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Have you ever wondered what connection “Inflammation and Chronic illness” may have with your inability to lose weight? Well! You might be surprised to learn that inflammation is the underline factor of obesity. Inflammation is the cause of major non-communicable chronic diseases including obesity.
Inflammation can be defined as the set of biochemical, physiological, and immunological changes in response to aggressive stimuli to the body. It is a natural response of the body that happens when the body is faced with an infection through infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses or parasites, poison or when there is some injury by heat, radiation, or trauma. In these situations, the body initiates the inflammatory response that aims to eliminate the cause of the injury, eliminate dead cells and damaged tissues, as well as start repairing them.
This response includes the release of antibodies and proteins, as well as increased blood flow to the damaged area. In the case of acute inflammation — like getting a cut on your knee or dealing with a cold — the whole process usually lasts for a few hours or a few days. Inflammation can happen in various parts of the body, such as the ear, intestine, gum, throat, or uterus for example and this can be acute or chronic, depending on how long the symptoms take to appear or the inflammation takes to be cured. In this post I will discuss the connection between inflammation and chronic illness including obesity.
The difference between acute and chronic inflammation is the intensity of the symptoms felt and the time they take to arise, as well as the time it takes to be healed.
In acute inflammation the typical signs and symptoms of inflammation such as heat, redness, swelling, and pain are present and last a short period. On the other hand, in chronic inflammation the symptoms are not very specific and may take time to manifest itself or heal.
In chronic inflammation, we have a constant state of alertness in our body, the immune cells do not stop working, multiply and produce substances to call other cells, or to destroy the aggressing agent. So our own cells end up harming our body, which can cause us diseases such as:
The causes and origins of these diseases is multifactorial, involving genetic and environmental factors, in addition to the intestinal microbiota and the immune response of the individual.
In order to have an inflammation in an organ (be it a breast that developed a cancer or an artery that clogged and caused a heart attack or a stroke), you had to have before that an increased free radical formation in inflammatory molecules produced within your body, in an activated immune system which comes from activated genes and activated inflammatory enzymes. Chronic inflammation can be triggered by the following causes:
The process of inflammation may be activated by factors such as
Among the chronic non-commutable diseases, obesity is a pathological state resulting from the accumulation of excess body fat, especially in the abdominal region. Obesity is a complex multifactorial chronic condition.
It occurs, in a view, due to the imbalance between energy intake and its expenditure and the excessive consumption of high-fat, sugar-rich and ultra-processed foods associated with sedentary lifestyle, leading the individual to develop excess adipose tissue to the point of negatively impacting their health.
There is an association between inadequate lifestyle and obesity that modifies the physiological response by increasing pro-inflammatory factors (adipocytokines), which are produced by adipocytes and through the destruction of adipose cells, allowing inflammation to become chronic, altering their functioning.
Obesity produces several inflammatory mediators in adipose tissue, implicated in the mechanisms responsible for the development of chronic diseases associated with obesity, including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic Hepatic Steatosis and metabolic disease.
Nutrition is an important determinant of human health, providing the essential elements for the growth, development, and maintenance of a healthy status throughout life, being considered the modifiable risk factor of greatest relevance for inflammation and chronic diseases including obesity.
Anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroid, medication to lower cholesterol or blood pressure may block inflammation, however they don’t deal with root cause of the inflammation.
Several functional foods contain components/nutrients that can improve the functioning of the organism. The consumption of a healthy diet can reduce the levels of inflammatory markers, favouring the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, contributing to the prevention or control of insulin resistance, dyslipidaemias and other metabolic conditions related to the manifestation of chronic non-communicable diseases.
In addition, fruits and vegetables contain bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, carotenoids, isoflavones, resveratrol, catechins and flavonoids that are beneficial in the treatment of obesity. These compounds should be consumed daily, to meet the needs and have multifactorial action.
The functional foods which can be used as a nutritional strategy for the prevention and treatment of obesity include turmeric, green tea (Camellia sinensis), pomegranate (Punica granatum), oats (avena sativa) and olive oil (Olea europaea).
Among the catechins of the green tea, the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is considered the most important due to increased oxidation of fatty acids. The consumption of green tea for eight weeks decreases body weight and waist circumference in individuals with obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Therefore, these properties on olive oil have great influences on the characteristics of anti-inflammatory mediators, reducing levels ofINF-ư,IL-6,TNF-α,COX-2 in plasma, which will have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory functions, improves insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular protection, by antiatherogenic, neuroprotective, and anticancer.
Chronic inflammation is the main characteristic of obesity, resulting from the release of pro-inflammatory adipokines by adipocytes, which attract macrophages to the affected area, triggering the inflammatory process and oxidative stress. Thus, foods with functional properties that act on the modulation of inflammation and oxidative stress stand out.
The consumption of these foods that present, in their composition, bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, catechins and flavonoids, contributes to homeostasis and the normal functioning of the organism. some foods are important in preventing and in the treatment of obesity as they help to modulate inflammation in obesity.
Above all, remember that there is not a single miracle food, the variety of the diet is the most important. Preferably, consume fresh and organic food. If you must consume processed foods read the label carefully, avoiding foods with higher content of chemical additives.
Knowledge of the functional properties of foods is important to assist in planning strategies for the prevention and treatment of chronic inflammation and obesity. Seek the help of a functional nutrition professional to better lead you in the prevention and treatment of obesity. Click here to book a consultation.
I hope you find this post helpful and if you have any question about Inflammation And Chronic Illness: or want to leave your own personal opinion, leave me a comment below. And if you liked what you’ve read, share this post with your friends and family.
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