Posts Tagged ‘free radicals’

Part 2: The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

We learned in Part 1 of this series that inflammation can be the root cause of many serious medical conditions. As we age, inflammation can come on much faster, be more severe, cause more problems, and be harder to control. Making sure that you get plenty of inflammation-fighting foods in your diet can have a big impact on your health. Chronic inflammation is a huge problem in the US, especially since we, as a nation, do not consume enough healthy fruits and vegetables. Those that do don’t always buy organic and they too can suffer from inflammation caused by pesticides and other chemicals found in otherwise healthy foods.

If you are interested in controlling inflammation with your diet, then you should first know which foods can cause inflammation. Processed foods, such as chips, soda, boxed meal kits, and other convenience items sold at supermarkets almost always contain ingredients that promote inflammation. Refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats are often the culprit ingredients in these foods. High fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, white flour, and “quick cook” hot breakfast cereals are all refined carbohydrates. Saturated fats and trans fats also promote inflammation in the body. Choosing whole grain foods and getting plenty of “healthy fats” in your diet can help you to control inflammation long-term.

Some fats are good for treating and preventing inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids bind to cell receptor sites that receive the signal to cause inflammation. This disruption of the cell signaling pathway helps to keep inflammation at bay, preventing high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, as well as reducing heart rate and triglycerides.

Extra virgin olive oil and oily fish contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Anchovies, sardines, salmon, herring, and mackerel are common fish sources. Flaxseed, pecans, chia, and hempseed are good plant sources. Chickens can be fed a diet of insects, fish oils, green algae, and seaweed to boost the omega 3 content of their eggs. Milk and cheeses can contain good amounts of omega 3 fatty acids if the producing cows are grass fed.

Extra virgin olive oil has another benefit. It contains an organic compound called oleocanthal. Oleocanthal has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This chemical gives extra virgin olive oil the unique benefit of reducing pain. In fact, extra virgin olive oil can be used as a replacement for ibuprofen. Replacing saturated and trans fats with olive oil increases the level of powerful antioxidants in your body and can reduce your LDL cholesterol levels.

Inflammation occurs when the immune system responds to chemicals and irritants that are found in processed foods. Your body recognizes these substances as invaders and pumps out many other chemicals to destroy them. Free radicals, hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorous acid, cytokines and oxidant molecules flood the system in an attempt to destroy the invader. So, you’re not only fighting the inflammation caused by the food, but also the damaging chemicals produced by your immune system to counteract them.

Getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats into your diet is important. To control the immune system’s inflammatory response, you need to get the proper amount of antioxidants each day. Antioxidants remove free radicals and other chemicals that damage healthy cells and lead to inflammatory diseases. Many people find relief and improve symptoms by supplementing with the best vitamin C, a buffered vitamin c powder, in addition to changing their diet. You should speak with your doctor before starting any vitamins and supplements routine to determine the right dosages for the level of inflammation you are experiencing.

About the Author: Phil Le Breton is owner at Wholesale Nutrition. He has a strong interest in helping people achieve greater brain and body health with vitamins and supplements, with an emphasis on vitamin C powder. Wholesale Nutrition has provided the world with the best vitamin C and wholesale vitamins since 1970. Visit http://www.nutri.com to buy high-quality discount vitamins today!

Sources:

PubMed
Mayo Clinic
Dr. Weil
Metabolism Advice

Part 1: The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

More and more research is showing that inflammation can be the root cause of many diseases and illnesses. Arthritis, tendonitis, high blood pressure, certain cancers, kidney failure, heart disease, diabetes, and more can be linked to a birth in inflammation. These serious conditions are generally preventable if inflammation in the body is controlled. Many people are turning to the “anti-inflammatory diet” for help.

You should be more successful in preventing illness and disease if you understand what is going on in your own body. Inflammation is normally a good thing, helping to deliver much needed healing power to sites of infection or damage in the body. We have six types of white blood cells. Each type has a specific job. When viruses or bacteria enter the body and begin to reproduce, the front line of your white blood cells attacks, secreting chemicals that attract the right kinds of white blood cells to the area. As your body fights the invaders, you may notice redness, swelling or pain in the affected area.

All of this happens when an intricate network of glands, tissues, and nerves work harmoniously together. Unfortunately, some people suffer from autoimmune diseases that result from a break somewhere in the system. Others may experience long-term or chronic inflammation in certain areas or all over their bodies. The reasons are complex, but it basically boils down to the irritation that is caused by the chemical secretions of the white blood cells.

As we mentioned, the chemicals must be pumped out in great concentrations so that the body is stimulated to send the right kind of white blood cells to the site of injury or infection. These chemicals turn into large amounts of free radicals. We get antioxidants through our diets and supplementation that mop up all of these free radicals and protect us from long-term injury, illness, and disease. Left to navigate around the body on their own, free radicals can settle into tissues, joints and organs.

These free radicals produced by our natural immune response can directly damage DNA, interfere with cell activity and growth, and even cause cell death. They can also modify other cell processes, causing tumors to form or existing benign tumors to become malignant. Free radicals caused by inflammation are directly linked to interfering with many body processes, causing illness and disease.

You don’t necessarily have to be injured or have bacteria or viruses in your body to suffer from chronic inflammation. Many factors, including diet and genetics, can contribute to inflammation all over the body. Pro-inflammatory foods, stress, emotions, lifestyle choices and environment can all cause long-term inflammation to set in.

In Part 2 of the series “The Anti-Inflammatory Diet” we will discuss which foods, vitamins and supplements give you the right antioxidants to keep free radical production and inflammation under control. In cases where inflammation is severe or chronic, the best vitamin C could be what enables you to turn your life around.

About the Author: Phil Le Breton is owner at Wholesale Nutrition. He has a strong interest in helping people achieve greater brain and body health with vitamins and supplements, with an emphasis on vitamin C powder. Wholesale Nutrition has provided the world with the best vitamin C and wholesale vitamins since 1970. Visit http://www.nutri.com to buy high-quality discount vitamins today!

Sources:
FitDay
DrWeil
SixWise
ClevelandClinic

Free Radicals and Teens

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Teenagers are supposed to be in the prime of their lives, healthy, fit and active. However, they are not generally concerned about what they eat or the vitamins and minerals that they may be lacking. Teens today need to be especially conscious about how their activities and their choices can produce excess free radicals in their bodies. Understanding the damaging effects of free radicals and how to combat them is key in improving teens’ mental and physical health.

The teen years are an especially important time in development, but they can also be a very stressful time. These are the years when bone is gaining mass, the brain is developing quickly, and hormonal systems are finding their balance. All of these things require proper nutrition and exercise to develop properly.

Free radicals form when cells are exposed to pollutants, food additives, stress, smoking, alcohol and even exercise. Free radicals that come from regular exercise actually help to strengthen the immune system, strengthening the immune system, and making it possible for the body to detoxify and clear out excess free radicals. However, changes in exercise programs, sudden increase in activity, and even only working out every few days puts teenagers at increased risk of damage from oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress occurs when something throws the body out of whack. It causes extra free radicals and peroxides to form in the blood, damaging all parts of every cell that it comes in contact with, including DNA. Teenagers that aren’t armed with the right vitamins and minerals can suffer serious damage internally. Oxidative stress in the teenage years can age organs very quickly, affect brain development, begin the onset of disease, and cause hormonal imbalances that make the teen years even harder to deal with.

Keep in mind what a delicate time the teenage years are. Neurological cells at this age are in an excited state, called long-term potentiation (LTP). LTP allows teenagers to excel in many areas by enhancing the ability of synapses to communicate with each other. However, this sensitivity also makes the brain more vulnerable to damage. Adult brains may recover from free radical attacks, but teenage brains do not. These hyperactive cells are usually killed when exposed to free radicals and toxins.

Teens should follow regular, balanced, exercise programs. Fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamin C supplements, should be consumed daily. If a regular exercise program is not maintained, or if there are not plenty of fruits and vegetables in the diet, then vitamins and supplements may be necessary. Antioxidant vitamins, such as the best vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E, can help protect cells from free radical damage and prevent oxidative stress. Talk with your child’s doctor about supplementing before you buy vitamins. Have them check your teen’s blood levels of vitamin D, vitamin C, and other common deficiencies. Use the best vitamin C, vitamin E, and other antioxidants to help your teen combat free radical damage.

About the Author: Phil Le Breton is the owner at Wholesale Nutrition. He has a strong interest in helping people achieve greater brain and body health with vitamins and supplements. Wholesale Nutrition has the best vitamin C powder on the market (C-Salts). Visit http://www.nutri.com to buy vitamin C supplements of the highest quality.