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What is inflammation?

resonance: 32.6% from: Gita :: krupa

Inflammation is the body’s response to injury, and is common in many tissues. It protects us against pathogens and infections. Faced with injury, such as an injury to the blood vessel or infection, the body responds with: increased blood flow to the injured area to provide different types of immune cells better access to the site of injury and to deliver white blood cells to the area. Inflammation subsides as healing begins. Inflammation is a necessary part of healing and, in fact, is what triggers healing in many instances, but chronically elevated levels of pro inflammatory cytokines contribute to the atherosclerotic processes and endothelial dysfunction, i.e. heart disease.

Inflammation can be acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is localized. Acute inflammation that comes and goes as needed indicates a well-balanced immune system. Chronic low-level inflammation may spread to other parts of the body. Experts now see chronic inflammation as arising from an immune system response that started as a healthy mechanism, like building scar tissue or swelling, but just won’t shut off. Current research shows that inflammation is the underlying cause of most chronic diseases. It has been theorized that chronic, low-grade tissue inflammation related to obesity contributes to insulin resistance, the major cause of Type 2 diabetes.

Our natural defenses and those we obtain from our diets can help neutralize some inflammation. According to David Heber MD PhD, "Fruits and vegetables protect our DNA by counteracting the inflammation process. The imbalance between our diet, which evolved over the last few hundred years, and our genes, which evolved over the last 100,000 years, results in problems throughout our bodies."


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