Chronic Inflammation, The Real Killer

Headaches, burns, sunburn, any trauma, causes inflammation. Chronic inflammation is when inflammation doesn't turn off.
Headaches, burns, sunburn, any trauma, causes inflammation. Chronic inflammation is when inflammation doesn't turn off.

Chronic Inflammation the Real Culprit

If there was one common denominator between several chronic diseases, including heart disease, that could help prevent them, would you want to know about it? If heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, Lupus and other auto-immune diseases and arthritis could be prevented just by knowing about this common denominator, wouldn't doctors know about it? Not necessarily. Traditional doctors are trained to treat symptoms rather than causes of diseases.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Traditional medicine's first-line defense against heart attacks is cholesterol-lowering drugs. There are many advertisements on television and in magazines every day aggressively trying to get more and more people to take their prescription medications which grow by the millions. But how much do these medications really help? Does just lowering cholesterol really prevent heart attacks? If you think so, just read the disclaimers on the bottom of some advertisements, such as, “This drug has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks in people who have not had a heart attack.”

It is not the necessarily the bad cholesterol, or LDL, that is dangerous. As a matter of fact, some families tend to have high LDL and low HDL and are healthy. Reviews of scientific evidence show that measuring the element C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker in the blood, can a better indicator of potential of heart attacks than cholesterol. C-reactive protein measures inflammation. Chronic inflammation results in significant damage to the arterial system. Scientists now believe that chronic inflammation plays a significant role in pathological conditions ranging from anemia and allergy to coronary heart disease, psoriasis and even stroke, as well as those previously mentioned. Inflammation can even cause the inflamed gums thought to contribute to cardiovascular disease and far more diseases than thought previously. Well-established cardiac risk factors such as obesity, smoking, hypertension and chronic periodontal disease all increase inflammation and C-reactive protein levels in the body. Fat cells literally pump out C-reactive protein, which could explain why being overweight is so bad for the heart.4 Harvard cardiologist Paul Ridker and coworkers took this line of conjecture one step further and started looking at CRP as an indicator of cardiovascular disease in seemingly healthy people. They found, in both men and women, that those with elevated CRP levels were two to three times more likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke. The men’s study showed that inflammation, indicated by elevated levels of CRP, was present five to ten years in advance of a heart attack

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It's NOT Cholesterol; It's NOT Fat!

Purpose of Inflammation

Inflammation is meant as a protective mechanism. All abnormal injuries, sunburn, headaches internal and external injuries, or sore muscles, inflammation serves a purpose. Inflammation is the body's defense against these "clear and present dangers." It is also an immune response that occurs after infection. Virus and bacteria infection thrive at the normal body temperature of about 98.6, after which they pour toxins into the bloodstream. If the immune system becomes overwhelmed or is weak, the body “bakes” the virus or bacteria with the heat of inflammation.

However, inflammation involves a delicate balance; if the body's inflammatory response is too intense, or does not turn off, it can harm otherwise healthy tissues. Autoimmune diseases provide another example of inflammation gone askew. It targets its own body because it no longer knows how to differentiate between some of the body's healthy proteins and foreign invaders. Asthma, eczema, autoimmune diseases and some types of arthritis are chronic forms of low-grade inflammation, where the immune system mounts defenses that go beyond what is necessary, reaching an elevated plateau. This when inflammation becomes damaging.

The production of C-reactive protein is an essential part of the inflammatory process, and the measurement of this substance reflects the level of inflammatory activity deep within the body that otherwise goes unseen.  Certain conditions tend to create a state of excessive inflammation within the circulatory system. 

Inflammation and Cognitive Decline

Recently, inflammation is also recognized as playing a central role in the debilitating cognitive decline that characterizes neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Previously, mental decline and memory loss have been considered inevitable hallmarks of old age. Still, something has to cause the problem. "Just old age" is an irresponsible answer. New research suggests that inflammation, and with it age-related decline, can be avoided through early intervention of low-grade chronic inflammation. For instance, Huntington's disease is characterized by chronic brain inflammation caused by the immune system's misguided attempts to eliminate a defective protein that results from a genetic defect. Although their inflammation triggers are different, diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS) and even multiple sclerosis, are also characterized by chronic inflammation of neural tissues.1

Curcumin

Curcumin helpful in many conditions, including diabetes
Curcumin helpful in many conditions, including diabetes

Cooling The Heat

Common OTC Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, commonly known as Aleve and Advil, have shown to help prevent the progression of Alzheimer's, as well as inflammation. However, they also cause major gastrointestinal and cardiovascular complications, including bleeding, especially when taken regularly. There are easier and healthier ways to manage inflammation. The best preventive way is to take fish oil. A recent study found that just three grams of fish oil a day was heart-protective.2 Eat more fish, the best source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Even once a week can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by 60 percent! 3 If you eat a lot of red meat, three or more times a week, and egg yolks several times a week, you may want to cut back. The protein is good for you, but egg yolks also contain pro-inflammatory arachidonic fatty acids. It is not because of the cholesterol in the eggs! When you do eat eggs, eat those that are organic, free range and have a third of the fat, such as Eggland’s Best. We recommend the very important addition of a good liquid or capsules of fish oil daily. Omega 3 fat is essential to building cellular membranes and protective myelin sheaths, which can help prevent brain related conditions and disease.

Antioxidant supplements, such as B-Complex, C and E, also help control free radicals produced by inflammation. Curcumin has also shown to reduce inflammation. The combination of Boswelia, Curcumin and Qwercetin found in Vital's BCQ, is a safe and healthy way to reduce inflammation. It also supports joints and sinuses, and is good for the digestive system by reducing levels of substance P, a powerful inflammatory agent.


Scientific Facts of Chronic Inflammation and Death

Heart Shot Video Prt 2 (Inflammation a Killer)

Treat the Cause, Relieve the Symptoms

Traditional medicine treats symptoms with pharmaceutical drugs that have dangerous effects and often lead to more problems, followed by more drugs. Holistic and Integrative medicine treat the cause of the symptoms. In the case of chronic inflammation, prevention is pretty easy and certainly safer. Healthy living and eating, putting into our bodies what nature expects, is the best way to be healthier and live longer.

That is not to say there is not a place for traditional medicine. Of course there is. It is when we misuse it that we often run into serious and sometimes deadly, problems. Many pharmaceuticals are misused from lack of knowledge. Holistic medicine also works from the premise that being responsible for our own health is the path to healthy longevity. Preventing disease is always better and easier than treating a disease. Have your C-reactive protein tested. If you do have chronic inflammation, BCQ is safe and effective, rather than NSAIDS, and proper nutrition is critical . 

Next Hub: Holistic Prevention and Treatment of Inflammation.

BCQ, healthier than NSAIDs

References

1Life Extension Magazine September 2003; Inflammation and the aging brain; Dale Kiefer

2 Nestel P, et al, The n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoid acid and docosahexaenoic acid increase systemic arterial compliance in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Aug;76(2):326-30.

3 Julian Whitaker’s Health & Healing; September 2007; Vol. 17, No. 9

4  Ramsay JE; Maternal obesity is associated with dysregulation of metabolic, vascular, and inflammatory pathways. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2002 Sep;87(9):4231-7.

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Comments 12 comments

Matthew Watson profile image

Matthew Watson 2 years ago from Petersburg, Illinois

It's amazing how many NRF2 activators are listed as anti-inflammatory agents. When the truth of the matter is that they all induce the body's own best anti-inflammatory enzyme. The other benefit is the antioxidant effects of the glutathione that is induced at the same time. That was the premise behind the Tecfidera MS treatment and Bardoxolone methyl another synthetic NRF2 activator. You might also want to look into Milk Thistle, Bacopa, Ashwagandha, and Green tea extract as they seem to also have a very potent synergy with the curcumin. That combo was found more effective then even the Prescription NRF2 activators. I hope that helps a little. Have a great day.


Matthew Watson profile image

Matthew Watson 2 years ago from Petersburg, Illinois

I totally agree with the prevention being the best medicine. Protandim is not intended to diagnose, prevent or treat any disease. but the upregulation of NRF2 does wonders on anything having to do with inflammation. Tecfidera was approved as a NRF2 activator for the treatment of MS and has been proven effective, the problem I had was the GI side effects. someone shared this link with me http://registration.akm.ch/einsicht.php?XNABSTRACT... and I thought it could be beneficial information for anyone following this thread. Just to let you know I am an independent distributor for the company that makes protandim after my experience with it but this post has no links to anything that will benefit me, it is for information purposes only. I hope it helps by showing the effects of 3 natural NRF2 inducers against the RX Tecfidera A.K.A. BG-12.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 3 years ago from Michigan

Hi Dr. Cheri, I have read about inflammation in connection to all diseases. This article gave me more insight into how to control the inflammatory response.

Excellent hub filled with such helpful information - thank you for sharing your expertise with us!

I'm sharing this with my FB readers on my Writers Page. You can see your article up by clicking on my FB link on my hubpages profile page. I think you will find some new interested followers.

God Bless YOU!

Mekenzie


Dr. Cherie profile image

Dr. Cherie 4 years ago from Hamburg, NY Author

Hi Proton,

I am not sure what you are asking. The only drugs being studied for nrf2 have side effects. Neh3 domain may play a role in Nrf2 protein stability, but I have to say, I do not know what this has to do with this article on chronic inflammation. CI can be SAFELY treated naturally. Any drug with a patent HAS to have something in it that is NOT natural.

"Protandim is a Nrf2 activator, and is the mechanism of action to do the broad range of things it does. The Nrf2 pathway is the activation method to a set of survival genes. So does the pharmaceutical industry recognize this and if so, are there any drugs being developed? Yes to both. There are two drugs in the last stages of testing. These drugs will address a specific focused area, because the FDA requires testing in a specific area. Both are synthetic drugs, they are not natural. Protandim is a natural Nrf2 activator, and there by would likely address the same things as well, without the side affects associated with synthetic drugs.

One product is called Bardoxolone methyl. It is being developed by Reata/Abbot, for developed for use in patients who have chronic kidney disease associated with Type 2 Diabetes."

I would be interested in knowing what your question is about. Protandim does not seem to address chronic inflammation, which this article is about.

Thanks for reading.


proton66 profile image

proton66 5 years ago from Southern California

Makes sense but, how does that compare with the nrf2 activator?


Dr. Cherie profile image

Dr. Cherie 5 years ago from Hamburg, NY Author

Hey, Lawsuit (of which I have an interest)

Thanks for leaving a comment. More people than not are misconceived about the real cause of heart attacks and stroke. Glad you found it interesting.

Take care


Dr. Cherie profile image

Dr. Cherie 6 years ago from Hamburg, NY Author

Hi GMAGoldi,

Thank you for your kind feedback. You would be amazed at how BCQ works for inflammation, and it's safe, safer than NSAIDS. We keep it in the house and take it with us when traveling. For chronic inflammation, and everyone should have their C-reactive protein checked, Dr. Santasiero recommends 2 three times a day. Please let me know how you do.

Thanks again!

Dr. Cherie


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Awesome! Loved your references too! I am fighting a frozen shoulder and this is fascinating information at this time.


Dr. Cherie profile image

Dr. Cherie 6 years ago from Hamburg, NY Author

Hi Dr Schilling

Thank you so much for the comment. I do work hard researching for my articles. I also have my husband and other physicians to check them.

Yes, prevention is always better, whether with our bodies and just about with anything else!

Thanks again. I hope you like my other hubs. I am writing one you may be interested in, in how we prevent and heal chronic inflammation.

Blessings


Dr. Cherie profile image

Dr. Cherie 6 years ago from Hamburg, NY Author

Hi Pamela,

I'm so happy you read this hub. As you can see, NSAIDs are not the answer. There certainly is a combination of treatments that are safer and even as or more effective than traditional treatments. But curcumin, especially combined with boswelia and quercitin, is especially effective while also safer for the digestive system.

Chronic inflammation is what we need to test for, rather than worrying about LDL and HDL. And it is so easy to safely treat.

Thanks, Pamela, for reading and sharing your time to comment.

Dr. Cherie


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

This is an excellent article. I have lupus and I have had so many different drugs prescribed through the years I couldn't begin to name all of them. I loved all the facts you discussed and presented so well. Great information. Thanks.


Dr. Schilling 6 years ago

I am a Holistic MD. I practice integrative medicine, and I found the article extremely accurate and informative. Prevention is always better than treating after the disease has occurred.Inflammation may be the root of all chronic disease.

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