It all comes down to what you eat. In a recent article published in the British Journal of Nutrition, a coalition of experts explain how nutrition influences inflammatory processes.
Inflammation is both good and bad. Acute inflammation is a friend and plays an important role in essential metabolic regulation and in host defense. But if inflammation remains unresolved it is classified as low-grade chronic status. Elevated unresolved chronic inflammation is the main culprit in many a chronic disease including metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Therefore controlling inflammation is crucial to human health and a key future target from both the prevention standpoint and the treatment aspect, said researchers.
Prevention or control of low-grade inflammation is a good place to start. And the best way to do it through healthy food or food ingredients. In a recent article commissioned by the ILSI Europe Obesity and Diabetes Task Force, nutrition and health experts introduced new approaches to capture inflammatory status in humans and to assess to what extent diet can influence inflammation.
The emerging role of chronic inflammation in the major degenerative diseases of modern society has called for research into the influence of nutrition and dietary patterns on inflammation and inflammatory diseases.
The research findings show that most human studies have linked habitual dietary intake to systemic markers of inflammation like high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (HS-CRP), and interleukin-6 (IL-6). And these changes in the inflammatory markers lead to pre-inflammatory and inflammatory states.
For example, a person with either a deficiency or excess of certain micronutrients (e.g. folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin 1, vitamin E, zinc) can have ineffective or excessive inflammatory response. Studies have showed that excessive consumption of fat and glucose may induce post-meal inflammation. This may slowly fester and lead to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. This could be the reason why the Western-style diet, rich in fat and simple sugars but often poor in specific micronutrients, is linked to the high incidence of diseases with strong immunogical and autoimmune components.
On the other hand, a traditional Mediterranean diet which is typically has a high ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fats and polyunsaturated fatty acid and is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains, has shown anti-inflammatory effects
Most studies reveal a modest effect of dietary composition on some inflammatory markers in free-living adults, although different markers do not vary in unison.