Inflammation reduction naturally with herbs, fish oils, and natural pills, how to reduce with diet and supplements
Feb 19 2014 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Inflammation is the body's response to tissue damage and infection. It is a complex reaction involving a number of cellular and molecular components. The result of each inflammatory reaction may be beneficial (defense the body against agents deranging its homeostasis) or harmful (damage to surrounding tissues). Inflammation can be acute or chronic. Systemic inflammation means that it is present throughout the body.
   Chronic inflammation acts like a slow-burning fire, continuing to stimulate pro-inflammatory immune cells when they may not be needed. When these excess immune cells are circulating in the body, they can damage healthy areas in the body, such as blood vessel linings (as in atherosclerosis), pancreatic tissue (in diabetes), joint tissue (in arthritis), gut mucosa (in lactose and gluten intolerance).

Cause of Inflammation
There are many conditions that cause it. Genetics play a role, so does the environment. Environmental factors include diet, exposure to toxins, germs, pollutants, and inhalants. Some people have a genetic predisposition to heightened inflammation which can cause them to have an illness such as rheumatoid arthritis. But a commonly overlooked cause of inflammation is poor diet.
   Germs that make their home in the gut may help cause obesity and a range of health-threatening symptoms that go along with it. It could be that certain bacteria cause inflammation that can affect appetite as well as inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn's disease and colitis. According to Andrew Gewirtz of Emory University in Atlanta, bacteria may play a role perhaps a population of bacteria that thrive because other, competing organisms have been wiped out by antibiotics, access to clean water and other factors of modern life.

Anti inflammation diet
A diet that reduces non-infectious inflammation consists mostly of vegetables, berries and fish. In my opinion, the foods that cause the least inflammation and are the most anti-inflammatory are fish such as halibut and salmon, and all kinds of vegetables. Foods that cause inflammation are sugar, simple carbohydrates, and certain fatty acids and oils. To reduce inflammation avoid junk foods such as donuts, pastry, and sugared drinks.
    Orange juice neutralizes the proinflammatory effect of a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal and prevents endotoxin increase and Toll-like receptor expression. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010. It is best to not drink more than a few ounces at a time in order to prevent a fast rise in blood sugar levels.

Supplements that may reduce Inflammation
There are countless nutrients and herbs that may reduce inflammation, and with time I will add others to this list. I just want to list a few as examples.

Boswellia is an Ayurvedic herb that has boswellic acids.
Bromelain contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that have the ability to suppress inflammation
Curcumin is helpful, it is an extract from the spice turmeric which is often found in curry.
Ginger herb may help reduce inflammation.
Green Lipped Mussels or a standardized product Lyprinol supplement often used for joint health.
Fish Oil supplements are a great option to reduce inflammation. intake of EPA and DHA supplements alter the gene expression profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to a more antiinflammatory and antiatherogenic status.
Probiotics may be of benefit since they may replace some of the harmful bacteria in the gut with good ones that do not cause an inflammatory response.
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that has anti-inflammatory effects.

I am looking for an herbal replacement for ibuprofen. Does the combination supplement curcumin and turmeric help with muscle pain and swelling?
   It is not possible for us to predict any one person's individual response to supplements. There are many causes for muscle pain and swelling that may require different forms of treatment.

The role of various fatty acids in the diet
Omega-3 refers to a group of unsaturated fatty acids. The first fatty acid in this group is named alpha linolenic acid or just linolenic acid, and sometimes it is just called omega-3. Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid. Several other fats are derived from omega-6 including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), dihomogamma-linolenic acid (DGLA), and arachidonic acid (AA). Prolonged inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, leads to a progressive shift in the type of cells which are present at the site of inflammation and is characterized by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process. Many changes in the Western diet over the last 30 years have resulted in a dramatic increase in the ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. High omega 6 intake is associated with a higher incidence of inflammatory disorders.

Inflammation of an artery
Temporal arteritis, also known as giant cell arteritis, is an inflammatory condition

Inflammation and cancer
Many common cancers develop as a consequence of years of chronic inflammation. Increasing evidence indicates that the inflammation may result from persistent mucosal or epithelial cell colonization by microorganisms; including hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus, which can cause hepatocellular cancer; human papilloma virus subtypes, which cause cervical cancer, and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which can cause gastric cancer. At present, the cause of other chronic inflammatory conditions associated with increased cancer risk, such as ulcerative colitis, is obscure. Particular microbial characteristics as well as the type of the inflammatory response contribute to clinical outcomes via influence on epithelial cell and immune responses. Persistent inflammation leads to increased cellular turnover, especially in the epithelium, and provides selection pressure that result in the emergence of cells that are at high risk for malignant transformation. Cytokines, chemokines, free radicals, and growth factors modulate microbial populations that colonize the host. Thus, therapeutic opportunities exist to target the causative microbe, the consequent inflammatory mediator, or epithelial cell responses. Such measures could be of value to reduce cancer risk in inflammation-associated malignancies.

Liver inflammation
Hepatitis is the Latin word for liver inflammation. It is characterized by the destruction of a number of ... the viruses that can cause liver inflammation,

Inflammation of the lung and its causes
Inflammation of the lung can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, inflammatory conditions, asthma, and exposure to toxins, pollutants, and irritants.

Inflammation of the spinal cord
Transverse myelitis is a neurologic syndrome caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. The term myelitis is a nonspecific term for inflammation of the spinal cord;

Stomach inflammation
The term for inflammation of the stomach is gastritis.

Inflammation of the colon - inflammation of the bowel
Inflammation of the colon can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, and certain cancers. Ulcerative colitis is due to inflammation of the colon. If your doctor is having difficulty finding the reason for your inflammation in your colon, he can refer you to a GI specialist who can perform a colonoscopy. Colitis is another term used to denote inflammation in the colon.

Eye inflammation - Eyelid inflammation
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. See a list of eye disorders.

Joint inflammation
The most common cause of joint inflammation is arthritis or osteoarthritis, followed by rheumatoid arthritis. Infections can also cause joint inflammation but this is not as common as osteoarthritis. Knee inflammation can be caused by bursitis, gout, and other causes. NSAIDs and COX2 inhibitors are used by the medical profession.

Muscle inflammation
Muscle inflammation (myositis) can result from a number of diseases, including a viral infection. Like any inflammation, muscle inflammation can cause pain and tenderness, swelling, warmth, and impairment of function, occurring as muscle weakness.

Gall bladder inflammation
Acute cholecystitis is a sudden inflammation of the gallbladder that causes severe abdominal pain.

Inflammation of the brain
Inflammatory diseases of the brain include abscess, meningitis, encephalitis and vasculitis.

Inflammation of the pancreas
Pancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas. It's a stomachache like you've never had before. Pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back and lasts for many hours to days is typical of pancreatitis.

Inflammation of the heart - Inflammation and Antherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries
Inflammation plays a key role in atherosclerosis from the earliest stage of lesion initiation, to the ultimate complication of thrombosis. In patients who died because of acute coronary syndromes (ACS), coronary atherosclerotic plaques are characterized by the presence of macrophages, and to a lesser extent T-lymphocytes, at the immediate site of either plaque rupture or superficial erosion.
     Hardening of the arteries in the legs is strongly associated with biological markers of inflammation, which may be a warning sign of heart trouble. An inexpensive test for inflammation may be a good start to identifying warning signs of heart trouble. Inflammation occurs when the body responds in an effort to repair damaged tissue, including the scarring and hardening of arteries over time. A high leukocyte (an inflammation marker) count is moderately predictive of peripheral arterial disease. Leukocytes are commonly known as white blood cells. Leukocyte count can be assessed using an inexpensive routine test.

Prostate inflammation
Prostatitis is the term used for prostate inflammation.

Inflammation of the cervix - Cervical inflammation
Cervicitis is an inflammation of the uterine cervix and most often caused by viruses. A PAP test can reveal the cause of the cervicitis.

Kidney inflammation
A kidney inflammation is called nephritis and can be associated with urinary tract infections, kidney conditions, kidney disease and stones.

Chest inflammation
Several conditions can lead to chest inflammation including inflammation of the chest wall lining (pleurisy), inflammation of the sac around the heart ( pericarditis), or inflammation of the chest wall muscles, cartilage or ribs.

Intestinal inflammation
Crohn's disease, and inflammatory bowel disorder, is an inflammation of the intestines. Viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa can all cause inflammation fo the intestines.

Gum inflammation
This is known as gingivitis

Pelvic inflammation
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious infection in the upper genital tract/reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries) of a female.

Nerve inflammation
Neuritis is inflammation of the nerves.

Bladder inflammation
The most common cause of bladder inflammation is cystitis due to bacterial infections.

Granulomatous inflammation
Granulomatous inflammation is a type of chronic inflammation that leads to the formation of granulomas. Granulomatous inflammation can be caused by infectious agents such as tuberculosis and syphilis, or non-infectious agents such as silica and asbestos. Certain systemic diseases can cause granulomatous inflammation such as sarcoidosis.

Inflammation of the scalp
This can be caused by topical agents placed on the scalp or an infection, most often a fungus.

Vaginal inflammation
Vaginitis literally means an inflammation of the vagina. The commonest causes of vaginitis are infections, but sometimes allergies to products such as soap can cause vaginal inflammation.

Sinus inflammation
Sinusitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the nasal sinuses.

Inflammation, Immune System, and Aging
Advancing age is associated with diminished immune function. This is true for adaptive immunity, which is mediated by T and B lymphocytes, and for some aspects of innate immunity, which include the activity of phagocytic cells such as macrophages. Although aspects of innate immunity may be compromised by age, aging is often associated with increases in systemic markers of inflammation. Such markers include plasma concentrations of tumor necrosis factor {alpha} (TNF-{alpha}) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), which suggest an increased activity of the innate immune system later in life. Elevated markers of inflammation in the aged are associated with disability and death. This is not surprising because many diseases of aging have an inflammatory component that results from activation of the innate immune system. For example, cardiovascular disease involves chronic inflammation in the arterial wall that is mediated, in part, by macrophages activated by oxidized lipids. Thus, innate immunity is our friend because it protects against pathogens, but it may also be our foe when it plays a role in chronic disease.

Inflammation treatment
Q. My question relates loosely to the numerous questions you've answered about Mannatech glyconutrients. Is there any current research about inflamed cells as a source of disease? When I asked how a cell becomes inflamed, the response I received was that missing elements in our diet cause receptors to remain unfilled and protruding from cells walls, making them rough like sandpaper, instead of smooth as they should be. Any comment?
   A. Inflammation is a very complicated process that has numerous causes and there are countless molecules involved including many types of prostaglandins, leukotrienes, cytokines, etc. Inflammation can occur due to poor diet, autoimmune conditions, infection by various bacteria, viruses, or other germs. "Missing elements in our diet," is not a frequent cause of inflammation, although lack of omega-3 oils is a common cause of inflammation.

Is it true that statins may reduce inflammation in the arteries? And also, is there a supplement that would be beneficial in decreasing inflammation, other than just diet alone?
   There are many herbs and supplements that reduce inflammation and I will add more to the list over time. Stating may reduce inflammation in the arteries but may increase damage to muscle tissue and could well harm the liver.