among which are heart and vascular diseases, auto-immune disorders (such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, lupus, irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], type 1 diabetes, and celiac disease), cerebral dysfunctions (including Alzheimer’s Disease), and many types of cancer. While the triggers for most of these diseases may not be fully understood, it is well established that inflammation is a major contributor to their progression.
It is also noteworthy that scientific studies have shown that chronic inflammation can be turned on by two very common health issues: 1) poor sleep quality/duration, and 2) obesity. Poor sleep patterns have been linked conclusively with elevated levels of inflammation which then, in turn, increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Obesity raises levels of white blood cells and other physiological mediators of inflammation, leading to higher rates of both coronary heart disease and cancer.
While there is no “magic bullet” even in the medical or pharmaceutical arsenal, there are a number of proven dietary and life style practices that help substantially bring down levels of chronic inflammation. These practices have been validated with scores of scientific studies, and are easily incorporated into daily practice. Clearly, as previously discussed, getting better quality sleep and shedding excess weight are two important steps towards controlling inflammation. Including omega-3 fatty acids (such as fish oils) in the daily diet dramatically increases the body’s production of inflammation-fighting prostaglandins. Consuming a diet of antioxidant-rich, plant-based foods provides the cells with nutrients and phytochemicals that effectively reduce inflammation while also protecting against its damaging effects. And finally, supporting good circulation and a strong immune system helps the body to ward off infections and clear toxins that could otherwise cause inflammatory responses throughout the body.
1.WA Meal Replacement & Recovery Shakesfor attaining a leaner, more fit body and lower body weight.
2.WA Lean Lifeto boost metabolism, control appetite, and enhance the burning of excessive body fat.
3.WA Omega-3 Fish Oilfor supplementing these vital fatty acids each and every day.
4.WA Green Infusionfor a superior, nutrient dense source of antioxidant nutrients and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals.
5.WA Ultimate Pre-Workoutto support proper immune system health and optimal circulation.
6.WA Joint Advantageto support healthy joints, addressing both acute and chronic inflammation in these tissues.
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