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Posted on: April 26th, 2022

Inflammation is an important part of the immune system response, aiding in the body’s defense when it comes to damage prevention and repair. While this sounds like a positive function, and short-term inflammation is beneficial in the healing reaction, chronic, systemic inflammation can become a problem and may eventually harm the body more than it helps.

Can diets or nutraceutical supplementation lead to chronic inflammation? Recent research has looked into how diets that are high in anti-inflammatory agents may affect natural inflammatory processes including aging.

Aging & Inflammation

Generally, systemic inflammation occurs at increased levels as the body ages. The degree of inflammation one experiences with age can be affected by countless factors introduced by environments and lifestyles. Narrowing down the key factors that lead to chronic inflammation due to diet and lifestyle is difficult.

What is known, however, is that the increase in systemic inflammation due to age may end up stimulating the development of medical conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and various autoimmune diseases, among others. This has led researchers to investigate how diets affect not just inflammation but also the effect of systemic inflammation on various diseases and conditions.

Effects of Diets on Inflammation

Diets in the United States are calorically very high. This, coupled with more sedentary lifestyles and has contributed to high obesity rates and other metabolic conditions. Western diets have shown an association between high glycation end products going along with the pro-inflammatory properties present in the diet.

Diseases like cancer show that only ~5-10% of the disease is caused by genetics while ~90% is caused by environmental factors, like diets & nutrition (percentages will vary for different diseases & conditions). The inflammation properties observed before and during a person getting a specific disease are helping researchers make headway on how a diet affects inflammation.

Diets high in saturated fats have shown to be more likely to contribute to high inflammatory levels than diets with low levels of saturated fat. Researchers have also noted that changing the intake of one food or food group is not enough to really affect inflammation levels. Adding foods with anti-inflammatory properties to a diet may be the solution.

The general idea in many ongoing studies is that adding foods with high anti-inflammatory activity may be able to help balance out the potential damage caused by foods with high inflammatory activity.

Research at Biofortis

Biofortis is dedicated to protecting consumer health throughout the world by delivering a wide range of testing and consultancy services to the food, supplement, and nutrition industries. Biofortis supports this mission in two ways—through clinical trials and sensory and consumer insights testing. We specialize in clinical research targeting foods, ingredients, and dietary supplements that affect body structures, function, and overall health. Contact us with any clinical trial or scientific consulting needs.

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