The below cycle of inflammation (also known as an inflammatory cascade) is one of the most profound contributors to ill health and disease we face. Once set in motion, this inflammatory cycle will feed itself and becomes harder to suppress. 75% of the patients I see are in my practice because of the effects inflammation is having on their body. 100% of these effects are a direct result of not following (step 6) at the bottom of the page. The easiest way to avoid disease and ill health is to remove as many stressors (step 1) out of your life.Step 1. Over-exposure or excessive physical, emotional and/or chemical stress’, leading to the activation of a potent modulator of the inflammatory cycle.
Stressors: Radiation; oxidative stress; physical injury, bacterial endotoxin or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from food-borne bacteria (E. coli and Salmonella); “Leaky Gut Syndrome”; food and environmental allergens; viral infections; excessive consumption of simple sugars (sucrose); consumption of corn oil; arachidonic acid metabolites such as PGE2; nutrient poor, processed food diet; insufficient Omega 3 fatty acids (ALA, EPA, DHA), insufficient GLA and Vitamin D deficiency.
Step 2. Activation of NF-κB
NF-κB is widely used by eukaryotic (cells that contain a nucleus) cells as a regulator of genes that control cell proliferation and cell survival (anti-apoptotic). Blocking NF-κB can cause tumor cells to stop proliferating, to die, or to become more sensitive to the action of anti-tumor agents.
NF-κB also controls many genes involved in inflammation (cytokines [signaling molecules used extensively in intercellular communication], cell adhesion molecules and the pro-inflammatory enzymes: inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS,) cyclo-oxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LPOX). NF-κB is found to be chronically active in many inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, sepsis, gastritis, asthma, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular disease.
Step 3. Cytokines, cell adhesion molecules, and the pro-inflammatory enzymes are produced.
*Interleukin-6 (IL-6) → C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
Cyclooxygenase-2 → Prostaglandin-E2 (PGE2) and Thromboxanes
Interleukin-1 (IL-1) → Collagenase-3 (MMP-13)
Lipoxygenase → Leukotrienes
Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS) → Nitric Oxide (NO)
Tissue Necrosis Factor (TNFα)
*Cell Adhesion Molecules (CAMs)
Step 4. Health conditions created by prolonged exposure to the above chemicals.
- Inflammation (edema, swelling)
- Asthma and Hypersensitivity to Potential Allergens
- Cardiovascular disease
- Thrombosis (blood clots)
- Insulin resistance
- Autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s, Lupus…)
- Rheumatoid disease
- Neurodegeneration (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease)
Step 5. IL-1, PGE2, reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress, TNFα and CRP created because of the above health conditions, facilitate the continued activation of NF-κB.
Step 6. In order to break the above inflammatory cycle, stressors need to be removed, severely reduced or reversed. One of the easiest steps that can be taken is to eliminate table sugar, vegetable oil, and hydrogenated fats out of the diet and add in Omega 3 fatty acids, in the form of fish and flax seed oil. Next, is to reduce animal protein (red meat) consumption to 6 ounces per day and add-in nutrient dense foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and beans. Increasing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients is a cost effective measure that will pay dividends in the form of less sickness, disease, and an increased lifespan. Here are a few of my favorite nutrients that support anti-inflammatory processes: molecularly distilled fish oil, natural vitamin C, chlorella, vitamin E, selenium, NAC, resveratrol, grape seed extract, and curcumin. Here are a few of my favorite antioxidant rich (anti-inflammatory) fruits and vegetables: red bell pepper, tomato, cilantro, spinach, red cabbage, onion, garlic, strawberries, blueberries and red raspberries. Lastly, engaging in mild-moderate exercise (3 days/week), taking a broad-spectrum, enteric-coated probiotic and 4,000 – 10,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 per day, will round-out any anti-inflammatory protocol.
Step 7. Proactive diagnostic blood tests to determine the presence and level of inflammation within the body, as well as tests that will determine risk for development of cardiovascular disease (heart attack) or cerebrovascular disease (stroke). Any of these tests can be ordered by calling our office 714-639-4360
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP) – High Sensitive (Cardiac)
- Hemoglobin A1C
- IL-6 – Interleukin – 6
- Sed Rate (ESR)
- Lipid Panel
- D,25 Hydroxycalciferol – Vitamin D
*Atherosclerosis is strongly considered to be a low-grade inflammatory response of the arterial wall to a variety of stimuli in all aspects of coronary syndromes, from the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis to plaque rupture and myocardial cell death. In each of these steps, infiltration of cardiovascular tissue by inflammatory cells is evident and is regulated by a number of cytokines (IL-6 and CRP) and cell adhesion molecules. Maseri A. N Engl J Med. 1997;336:1014-1016