Your body’s inflammatory response is a natural defense mechanism against damage from bacteria, injuries, toxins, heat, etc. This causes acute inflammation that is temporary and necessary for removing invaders or healing. And then there is being innerly inflamed long-term.
It is believed that systemic chronic inflammation leads to the onset of many debilitating diseases. This damaging inflammation can be present in the body without knowing for sure unless medically tested.
Measuring the presence of chronic inflammation in your body is not as simple as taking your temperature with a thermometer or monitoring your blood pressure at home. All too often, tests are usually done once the damage is already underway. Carefully choosing your nutritional intake can help to prevent ever having to get measured.
The bloodstream may contain certain biomarkers that indicate chronic inflammation. Most conventionally, interleukin 6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) have been the common indicators that doctors measure in blood samples to determine the presence of inflammation.
IL-6 and CRP are two of many naturally occurring proteins; however, they are produced when inflammation occurs in the body. Both are molecules referred to as cytokines, which act as immune-system messengers that warn cells of damage being done.
One of the relatively new biomarkers used to detect systemic inflammation is glycoprotein acetylation (GlycA), high levels of which indicate the rise of a variety of cytokines.
Now if you have managed to read this far, this is where very recent research on nutrition and inflammation gets interesting.
Food In, Inflammation Up
An impressive study published in June 2021 in the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals the inflammatory effect that food intake has on the body. Conducted between June 2018 and May 2019, it is one of the largest studies of its kind.
The researchers used two biomarkers of inflammation—IL-6 and GlycA—to analyze the blood samples from 1,002 generally healthy participants aged 18 – 65 after they consumed the exact same meals.
By measuring lipid, glucose and inflammatory marker levels, it was observed that food-induced inflammation is highly variable between individuals. Interestingly enough, identical twins who ate the same food had different levels of inflammation, indicating that it’s not all about genetics. Lifestyle factors do make a difference.
Those who leaned toward a higher inflammatory response were men, postmenopausal women and older participants. Levels of body fat were a factor in food-induced inflammation.
It was determined that after-meal inflammation was largely driven by elevated triglycerides circulating in the blood. The end result is that both fat and sugar increase inflammation in the body.
It’s nothing new that the wrong kind of fats and sugar are bad for you. But the study is new, extensive proof that these food factors increase inflammation.
This circles back to the importance of consuming anti-inflammatory, plant-based nutrition that prevents unhealthy blood fat and sugar responses.
Take AIM at Inflammation
Since its inception in 1982, The AIM Companies™ has promoted the benefits of a mostly plant-based diet that includes supplemental nutrition from whole-food such as BarleyLife: the leaf juice powder of young barley plants. These greens include superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties.
Of course, BarleyLife is just one of several nutrient-dense, plant-based powders offered by AIM to support whole-body balance. Take aim at inflammation with supplemental support from nutrition that works.