Inflammation – AN INFLAMMATORY REPORT
by Lynn Hinderliter CN, LDNInflammation

For some years now I have sprinkled references to inflammation throughout my articles, being convinced that the inflammatory process was an important causative factor in all states of dis-ease, not least because inflammation and pain are constant companions. Inflammation

Time to organize a little! Inflammation

Consider the fact that the main transportation systems in our body consist of pipe-like organs:  our blood stream, our digestion, our lungs.  These pathways are lined with cells that form membranes. The membranes in question control what stays where it is supposed to be, and what gets to places where it shouldn’t.  Simple enough so far. Inflammation

When the cells that form the membranes, and therefore the membranes themselves, become inflamed, anarchy rules.  White blood cell counts  indicate inflammation, but C-reactive protein  (CRP) serves is a more accurate  marker of inflammation:  levels above 2.4 mg/l suggest a doubled risk of a coronary event. Inflammation

Inflammation in the cardiovascular system causes plaque to set up in wounded arteries, and raises  homocysteine, white blood count and CRP (C reactive protein) levels , with the concomitant risk of clots, high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack. CRP is produced in the liver as an inflammatory response, and is linked not only to cardiovascular disease and stroke, but also to cancer, macular degeneration, type 2 diabetes,  and many other chronic health problems.  Inflammation

Persistent inflammation also causes the formation of a protein called FIBRIN,  which is implicated in blood clots. A Dr. Sumi, in Japan, has recently made the discovery that an enzyme in a food called NATTO, from fermented soybeans, can block this process, and actually resolve thrombi.  It also decreases the viscosity of the blood, which is good because  thicker blood means higher blood pressure and more work for the heart.  It goes without saying that this enzyme cannot be used by people with bleeding problems, and only( under the care of a health professional if you are already on blood thinners.) Inflammation

Much research implicates inflammation in  poor heart health: Dr. Giles & colleagues (published in Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2000;162:1348-1354) examined a study conducted from 1976 to 1992 on 8900 adults, and stated “What we found was that people with an elevated white blood count (WBC) were 40% more likely to die from coronary heart disease after taking into account a number of traditional risk factors”.  Link between Inflammation and Disease http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=14704741&dopt=Books Inflammation

The study showed that patients with a WBC count over 7.6 were at much higher risk of dying from Coronary Heart Disease, even after adjusting for other risk factors. The new findings support a role for inflammation as a causal factor in the pathogenesis of CHD, the authors say. “We really don’t know whether reducing white count will lower the risk,” Dr. Giles added in an interview. “That’s where we need more studies.” Inflammation

Interestingly, children of parents with high blood pressure are found to have high levels of CRP. The researchers concluded “The results of this study suggest that the offspring of parents with hypertension may be more likely to have elevated levels of CRP, and may therefore have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”  (Diaz JJ, Arguelles, et al, Arch Dis Child, 2007; 92(4): 304-8) Inflammation

In 2008, the maker of the statin drug Crestor published with great fanfare, the results of the Jupiter trial (as Dr. Eales* says: “Know what Jupiter stands for?  It stands for Justification for the Use of Statins in Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin“), which purported to show that Crestor “known chemically as rosuvastatin, reduced heart attack, stroke, need for bypass or angioplasty procedures and cardiovascular death by a surprising 45 percent over less than two years” in patients with high CRP and normal to low LDL. Inflammation

 I have found a truly excellent write-up of this trial in * Dr. Michael Eales’ blog (http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/cardiovascular-disease/1853/), you can access it here, and it is a masterly analysis of how the big drug companies can mislead us – but for simplicity’s sake here are a couple of excerpts: Inflammation

  • They stopped the study right in the middle of it.  When studies are done that might put people at risk by giving them potentially dangerous drugs, it is typical for an outside group to take a peek at the data at certain milestones to make sure the study medication isn’t killing people.  When this data is evaluated, and it is found that subjects on the experimental medicine are dying at unacceptably high rates, the study is often halted.  I’ve never seen a study halted because the placebo group was dying at higher rates. That really makes me wonder.One of the negative findings in this study was that the group on Crestor developed diabetes during the trial at a significantly higher rate than did those on placebo.
  • let’s assume I’m taking this study at its absolute worst.  Let’s look at it in the best light possible.  If we do, we find that a small group of unusual patients – those with low LDL-cholesterol AND high C-reactive protein – may slightly decrease their risk for all-cause mortality by taking a drug that costs them almost $1,300 per year and slightly increases their risk for developing diabetes.  That’s the best spin possible given the data from this study.  Compare that to the spin the media is giving it.  (Lynn:  my emphasis) Inflammation

In fact, within the study itself, you will find that the study leaders eliminated from consideration people with both low LDL and low CRP, since studying them “would  have been not only infeasible in terms of statistical power and sample size but also highly unlikely to show a benefit.”.  In other words, TRULY healthy people would not be likely to benefit at all. Inflammation

This plays in to the definition of “preventive health care”, which is on the verge of becoming the new buzz phrase.  Does it mean personal accountability, watching ones diet and lifestyle, or does it mean going to the Doctor, having tests done, and then taking prophylactic doses of certain drugs? Inflammation

More about CRP – http://www.vrp.com/articles.aspx?ProdID=art1130&zTYPE=2

Controlling inflammation NATURALLY when it first appears can lead to many years of better health. 

Inflammation can be triggered by viruses, overweight, food intolerances, bacteria and even toxins entering the blood stream – here we see the interdependence of the various systems at work. Inflammation

    • The first step is to change one’s diet to ensure a steady supply of anti-oxidant rich foods, high in nutritive value overall and  in Omega 3 fatty acids Inflammation

    • Second, make sure that you have eliminated any personal food intolerances.
      No matter how healthy the food may seem, if your body doesn’t like it, it is pro-inflammatory for you!.

    • Thirdensure that these dietary changes have modified your body’s pH. Inflammation
      An acid pH is pro-inflammatory.

    • Fourth,  ensure a supple of enzymes, checking to see whether a hydrochloric acid deficiency may be part of your problem.
      Faulty digestion is pro-inflammatory. Inflammation

    • Fifth, modify your weight and Body Mass Index to healthy levels. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B8CX1-4N3P936-5&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=5f6dd2c4b56e9185e35b266782ebe2dc
      Carrying excess weight is pro-inflammatory. Inflammation

    • Sixth, add helpful supplements in the number and quantity dependent on the degree of your problem.
      Nutrient deficiencies can be pro-inflammatory; certain nutrients are anti-inflammatory Inflammation

I recommend the following; Inflammation

Vitamin C 500 to 2000 mg * Vitamin E  (with tocotrienols and mixed tocopherols) 400 iu* Omega 3 fatty acids * Resveratrol or Activin * Green Tea *  * an effective digestive enzyme *  Proteolytic enzymes * Devil’s Claw  * turmericbromelain * (the herbs listed separately or in combination.)   Inflammation

Inflammation can contribute to cancer development in three ways: Inflammation

    • necrotic cell death ( death through destruction) rather than apoptosis (cell death where the mechanisms of the body tidily remove the debris). Necrosis releases  toxins into the body and promotes an inflammatory response Inflammation
    • angiogenesis, or the formation of new blood vessels to feed tumors – Chronic inflammation is closely associated with angiogenesis, as granulation tissue requires an extended vascular supply
    • cell proliferation caused by inflammatory damage to DNA Inflammation

In the case of the digestive tract, toxins are re-circulated in the bloodstream, proteins incompletely digested are recognized by the body as invaders,  and the essential balance of friendly organisms is disrupted leading to candida, IBS,  colitis, in turn disrupting the immune system. Inflammation

Another way in which inflammation manifests itself is in the painful joints that afflict so many people, whether as a result of trauma, or age and deterioration . For years, the medical approach to this problem has been to recommend aspirin type pain killers, NSAIDs, or Cox 2 inhibitors, depending on the severity of the problem. Inflammation

I have written about the dire immediate consequences of a certain over-the-counter pain killer, and I believe everyone is now aware of the consequences of taking Vioxx. (http://www.adrugrecall.com/vioxx/heart-disease.html)  However, the unintended  consequences of taking even the more seemingly benign painkillers day after day has not been so well researched.  Inflammation

I was talking the other day to an old friend of my husband, who had contacted us after 30 years of silence:  he had been a paratrooper, and having been told to “live with the pain” of his damaged joints spent those years popping painkillers daily. Inflammation

  • He had suffered a heart attack
  • He had been through prostate cancer.
News flash!  PAINKILLERS DEPLETE FOLIC ACID. 
  • Folic acid and heart health – http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9804/08/cereal.heart/
  • Folic acid and prostate cancer – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060612082419.htm

Even more alarming, the February 3, 2002, issue of the British Medical Journal carried a study on the increased risk of miscarriage among women using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  Inflammation

This Danish study involved over 1400 women . A 2003 California study confirmed this finding, coming up with an 80% increase in risk of miscarriage where NSAIDs were used.   Inflammation

The importance of folic acid in pregnancy cannot be overemphasized, and after years of proselytizing on the part of the alternative health community is finally accepted by the Government and the medical establishment. Remember, folic acid depletion during pregnancy is also linked to birth defects. Inflammation

A 2006 study found that inflammation leads to both weight gain AND weight loss in older individuals, both of which can be signs of deterioration in a persons health*
(
International Journal of Obesity (2006) 30, 1362–1367. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803306; published online 14 March 2006)
I
nflammation leads to intolerances/allergies
by the method described in this study:
 
Mouse Model of Food Allergies Reveals Cause of Inflammation

In a study that might one day lead to new treatments for some food allergies and related diseases, a team of Cincinnati researchers has shown how certain immune cells attack the digestive tract of mice fed specially treated food. The study, which appears in the April edition of Nature Immunology, identifies key players in food-induced inflammation of the digestive tract.  http://www.nature.com/ni/

The research identifies the culprits as eosinophils, immune cells packed with powerful proteins that, when released, destroy surrounding tissues and help rally other immune cells to sites of infection. Eosinophils often appear in high numbers at sites of allergic inflammation, but researchers have not known if the cells caused the disease or were merely bystanders called to the scene. Inflammation

“This study provides very clear evidence that, in this model, eosinophils play a critical role in disease,” says Marshall Plaut, M.D., chief of the allergic mechanisms section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which funded the study. “Understanding how and why these cells attack the digestive organs is an important step toward understanding a number of human gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases, including food allergy.” Inflammation

In most of us, our immune system ignores the foods we eat. If our defenses stop ignoring these foods, however, immune cells can rush to the digestive tract and launch an attack, leading to allergies. Marc Rothenberg, M.D., Ph.D., of Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, directed a research team to discover why that happens. They developed a mouse model of eosinophilic gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases, which lead to weight loss, enlarged or inflamed digestive tissues, and the inability of food to move properly through the digestive tract. Inflammation

The animals became ill and lost weight as multiple regions of their digestive tracts became inflamed. Immune system proteins and cells rushed to the affected areas, and eosinophils accumulated in high numbers, particularly around damaged nerve cells. The walls of digestive organs swelled and food became stalled in the stomach; both of these findings are characteristic of human eosinophilic gastrointestinal inflammation. Inflammation

To see if eosinophils were in part responsible for the allergy symptoms, the researchers studied a protein called eotaxin, which plays a role in some respiratory allergies. Eotaxin is a type of chemical distress call that summons eosinophils when the body senses danger. The Rothenberg team discovered that, in the sensitized mice, ovalbumin caused some of the cells lining the digestive tract to release eotaxin and attract eosinophils to the site. When the researchers repeated the experiment in mice that lacked the eotaxin gene, eosinophils did not appear and the mice did not develop the severe symptoms seen in normal mice. Inflammation

“This provides strong evidence that eosinophils are key players in food allergies,” explains Dr. Rothenberg. “A food can trigger eotaxin, which attracts eosinophils to the site, which in turn attack healthy tissue and cause disease, perhaps by damaging the nerve cells that communicate with the digestive tract.” Inflammation

Reference:
Hogan SP et al. A pathological function for eotaxin and eosinophils in eosinophilic gastrointestinal inflammation. Nature Immunology 2:353-60 (2001).

Incorrect pH balance in the body, whether caused by faulty diet or a lack of Hydrochloric acid in the stomach,  leads to inflammation. Mineral deficits can feed into this avenue of causality:  minerals must be provided from exterior sources, either diet or supplementation, and their importance in controlling inflammation stems from

  • their effect on pH balance – they act as buffers for acidity Inflammation

  • their role in enzyme systems

adding a good multi mineral source is therefore a recommended strategy. Inflammation

Alarming new research shows that simply breathing the air we live in is linked to the development of heart disease through the inflammatory process.  http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,575037139,00.html

Research in the UK has connected high levels of C-reactive protein specifically to abdominal fat, with the inflammatory process leading through insulin resistance to diabetes, and on to cardiovascular disease.

Two key passages from a 2003 editorial by Russell Tracy
of the Vermont College of Medicine follow:

First, the data fit well with a growing body of evidence implicating adipose tissue in general, and visceral adiposity in particular, as key regulators of inflammation, coagulation, and fibrinolysis. Adipose tissue secretes proinflammatory cytokines and fibrinolytic regulators such as plasminogen activator inhibitor. Along with many possible roles in atherogenesis and atherosclerotic progression, inflammatory mediators can activate coagulation by stimulating monocytes to express tissue factor  (as can CRP itself ) and by causing disregulation in natural anticoagulation.

They suggested that the role of visceral fat may be more complex than suspected, because even people who are not obviously overweight may still have disproportionately too much visceral fat, with the result of a predisposition toward insulin resistance and atherosclerotic disease, possibly through inappropriate cytokine secretion. “.  Full text at http://atvb.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/21/6/881

See also a study in RESOURCES

As for the respiratory pathway, Asthma is caused by inflammation of the airways, which results in swelling and subsequent distress. 

Asthma control is very dependent on a proper fatty acid profile. Asthma sufferers need  omega-3 fats in their diet in the form of fish oil. Note that the Omega 3 fatty acid EPA is more effective than DHA in controlling asthma and inflammation, so make sure your fish oil is high in that important factor.  (See RESOURCES) They also need to vastly reduce their omega-6 fat intake.  http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/37960

Fatty acid balance determines one’s degree of inflammation:
if the delta5 desaturase enzymes are turned off by insulin activity,
inflammatory cell messengers
will be produced from Omega 6 fatty acids, and anti-inflammatory ones in the Omega 3 pathway inhibited.

Virtually eliminating all high omega-6 fats will seem counter-intuitive to many interested in health, as some common omega-6 foods seem healthy. For instance, all seeds and nuts should be avoided (except walnuts and flaxseeds, which have substantial amounts of omega-3 fats, though omega-3 from fish oil is still far better for its high levels of EPA and DHA). Nearly all other seeds and nuts have significant quantities of omega-6 fats and should be eliminated from the diet (even if they are organic), including: Inflammation

  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds

For asthmatics, it is always beneficial to know the omega-6 content of the foods you consume, and to eliminate those that are high in this fatty acid. Inflammation

Studies published in 2004 make a connection between eating oily fish during pregnancy, and lower rates of asthma.  (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/index.php?newsid=8689) This would confirm a protective effect from EPA and DHA.  Fish STICKS, on the other hand, fried in Omega 6 oils, had a negative effect, causing MORE asthma in the children. Equally, studies have confirmed a protective effect for a diet high in anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables. Inflammation

As more and more becomes known of the risks of anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs, it behooves us to study and become familiar with this important health risk, so that we can do what we need to do to protect ourselves naturally, building health instead of compromising it further. Inflammation

Find the recommended supplements here

Chronic inflammation and Cancer – http://www.cancernetwork.com/journals/oncology/o0202d.htm

Inflammation and Cancer –  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?holding=npg&cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12490959&dopt=Abstract

Research on the benefits of NATTOKINASE – http://www.jafra.gr.jp/eng/natto.html

Relation of C-Reactive protein to Body Fat distribution

Insoluble fiber and its role in inflammation and  CRP  http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/290/4/502

For an in-depth analysis of the risk from inflammation, go here, http://www.gordonresearch.com/articles_oral_chelation/chelation_therapy_from_alternative_medicine.html

Hypnosis can help shed weight without pill-popping  – http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Health/story?id=1132645

Jack Challem: Insulin Resistance – the Disease you may already have – http://www.nutritionreporter.com/insulin_resistance.html

Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Neoplastic Actions of Resveratrol – http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cnf/2005/00000001/00000003/art00001

The benefits of Fish Oils for heart disease  -http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/106/21/2747

Related articles you may find interesting:

QUICK LINKS

Truth versus Hype in the Jupiter study – http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/cardiovascular-disease/1853/

What a difference a year makes …  http://www.pharmalot.com/2007/11/astrazenecas-crestor-fails-a-heart-failure-study/

Fun Fun Fun !  Crestor side effects – http://www.spacedoc.net/crestor.htm

Are Clinical Trials truly unbiased? – http://www.jameslindlibrary.org/testing-treatments.html

What the Crestor study REALLY found – http://diabetesupdate.blogspot.com/2008/11/should-you-be-taking-statin-what.html

Missing Numbers – http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2008/11/cholesterol-heart-attacks-and-jupiter.html