Chronic Inflammation and Weight Gain

The relationship between chronic inflammation and weight gain is now re-inforced by a growing body of research, whereby a high degree of inflammation in the body results in weight gain. Therefore, finding ways to reduce inflammation should assist your weight loss efforts.

However, it is important to keep in mind that weight gain is caused by a number of factors of which, inflammation may be just one.

Chronic inflammation leads to weight gain primarily because of the effect it has on numerous organs and systems of the body (e.g., thyroid gland, sex hormones, stress hormones, etc.). It also causes fluid retention in the body. This may then cause a range of additional health problems such as, increased blood pressure, joint pain, etc.

Chronic Inflammation and Weight Gain

Even though the initial weight gain resulting directly from chronic inflammation may not be fat, the long-term physiological consequences of inflammation in the body may result in an increased likelihood of fat storage.

Here are some of the possible causes of chronic inflammation in the body:

  • Gut Issues (digestive health, medications, genetic factors)
  • Dietary factors (diet quality, nutritional deficiencies, digestive health)
  • Lifestyle Factors (stress, environmental toxins, physical activity, sleep quality)
  • Excess bodyfat

  • Let's examine each of these in more detail.

    Gut Issues (digestive health, medications,
    genetic factors)

    Many people under-estimate the importance of our gut when it comes the overall health of our body and gut problems are a common cause of inflammation in the body.

    There are certain food additives or foods that cause inflammation by irritating the gut lining or causing an allergic response.

    Medications like antibiotics may upset the delicate balance of gut flora, resulting in inflammation as well.

    Also, people with conditions such as, Crohn's disease, or who have a genetic predisposition for other gut issues like, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, or leaky gut (intestinal permeability), are also like to have some degree of chronic inflammation in their body.

    Dietary Factors (diet quality, nutritional deficiencies)

    The quality of your diet plays a huge role in the quality of your health as well as having a major impact on the degree of inflammation in your body.

    Not only do certain foods cause an inflammatory response when they're in the gut, but they may also cause more inflammation in the body when they enter the bloodstream.

    Nutritional deficiencies also have an impact on the degree of inflammation in your body because specific nutrients, like selenium, zinc, vitamin C, B-vitamins, and glutamine, are required for optimum production of the body's natural antioxidants.

    Since oxidative stress (caused by free radicals) and chronic inflammation are so closely related, ensuring your body's natural antioxidant defences are functioning well is absolutely essential. Therefore, nutritional deficiencies result in impaired antioxidant production, leading to higher levels of free radical damage and inflammation in the body.

    Lifestyle Factors (stress, environmental toxins, physical activity, sleep quality)

    There are a variety of lifestyle factors they can also have an impact on the degree of inflammation in your body.

    For example, chronic stress, environmental toxins, lack of physical activity, and poor sleep quality all lead to increased free radical damage, and therefore greater inflammation.

    Excess bodyfat

    Bodyfat produces inflammatory cytokines in the body. These of course, cause inflammation, which lead to weight gain and increased bodyfat. This, in turn, causes more inflammatory cytokines to be produced, which causes more inflammation, and so the vicious cycle continues, making weight loss more difficult.

    Even though it may be difficult to know which one starts the process, bodyfat or inflammation, the fact is, it is a situation that continues to worsen over time if it is not addressed.

    Strategies to reduce chronic inflammation and therefore, assist weight loss:

  • Minimise your intake of 'irritant foods', food additives and allergenic foods.
  • This means minimising your intake of dairy foods, foods containing gluten (wheat and wheat flour, rye, barley, spelt, semolina, couscous, and durum flour), processed foods, and potentially-allergenic foods (peanuts, soy, shellfish, and eggs).

  • Eat an anti inflammation diet.
  • This means eating more natural, whole foods. These include foods like, fruits, vegetables, sprouts, seeds, some nuts, lean meats, and unprocessed oils. These are all available from your local IGA Supermarket and contain high levels of antioxidants.

    Since inflammation and oxidative stress are closely related, if you're able to reduce the degree of oxidation in your body you can also reduce the degree of inflammation. This is why eating foods high in antioxidants is so important. You may also want to consider using an antioxidant supplement to increase your intake of antioxidants.

  • Use supplements to reduce gut inflammation and improve its functioning.
  • There are certain supplements on the market that help to soothe the gut lining, reduce inflammation in the gut, assist with repairing the gut wall, and improve its functioning. Some of the best products on the market for providing these benefits are BCN's DigestEZE and Gastro Forte AG.

    Use fish oil to reduce chronic inflammation

  • Reduce your stress levels.
  • Since stress is related to chronic inflammation, finding ways to reduce your stress levels can be enormously beneficial. Relaxation techniques, meditation, good-quality sleep, and using stress-relieving herbs, like Rhodiola, which is contained in BCN's Rhodiola Advanced can all help.

  • Use anti-inflammatory supplements.
  • Some of the best anti-inflammatory supplements on the market include, fish oil, glucosamine, green tea and turmeric. There is even clinical research for fish oil and turmeric demonstrating direct weight-loss benefits!

    Glucosamine and turmeric are both found in BCN's DigestEZE. Turmeric is also found in BCN's Relieve Turmeric Forte and BCN's InflammaCALM, which also contains a green tea extract.

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