Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury or infection. When we get injured or are exposed to a microorganism, mechanisms are activated that generate a response to combat the infection or heal the injury. These mechanisms often produce redness, swelling, and pain in the affected area, but they can also have system-wide effects like fever and fatigue.
It is often easy to notice an acute inflammation process, especially if there's pain. However, there's another type of inflammation that is harder to detect and is involved in the development of severe diseases. We are talking about chronic inflammation, which is deeply connected with diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's, stroke, and diabetes.
Chronic inflammation can be caused by multiple factors like untreated injuries, exposure to certain toxins and pollutants, and ongoing chronic illnesses. Certain lifestyle factors can make people more prone to developing chronic inflammation, like:
Eating a diet high in added sugars, refined carbohydrates, processed or fried foods and unhealthy fats.
Drinking alcohol in excess or smoking cigarettes.
Obesity (body fat releases inflammatory substances).
Living with chronic stress, including social stressors like isolation, rejection and loss.
Having irregular sleep patterns.
While addressing these lifestyle factors is key to preventing inflammation, there are natural supplements with anti-inflammatory properties that can also help. In this article, we will explore ten potent natural anti-inflammatory supplements that have gained popularity for their potential health benefits.
Turmeric is a root similar to ginger that contains a substance called curcumin, considered one of the most potent supplements for its anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and is known for its ability to inhibit inflammatory pathways at the molecular level.
Clinical trials have shown that curcumin is helpful in reducing pain and inflammation in people with arthritis. Curcumin has also been proven to help maintain healthy blood vessels, reducing blood pressure, and preventing arterial diseases.
2. Fish Oil:
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil is one of the most studied anti-inflammatory supplements. The omega-3s, especially EPA and DHA, help balance the body's inflammatory response by increasing anti-inflammatory substances in the body.
Recent studies show that omega 3 fatty acids improved markers of inflammation in various health conditions such as cancer, kidney diseases and diabetes. They also play a role in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
As a member of the same family of Turmeric, Ginger root has nearly 40 antioxidant compounds that help reduce inflammation. Some of these compounds can even block the expression of genes that produce inflammatory substances in the body.
Ginger has shown to have a protective effect against inflammation in the gut, kidney, liver and nervous system. It also has been proven to induce self destruction of cancer cells, making it a potential candidate for cancer prevention and treatment.
Found in red grapes, resveratrol is a polyphenol known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It may help protect against chronic diseases and support overall well-being. Resveratrol also exhibits antitumor activity and is considered a potential candidate for preventing and treating several types of cancer. Other important effects such as cardioprotective, vasorelaxant, and neuroprotective have also been reported.
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and its precursor, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), are compounds that play a vital role in cellular energy production. Studies have shown that NMN helps increase NAD levels and can counteract age-related declines in physical health in mice. Improving aspects like energy metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and lipid profiles.
Other potential benefits of NMN and NAD under study are their effects on gut inflammation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. After NMN treatment, scientists observed improved barrier function and increased beneficial flora in mice. This is a very important benefit, as the gut has a great impact on the overall health, as we discussed in our previous post.
6. Vitamin D:
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in regulating the immune system. Adequate levels of Vitamin D are associated with lower levels of inflammation, making it a vital supplement for overall health.
Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic kidney disease, fatty liver disease, and others, tend to have lower vitamin D status. Recent studies suggest that supplementation can decrease the risk and adverse outcomes of these diseases, making Vitamin D a key supplement in any preventive approach.
Derived from pineapple, bromelain is an enzyme complex with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This enzyme helps break down proteins, facilitating digestion and protecting the gastrointestinal tract against harmful substances.
Bromelain is being studied for many therapeutic benefits like the treatment of heart conditions, bronchitis, sinusitis, surgical wounds, vein clots, and enhanced absorption of antibiotics. It also relieves arthritis, diarrhea, and other cardiovascular disorders. Bromelain also has some anticancer activities and promotes the self-destruction of cancer cells.
Quercetin is a plant pigment present in many fruits and vegetables like capers, red onions, and kale. Studies show that quercetin reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders, and certain types of cancer.
The combination of quercetin with bromelain is used to prevent and relieve chronic inflammation. In combination with Vitamin C, they are proven to enhance immune function.
9. Green Tea Extract:
Green tea is rich in polyphenols, compounds known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Green tea is particularly rich in a compound called EGCG, one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Black tea and other types of tea have it too, but green tea and its extracts have the highest concentration.
Most of the results from human studies indicated the beneficial effects of green tea against inflammatory diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Ginseng contains compounds called ginsenosides, which are believed to be potent anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. Ginseng has therapeutic effects on various bodily disorders ranging from minor inflammation to major cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, insulin resistance, and hypertension.
Ginseng has been extensively reported to maintain the balance of the immune system and to enhance resistance to illness or microbial attacks through the regulation of the immune system. The immune system comprises different types of cells fulfilling their own specialized functions, and each type of immune cell is differentially influenced and may be simultaneously controlled by ginseng treatment.
Natural anti-inflammatory supplements offer a holistic approach to managing inflammation, promoting overall health and well-being. Maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle along with these natural supplements can contribute to an optimal prevention of inflammation.
With METSI Care, receive personalized supplement recommendations based on your own inflammation blood test results so you can boost your immune system and prevent major illness. Call us at 512-729-5575 to request a meet & greet with Dr. Garrick and visit our shop to learn more about our inflammation-targeted labs.