How Silent Inflammation in the Body Affects Your Health

Inflammation in the body is a normal body response to infection or injury. It results in classic signs of inflammation which include redness, pain, swelling, heat and loss of function. However, there is another form of chronic inflammation, 'Silent Inflammation', that doesn't cause pain so it can remain in the body going unnoticed for years and even decades. The effects can be devastating!

It is estimated that up to 70% of Australians, including children, experience silent inflammation in the body on an ongoing basis. If it is not addressed it can lead to a range of disease and health problems including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as well as various allergies. There are also many other diseases that are related to silent inflammation.



Factors that cause silent inflammation in the body

Inflammation in the body tends to be associated with oxidation, whereby where one occurs, generally so does the other. Therefore, if you can reduce one you can reduce the other to some extent, however, they both have different mechanism of action so they both need different approaches for reducing their impact in the body.

The two main factors that contribute to silent inflammation are diet and lifestyle. A diet high in carbohydrate and/ or saturated fat, the intake of trans fats, alcohol consumption, smoking, stress, lack of exercise and vitamin D deficiency aare the main causes of inflammation.

Having a high level of body fat also causes greater silent inflammation in the body. Many people believe that fat is a fairly inert tissue in the body but in fact, fat stores tend to produce large quantities of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which may then be released into the body, causing a silent inflammatory response.



Tests to identify silent inflammation

There are several tests that can be conducted in order to see if silent inflammation is a problem for you. One of the easiest tests to have done is a blood to measure the level of a compound called, C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP gets produced in response to inflammation in the body.

Far more accurate and powerful markers for silent inflammation are kynurenic acid and quinolinic acid, which may be measured in a simple urine test.



Why anti-inflammatory drugs are ineffective at reducing silent inflammation in the body

Anti-inflammatory drugs are effective at reducing pro-inflammatory prostaglandins (chemical messengers that act on nearby tissues from where they are produced), which are called COX-2. This is beneficial because it can reduce the pain and swelling (inflammation) that occurs in joints or at the site where an injury has been sustained.

Unfortunately though, anti-inflammatory drugs also have the effect of reducing other prostaglandins in the body, COX-1. COX-1 prostaglandins are essential for protecting the lining of the gut, ensuring adequate blood flow through the kidneys, maintaining healthy blood pressure, they reduce inflammation in the lungs and reduce inflammation responses to allergens.

Without COX-1 prostaglandins being constantly produced in the body, silent inflammation will occur, with the gut, kidneys, heart, lungs and brain all being negatively affected.



How do we reduce the
silent inflammation in our body?

What we require are anti-inflammatories that are 'selective inhibitors' of prostaglandins. We need anti-inflammatories that reduce COX-2 production, COX-2 inhibitors, but do not affect the COX-1 prostaglandins.

One of the very best anti-inflammatories that can achieve this goal is Curcumin (Turmeric). It is a natural herb that acts as a powerful COX-2 inhibitor without affecting COX-1 prostaglandins. BCN's Relieve Turmeric Forte is a great example of a natural anti-inflammatory that can not only reduce the pain and swelling associated with 'classic' inflammation, but also reduces the silent inflammation in the body as well, without the nasty side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Another way to reduce the impact of silent inflammation in the body is to take fish oil every day. One of the components of fish oil is EPA and by consuming substantial amounts of this essential fatty acid it is possible to lower the AA : EPA ratio, which means less inflammation in the body. AA is an omega-6 fatty acid that causes pro-inflammatory mediators to be produced in the body. EPA on the other hand, has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Finally losing body fat can also play a major role in reducing silent inflammation. Since body fat releases pro-inflammatory cytokines into the body, a reduction of body fat will also reduce this response significantly.

Therefore, by keeping your body fat relatively low and taking fish oil and turmeric supplements every day, you can dramatically reduce the impact of silent inflammation and will improve your health and body functions at the same time.



Here are some possible symptoms of Silent Inflammation:

  • Lethargy

  • Bloating

  • Body aches

  • Headaches

  • Nausea

  • Joint stiffness

  • Weakness

  • Mood problems

  • Persistent coughing

  • General soreness

  • Skin conditions


  • *** Any one of these symptoms may be indicative of Silent Inflammation in your body.









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