The word inflammation has been coming up a lot, especially in regards to the omega chain fatty acids. Why should it make a difference in your selection of survival foods?
The common thought behind heart disease places the blame squarely on the presence of plaque on the walls of the artery. Frequently thought to be caused by ‘high fat diets‘, this eventually forms a large mass which can stiffen the artery and burst, or break off to form a blood clot. Recent work by cardiologists has proven that it may go deeper than just cholesterol or fat in the diet.
Inflammation has been linked to stroke and heart attack patients for some time. While a causative relationship between the two has been a subject of increasing study over the past several years, there are a number of theories to justify why.
Plaque on the walls of arteries becomes more problematic in the presence of a highly inflamed bloodstream. Immune cells will attempt to block off the plaque from the rest of the bloodstream. In the event any breaks off, the likelihood of a clot forming is much higher.
Any way you slice it, the link between the two has been established. If you have more inflammation, it’s more likely that you will suffer from heart disease and many forward thinking doctors are suggesting measures to lower it.
Autoimmune disorders are (not surprisingly) related to your immune response. It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize winner to see the connection between the two.
What people don’t know is the prevalence of these sorts of diseases. You or someone you know might be suffering from an autoimmune disease without even knowing it is one. There are over 100 of them, and 50 million Americans are estimated currently suffer from them.
Some of the common ones include rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel disease, and celiac disease. Bringing down levels of inflammation has been shown to be effective in a number of these diseases and many more are being discovered all the time.
The Really Bad Diseases
Inflammation has been linked to a litany of terrible things that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and even Huntington’s Disease have all been linked to inflammation in numerous studies.
Cancer, the big mambo, has been linked to inflammation in a number of studies. As many as 25% of all cancers have been estimated to stem in part from inflammation. While the exact mechanism for this is not agreed upon, there are a number of theories.
Researchers at Ohio State University found a connection between a molecule called microRNA-155, which is produced in greater quantities in the presence of inflammation. This in turn increases the rate of spontaneous mutation and a drop in the proteins responsible for repairing broken DNA. Any of these cells when mutated can become cancer.
I hope you aren’t too scared. While the consequences of inflammation are dire, there are ways to understand it and minimize it in our lives. Stay tuned for more information on inflammation in our next post.