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Dr. Roger Trubey, Dr.PH, MPH, and Doctor of Integrative Medicine
6320 Oak Hollow Dr.
Burleson, TX 76028 

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The Anti-inflammatory Diet and Supplement Support

Chronic Inflammation

A substantial body of scientific information is now linking chronic inflammation to almost all chronic degenerative diseases.  These include the leading killers, cancer, heart disease and stroke as well as diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and a multitude of others.  In fact many diseases like benign prostatic hypertrophy, are essentially inflammatory by nature and should be treated with an anti-inflammatory diet and natural anti-inflammatory therapeutics.

Inflammation is a normal body process; even the body itself will even produce some of these toxic chemicals to kill pathogens.  But when we take in or produce toxins the body will attempt to rid itself of these. The excretion process through urine, sweat, tears, and cough are some of the ways the body rids itself of toxins.  When this process is inadequate or is overwhelmed with excess toxins, the body will attempt to “burn” out the toxins with inflammation.  When this process is insufficient, the toxins become entrenched in the tissues, the inflammation continues and the process ends in a chronic degenerative disease.  

Any inflammation is a message that something is wrong.  And this inflammation that leads to all these diseases is initiated primarily by two sources – microbes, and our typically rotten diets.  In some cases the initiating event is a trauma of some type, emotional or physical, including surgery.  Even chronic allergic reactions may act as a trigger but this usually leads to a microbial infection. Any trauma, surgery or allergic response will cause an increase in white blood cells at the site of tissue damage.  These macrophages in turn produce several pro-inflammatory messenger chemicals called cytokines.  If the inflammatory trigger or the microbial infection continues, or if the body is unable to get the inflammatory response called off, cytokine production continues.  This will result in cellular/tissue destruction, which, by the way, leads to more macrophage production.  If the body loses this battle to “dial down” this inflammation, this cycle continues. The resulting tissue destruction can be extensive and sometimes permanent.

    The Typical Inflammatory Cytokines

  • C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
  • Interleukin 6 (IL6)
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-a)
  • Interleukin – 1 and 8
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 (Cox 2)

Elevated levels of CRP or IL6 dramatically increase one’s risk for heart attack, diabetes or cancer.  Consider the huge over-emphasis conventional medicine has placed on cholesterol levels and realize then the disconnect in the fact that half of all heart attacks occur to people with normal cholesterol. And serious killer plaque is found in people with arteries that are not blocked.

Inflammation Provocateurs
In most every chronic degenerative or autoimmune disease a chronic virus, parasite, bacteria, or similar microbe is present.  When the genome project was completed it was found that 1/3 of our genes are viral genes.  These viral genes can be expressed with a chemical insult.  Considering that the average American body is contaminated with 300 – 500 different chemicals, it is not too difficult to see how easy it would be for the expression of a virus and the onset of an inflammatory response.  In this case the virus is not coming from outside to within but originates from within.  The role of infection in heart disease is well documented in the scientific literature, but likewise with arthritis and a host of others.  Unless these pathogens are eliminated or in the case of viruses, the chemical provocateurs excreted, they will continue to act as an inflammatory mediator and continue to promote the inflammatory cycle described above. These really must be tracked down and eliminated and the sources for re-entry greatly reduced.

Changing Our Diets
While pathogens or traumas via the inflammatory response are indeed involved in most all chronic diseases, the most pervasive factor under girding this is the Standard American Diet (SAD).  Our SAD diets are typically loaded with inflammatory fats, processed foods and really junk foods.  Consider that the number one source of calories in the American diet is soft drinks.  This used to be white flour/bread, so we are not making any progress whatsoever.  The consumption of doughnuts, pastries, potato/corn chips, burgers, cookies, candy and the like are indeed, well designed to produce inflammation in our bodies.

So what in our diets has to change?  We have to decrease the excess consumption of pro-inflammatory omega 6 fats (oils from corn, soy, safflower, etc) along with the omission of all trans fats and hydrogenated fats (found in margarine, mayonnaise, crackers, cookies, chips, and in fact almost all processed food).  We also have to increase anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats (cold-water fish/fish oil, and to a minor extent flax) that are way under-consumed compared to the omega 6 oils. Any liquid oil that is exposed to heat, light or air will begin to oxidize and become partially rancid, unfit for consumption. Since every cell of our body has a lipid (fatty) membrane, these damaged fats, along with the excess undamaged omega 6 fats, will become a part of the cellular structure where they will participant in the inflammatory cascade.  Remember, inflammation is not necessarily bad in and of itself.  It becomes a problem when it becomes like an accelerator in a car that gets stuck and the brakes (omega 3 fats) are inadequate.  When the balance of the omega 6:3 ratio shifts excessively in the omega 6 direction, we create an inflammatory pump just waiting for a trigger to flip the “switch”. 

Here is an example of how we do this.  Beef used to come from animals that were almost exclusively grass-fed (exactly what they were designed to eat).  Now, the epitome of a great steak is one from corn-fed beef.  But when we consume corn-fed beef instead of grass-fed beef, we change the omega 6:3 ratio from 1:1 in grass-fed beef to 16:1 in corn-fed beef-a dramatic increase in the pro-inflammatory direction.  The same shift occurs in chickens and their eggs when we cage them as opposed to free-range hens and eggs.  Some estimate that we consume as much as twenty times the amount of omega 6 fats as we should, compared to the amount of omega 3 fats.   

Dietary Recommendations –  Eat Whole, Natural foods
The following dietary/supplement guidelines are contraindicated if you are on a blood thinner such as coumadin and are not to supplant the specific advice of your physician.


Anti-inflammatory Supplements to Consider