What is Inflammation

Inflammation is an essential biological process of all animals. It is involved in healing, fighting infection. It involves increased blood flow, immune activation. Many diseases and aging processes are inflammatory in nature. The inflammation response can become excessive, over-generalized, and chronic. Several factors can increase these tendencies such as aging, obesity, excessive or insufficient exercise, smoking, and diet.

Excess inflammation can involve almost any tissues including the heart and circulatory system, the musculoskeletal system, the brain and nervous system, the digestive system, the lungs and respiratory system. Some of the common diseases where inflammation in involved include IBS, diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Any disease ending in “-itis” are inflammatory by definition. Many body pains are caused or worsened by inflammation. A common biomarker of inflammation is a blood test called C-reactive protein (CRP). Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR, high white blood cell count may also indicate inflammation.

Physiology (optional reading)

A variety of chemical mediators from circulation system, inflammatory cells, and injured tissue actively contribute to and adjust the inflammatory response. The released chemical mediators include (1) vasoactive amines such as histamine and serotonin, (2) peptide (e.g., cytokine, bradykinin), and (3) eicosanoids (e.g., thromboxanes, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins). COX-2 is the enzyme that makes the prostaglandins involved in pain and inflammation. This enzyme is blocked by many anti-inflammatory and pain medications (often with side effects).

Dietary Factors:

Good Fats:

    • Mono-unsaturated fats found in olive oil are anti-inflammatory. These are also found in Avocado oil and Hazel nut oil.
    • Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA and ALA) found in cold-water fish oils are anti-inflammatory.

Bad Fats:

    • Omega 6 fatty acids found in most vegetable oils are pro-inflammatory.
    • Trans fats (produced by hydrogenation of vegetable oils) are pro-inflammatory.

Good Carbohydrates:

    • Certain fibers that promote healthy microbiota called prebiotics can reduce inflammation by producing certain substances such as fatty acids in the gut.

Bad Carbohydrates:

    • Excess sugars and high-glycemic carbohydrates can cause high blood sugar which is very pro-inflammatory.

Milk and dairy:

    • A1 milk is much more inflammatory than A2 milk. These names refer to two types of casein, the main protein of milk. A2 is the original casein and is found in sheep milk and most older varieties of dairy cows such as Guernsey, Jersey. Goat milk does not have casein at all. Newer varieties of cows such as Holstein have a mutation that goes along with the higher milk production of these A1 breeds. These findings for cows are not 100% due to interbreeding, unless the herds have been genetically tested.


    • Glutens in wheat, barley, and rye can cause reactions that damage the intestinal lining causing absorption of undigested foods that promote inflammation in some individuals.
    • Lectins found in the seeds and skins of many foods can cause reactions and inflammation in many people. These substances are especially found in legumes, grains, and nightshades (tomato, potato, peppers, and eggplant). Dr. Stephen Gundry has written much on this subject such as reducing lectins by peeling, removing seeds, pressure cooking, sprouting and fermenting.


    • Magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D3, Vitamin E (tocotrienals), Alpha lipoic acid
    • Cartenoids, including carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin.
    • Polyphenols:
      • Flavonoids: flavanols, flavonols, flavanones, flavones, isoflavones, anthocyanidins and catechins. These are found in many fruits and include compounds such as quercetin. Flavonoids are the chemicals that often give fruit its color. Curcumin is a flavonoid from turmeric that is a potent anti-inflammatory. Rosemary and Boswellia (frankincence) also contain anti-inflammatory flavonoids.
      • Stilbenes such as resveratrol (found in grape skins) have many biological activities including anti-inflammatory.
    • Sulforaphane is a anti-inflammatory  chemical found in brassicas. It has been shown to block the inflammation mediator cox 2.
    • SAMe – S-adenosylmethionine is naturally found in the body. Studies have shown it can stimulate cartilage healing and reduce pain and inflammation. Check with your doctor if you are taking prescription anti-depressants or narcotics.

Prebiotics and Probiotics:

    • Certain types of fibers and digestion resistant starches can provide food for bacteria in the gut (prebiotics). Certain strains of bacteria can convert these foods into short chain fatty acids (SCFA). These SCFA are fuel for the intestinal epithelial cells and can regulate inflammation. Certain probiotic strains can help facilitate this process.


Dietary modifications to reduce inflammation:

  • Using olive oil, avocado oil. Most nuts, pumpkin and sesame seeds, avocados. Avoid, trans-fats, other seed-oils (safflower, sunflower)
  • Eating cold water fish such as wild salmon, herring and anchovies. Farmed fish is usually lower in omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Avoiding sugar, low glycemic carbohydrates. Use of sugar alcohols (e.g., Erythritol) and stevia is fine.
  • Animal products, such as beef, chicken, eggs and dairy should be pasture fed as much as possible (as pasture is much higher in omega 3s as seeds). Lamb is naturally pasture fed.
  • Dairy products should come from goats, sheep, or A2 herds to minimize A1 casein.
    • Cheeses from Southern Europe (Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy) are considered to be primarily A2.
    • Milk from genetically tested A2 herds is available in many supermarkets. A1 cows have become the dominant breeds in the United States.
  • Consider a gluten-free diet or minimizing wheat and related products.
  • Consider minimizing all grains, legumes, and nightshades.  Consider pressure cooking and other methods to reduce lectins in food (see Dr. S. Gundry – The Plant Paradox).
  • Consume high flavonoid / low sugar fruits such as berries, dark chocolate.
  • Cruciferous vegetables. tea (black, green, white, oolong) contain anti-inflammatory Sulforaphane.
  • Consume a variety of high fiber foods and resistant starches.
  • Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which is a potent anti-inflammatory. Ginger is closely related to turmeric and also contains anti-inflammatory compounds. Consume with fats to increase absorption.

Supplements: Details, ordering and discount can be found at my Fullscript Dispensary: (click here)
      Login to your account (or create account)… Recommendations… Protocols… Inflammation… select desired products… purchase at a discount

  • Combination Formulas

    • Inflammatone: Combines enzymes, herbs, and flavonoids capsules
    • Antioxidant Formula: Vitamins, minerals, carotene, carotenoids capsules
  • Turmeric: Turmeric is difficult to Use of

    • Curcumin– standardized turmeric capsules with biopiperine (from black pepper for better absorption) capsules
    • Turmero-Active: an emulsified turmeric preparation for best absorption liquid
  • Omega 3’s

    • OmegAvail Hi-Po – Fish oils (DHA EPA) capsules
    • OmegAvail Smoothie – Fish oils emulsified in fruit base for taste and easy digestion.
    • Omega 3 Vegan – High absorption omega 3s capsules from marine algae capsules
  • Prebiotics and Probiotics:

    • Poly-Prebiotic powder: A combination of fibers and polyphenols
    • Tomorrows Nutrition PRO Sunfiber: Enzymatically digested guar gum has shown excellent prebiotic properties (powder).
    • Ther-Biotic Synbiotic: 7 species probiotics plus prebiotic (sunfiber) for comprehensive microbiome, immune, and healthy inflammation support (capsules)

Other Micronutrients

    • Magnesium Chelate absorbable magnesium  (powder or capsules)
    • Vitamin C
      • C+ Biofizz – Vitamin C with flavonoids powder
      • Bufferred Viamin C capsules
    • Vitamin D3 – 5000 iu capsules
    • Annatto-E Synergy – Tocotrienals from Annatto (capsules)
    • SAMe

Additional information can be found at the following articles:
Paleo Diet:
Anti-Aging: (coming soon)