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Chronic Inflammation

April 3rd, 2009

One of the common issues associated with aging is chronic inflammation. This manifests as symptoms a lot of people are so familiar with, such as arthritis, allergies, headaches, asthma, weight gain, etc. Inflammation in general, is a natural process that protects us in certain situations. Chronic, unregulated inflammation however, could cause more harm to our selves more than we all know. It is a major factor in all chronic degenerative diseases or the aging process in general.

One of the reasons behind this surge of inflammatory disorders lies in our diet. A deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids due to the process of refining our foods, has led to this epidemic. Studies show that a person needs at least 4,000 mg. of EFAs to prevent symptoms of deficiency. In my practice, I’ve recommended 8,000 and upwards of EFAs for cardiovascular and neurological problems. I always start with dietary recommendations like the avoidance of hydrogenated oils or trans-fats. I recommend primarily a plant-based or anti-inflammatory diet. There are those people who actually do better with animal protein in their diet (small, cold-water fish; organic, free-range poultry; grass-fed beef; wild game; etc.). What this really means is that, we need to consider each person’s biochemical individuality when it comes to making dietary and supplement recommendations (even exercise recommendations, for that matter). Regarding the use of EFA’s, the key words to look for when purchasing them are “molecularly distilled” and “free of PCBs and heavy metals”. It’s best to refrigerate the bottle once it opened. More info on this in future blogs.