Diet Is A Key Factor In Reducing Inflammation
Although there are many factors involved, reducing inflammation by changing your diet can be an effective means to combat, not only inflammatory conditions like arthritis, but general inflammation as well, and that can have a tremendous benefits for a number of conditions.
My primary journey into this was to find an anti-inflammatory way of eating that would help ease the pain of numerous musculoskeletal conditions from which I suffer. The results have been generally positive, however, a rather significant side effect was weight loss.
One of the main factors is eliminating sugar. It is highly inflammatory and found in so many food products. While most associate it with diabetes, it is mainly associated with a chronic and systemic inflammation. If you are dealing with chronic pain, avoiding certain foods is almost more important than eating certain foods. The balance of both these factors is key to an anti-inflammatory diet.
- A 2008 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high sugar or high-glycemic diets, even in young, lean adults, promotes the inflammatory processes. The biological mechanisms outlined help to explain relationships between sugar and the risk of chronic disease.
We must realize that it is not just the grainy, white substance we put in our coffee and is loaded in soda, things like bread and corn in our food are converted in the body to sugar/carbohydrates, thus inflammatory.
- A 2012 article in Obesity Reviews indicates that glucose intake causess oxidative stress and inflammation both at molecular and cellular levels and, an acute increase in blood glucose is associated with an acute inflammatory response, even causing increased plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines like tumour necrosis factor alpha [TNFalpha], which is associated with various forms of arthritis, such as Modic I changes and and disc degeneration.
- A 2020 study in the International Journal of Spine Surgery found that hyperglycemia can affect the discs similar to other organs. therefore, adequate control of blood glucose in diabetics can help prevent disc degeneration.
While we discussed the benefit of anti-inflammation supplements, changing the relationship we have to sugar intake has not only implications for inflammation, but to total health as well. One of the most popular now is the ketogenic diet and is a method to reduce sugar intake with results that go far beyond losing weight.
Ketogenic Diet & Reducing Inflammation
- As indicated in a 2017 edition of The Consultant Pharmacist, “The Ketogenic Diet: Making a Comeback”. It is a method that dates back to the 1920’s to help epilepsy in children, so it’s not something new; however; both researchers and clinicians have found it useful for a variety of conditions.
While there are many variations, it is based on a high fat diet which almost eliminates carbohydrates from the food selection. This results in using ketone bodies as a source of energy. With scientifically proven modifications that increase adherence and palatability, it is readily accessible and is used for weight loss, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, and is showing the potential to alleviate or correct many health conditions.
I can tell you my personal experience with Keto has been very good. It does help with inflammation, however, it won’t help with re-injury, nor is it a magic cure. The weight loss was a by product of using it as an anti-inflammatory method and this can have benefits, especially for back pain conditions.
There are no shortages of variations, pundits and gurus; however, I use a modification or combination of 3 or 4 different doctors that I trust and find helpful. You can do your own research and find who and what you like, because everyone is different. There are some common misunderstandings and myths surrounding the keto diet, so always consult your doctor, but make sure they have reasonable knowledge.
Instead of getting into the specifics, I will direct you to the ones I follow and this can be a great way to start. Develop your own protocol, because what works for me may not work for you. If you can incorporate even 25% of this, it will be a step in the right direction.
The first one is Dr. Ken Berry. Here is his Youtube channel. He is great at dispelling common myths and is the author of a great book called Lies My Doctor Told Me, is great at literature review, and has his own interesting personal journey. He is one of my favorites in what I call, No Bull Keto. I’ll put one of his videos on sugar addiction here – ads are his. He has a lot of videos and relates many conditions and how they may benefit from this diet, as well as in depth advice and a great place to start.
The next one is Dr. Eric Berg, a fellow Chiropractor. He is very popular and knowledgeable. He is the author of The New Body Type Guide, which is a major upgraded and improved version of his best selling book, The 7 Principles of Fat Burning. Unlike Dr. Berry, he is very commercial, but his videos are great. Here is his Youtube channel
The next one I like is Dave Asprey at Bulletproof. He is very technically oriented and has some great supplements, foods, and technologies. He is the author of The Bulletproof Diet. Here is their Youtube channel. I love his coffee and do make it the Bulletproof way. I have this as an afternoon drink/meal. I also like his MCT Oil and they have a great softgel version.
The last one I will note here is a bit different. He is Dr. Dale Bredesen and promotes a Ketoflex Diet that promotes mild ketosis. He is the author of a truly fantastic book, the author of End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline. He uses a unique method of food and supplements for optimal brain function. Did you know there are 3 types of Alzheimer’s? If you can decrease inflammation in the brain, you can be pretty sure it affects the whole body.
There are many different long form interviews on Youtube.
I am a very prolific reader. For me, it is often more time efficient reading rather than spending hours watching videos and following links. There is some great information. If you think it’s too much, pick one of the books and read. Hopefully, it will get you thinking about how diet can help inflammation and reduce pain along with other methods we employ here at NeckSolutions.
- A 2019 study in Brain, Behavior and Immunity found that systemic inflammation caused participants to walk with slower, shorter, and wider strides, with less arm and knee extension and more downward tilting head.
In getting up from sitting, they were slower and also took a shorter first step. Higher concentrations of the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6, lower body temperature, and stronger sickness symptoms, were predictive of inflammation associated alterations in physical motion. The authors of the study indicated that biological motion contains specific information about the inflammatory status of an individual, which can be used by to recognize that someone is sick or possibly contagious.
- A 2020 review in the Journal of Public Health Research states, “Findings show that high waist circumference increased the risks of developing hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, joint pain, low back pain, and hyperuricemia.”