I wanted to talk about inflammation and it's relation to aging. You may have heard a lot on the topic in recent years. Why this interests me is because of a certain theory that exists: chronic disease and loss of youthful functions are caused by persistent inflammation.
But first, what is it?
Inflammation is a short term response to tissue injury or infection that produces characteristic symptoms and usually resolves spontaneously. There is benefit to inflammation. When responding to trauma, an area will become swollen and filled with blood. The area will often be painful and possibly limited in movement. Inflammation assists in the body's repair processes by preventing the spread of injury/infection to nearby tissues and also helps to remove damages tissue and pathogens. However, cellular stress and mitochondrial malfunction can lead to chronic inflammation - which is not a good thing.
Chronic inflammation leads to the accumulation of free radicals which leads to cell death. In other words, it contributes greatly to the deterioration associated with the aging process. I came across some research that stated that in the United States,chronic low-level inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of at least seven causes of mortality: heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and nephritis (inflammation in kidneys). Chronic inflammation is also linked to wrinkles and dull sagging skin.
Chronic inflammation can be triggered by cellular stress and dysfunction, such as that caused by excessive calorie consumption or eating a pro-inflammation diet (high glycemic carbohydrates), elevated blood sugar levels, weakened immunity, environmental stressors, hormonal changes, oxidative stress and general stress.
The good news is there are things you can do to decrease inflammation within the body.
Find out how: Inflammation & Aging