How to Reverse Chronic Inflammation Naturally

How to Reverse Chronic Inflammation Naturally
How to Reverse Chronic Inflammation Naturally

Inflammation is a normal, natural, and complex series of chemical and cellular activities performed by the body in response to injury or abnormal stimulation caused by a physical, chemical, or biological agent. The inflammatory response (warmth, pain, redness, and swelling) is a desirable defense mechanism. The normal inflammatory response has an ON/OFF switch. When an acute injury or abnormal stimulation is controlled, the switch is turned off. In chronic inflammation (arthritis, dermatitis, thyroiditis, psoriasis, and numerous other chronic health conditions), something has gone wrong with the OFF switch.

Acute inflammation prevents the spread of damaging agents, disposes of cell debris, and sets the stage for tissue repair that returns the body to its original state. Chronic inflammation often leads to tissue destruction (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, chronic bronchitis) and is now thought to be the most important factor in causing heart disease, Type II diabetes, obesity, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, neurodegenerative diseases, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as all autoimmune diseases.

Read more: Bring on Blueberries to Fight Alzheimer's Disease

Inflammation can be triggered by improper diet or food choices, stress, man-made chemicals in the air, food, water, cosmetics and drugs, pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Conventional medicine seems to acknowledge many of these causative agents but it's overwhelming “solution” is prescription drugs. While short-term use of steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) drugs can be very effective, long-term use of any of these drugs (beyond a few weeks) can lead to life-threatening side effects (hemorrhage, osteoporosis, heart disease, and premature death).

On a molecular level, the damage to tissues caused by inflammation is the result of free radicals, the highly unstable atoms or molecules possessing an unpaired electron that look to steal electrons from more stable molecules. Free radicals come from pesticides, microwave damage to our food, burnt foods, fried foods, rancid foods, irradiated foods, microbe contaminated food, trans-fats, hydrogenated oils, thousands of inhaled or transdermal chemicals and preservatives.

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One defense against free radicals is antioxidants, a class of substances that can neutralize free radicals before they can cause any tissue damage. They prevent damage to our DNA. Antioxidants can be found in many foods, especially colorful fruits and vegetables. They go by names like lycopene, beta-carotene and vitamins A, C, E, and bioflavonoids. In general, the foods containing these antioxidants are alkaline-forming while more acid-forming foods (meats, dairy, most grains, especially gluten, sugar, and refined carbohydrates) are acid-forming and free radical generating.

Read more: The 5 Most Common Nutritional Deficiencies and How to Beat Them

Julie Daniluk’s book, Meals That Heal Inflammation, is one of the best of the books available that not only tells you what the best foods are for healing inflammation but also gives you many practical suggestions for meals.

Anti-Inflammatory Supplements

All antioxidant supplements are anti-inflammatory and all anti-inflammatory supplements are antioxidants. A good anti-inflammatory protocol is listed below. The severity of the inflammation involved dictates the number and dosages for all these supplements.

  • Multivitamin and Mineral: this would be the bare minimum to provide antioxidants; avoid multiples containing iron since too much iron can be pro-inflammatory).
  • B Complex Vitamins: essential for numerous beneficial effects for inflammation, especially in heart disease.
  • Vitamins A, C, D, K, and E Complex: all demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory activity in all inflammatory conditions. Deficiencies make inflammation worse.
  • Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone): a powerful antioxidant that is particularly useful for all cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure. CoQ10 is a must for anyone taking cardiac medications because most cardiac drugs destroy the body’s own production of CoQ10. CoQ10 has anti-cancer effects and is an effective therapy for Parkinson’s disease.
  • Serrapeptase: an enzyme derived from the silkworm appears to be one of the most potent and effective of all the anti-inflammatory enzymes. In high enough doses, serrapeptase is capable of dissolving atherosclerotic plaque. It can also dissolve a cancer cell’s protective coat thereby making virtually any chemotherapeutic remedy more effective.
  • Curcumin: from the spice turmeric is a potent natural anti-inflammatory agent compared in efficacy as an anti-inflammatory agent to prescription corticosteroids. Research also indicates curcumin could be an effective natural anticancer agent.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA fractions): from fish oil are effective at suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokines without side effects. Ideally omega-3 fatty acids work best with high doses of vitamin D. EPA acts as a substrate for enzymes called cyclooxygenases and lipoxygenases. It competes with arachidonic acid (pro-inflammatory) for these enzymes. Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids thus reduces inflammation because arachidonic acid derivatives (prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes) are less active. The potency of these fish oils approximates those of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) with negligible side effects.

Read more: The Amazing Health Benefits of Serrapeptase 

If you wish to start an anti-inflammatory program of diet change and supplements, it’s highly recommended you see a natural health care provider to work with you on a personalized plan.

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Dr. Zoltan P. Rona is a graduate of McGill University Medical School (1977) and has a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry and Clinical Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut (1984). He is past president of The Canadian Holistic Medical Association (1987-88) and is the author of three Canadian bestsellers: The Joy of Health (1991), Return to the Joy of Health (1995) and Childhood Illness and The Allergy Connection (1997). He is co-author with Jeanne Marie Martin of The Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook (1996) and is the medical editor of the Benjamin Franklin Award winning Encyclopedia of Natural Healing (1998). He has had a private medical practice in Toronto for the past 35 years, has appeared on radio and TV as well as lectured extensively in Canada and the U.S. Dr. Rona currently writes regular articles for Reader’s Digest, Alive, Vitality magazine and for several web sites. His latest book “Vitamin D, the Sunshine Vitamin” was published in 2010. In 2011, Dr. Rona was named Chief Medical Advisor for NAKA Herbs and Vitamins and has developed a line of nutritional supplements (TriStar Naturals) which are sold in health food stores across Canada. He can be found at