Inflammation is a bit of a negative buzzword at the moment. The truth is we do actually need inflammation, as it’s a crucial part of our bodies’ defence against foreign pathogens. But over the long term, too much can have serious repercussions on our health- accelerating the ageing process and contributing to a diverse range of conditions. Take heart- it is not a hopeless battle; there are various means of lowering your inflammatory levels.
How to combat inflammation:
- Practice regular grounding.
When your feet (or other areas of skin) are in direct contact with the earth, electrons are transferred to your body. Thus the electrical charge of your body drops. Some evidence suggests that 30 minutes of this skin contact may be sufficient to reduce inflammation. This may be directly due to the electrons acting as antioxidants, effects on immune cells, the nervous system… or other.
- Eat garlic
Allicin, a molecule found within damaged garlic, has anti-inflammatory effects. At low doses it increases expression of antioxidants, helps SOD (an enzyme) convert damaging free radicals into less harmful relatives, and inhibits inflammatory cascades. Allicin is an unstable molecule with short lived effects, so the key is to not allow it much time to decompose.
- Eat turmeric
Thanks to the active compounds turmerosaccharides and curcumin, turmeric has anti-inflammatory effects. Turmerosaccharides appear to be particularly valuable in osteoarthritis management, for example by reducing inflammatory damage to cartilage. Curcumin targets inflammatory mediators that are involved in certain cancers, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Up your omega-3 fatty acid intake
Omega-3 fatty acids are used to produce anti-inflammatory eicosanoids (i.e. locally acting signalling molecules). Anti-inflammatory benefits include increasing the muscle’s ability to repair and grow, and increasing bone density.
5. Potential of nicotinamide riboside supplements
Nicotinamide riboside supplements are used to increase levels of NAD+ within the body. Increasing NAD+ has many anti-ageing effects. Just two of these seem to be an activation of the enzyme sirtuin, which reduces inflammation, and increased production of PGC-1 alpha- a protective protein that can reduce oxidative stress in the brain.
6. Potential of PEMF therapy
Animal studies suggest Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy may reduce inflammation. In this therapy, Various types of devices are available, all of which use magnetic coils to induce pulsed electric fields in the body. These are thought to elicit responses within cells by acting on cell membrane receptors, ion channels and/or synapses between neural cells. PEMF seems to be particularly beneficial in neurological conditions, but more research into its anti-inflammatory effect is necessary.
7. Use infrared clothing.
A number of studies suggest that exposure to the far-infrared radiation emitting ceramic powders used in products can protect against inflammatory stimuli. The potential anti-oxidant or other mechanisms for this need to be further explored.
There are a number of simple meausres you can take to reduce the scourge of inflammation on your body- from the completely free (grounding), to those that add flavour to your meals (garlic and turmeric), to those of a more clinical flavour. Additional research into some of these wouldn’t go astray, but the results thus far are promising.
What anti-inflammatory practice appeals to you?