If a person has arthritis or something else that ends with –itis, they have inflammation, a very common problem nowadays. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to harmful stimuli such as irritants, germs, or damaged cells. It’s a defensive response that involves immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators as the body fights the invader. In acute inflammation, such as cellulitis and appendicitis, inflammation is the body’s response to injury or infection, and it will diminish when the infection or injury goes away. However, the body’s immune system can activate inflammation in the absence of invaders or injury. This type of inflammation is chronic and leads to rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, heart disease, ulcerative colitis, cancer, metabolic disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and other chronic diseases. It also leads to many mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and psychosis.
How do you know you have inflammation?
In some forms of inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, you may feel pain, heat, swelling and redness in the affected area. In other forms of inflammation, such as heart disease and diabetes, you will only know that you have inflammation after getting tested.
How to fight inflammation
Medication helps to mask the symptoms of inflammation, but the best way to deal with inflammation is to remove the cause. You can lower inflammation through socializing, emotional therapy, managing stress, eliminating foods that cause inflammation, and eating certain vegan foods. You can also lower inflammation by taking supplements.
Health benefits of Anti-inflammatory supplements
The following supplements are some of the best supplements for combating inflammation.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp leaves, twigs, ad flowers. It will not give users a “high” in the same way as THC, but it has many medical benefits. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the hemp plant, and then diluting it in a carrier oil like olive, coconut, or hemp seed oil.
Among its many health benefits, CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties. A 2018 study, found that it effectively improves pain, sleep, mood, and the quality of life through its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. In a 2016 study, topical application of CBD relieved pain and inflammation related to arthritis.
Studies have found that CBD protects the brain, preventing Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases through its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. In a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, it prevented loss of the ability to recognize faces of acquaintances.
CBD treats and prevents type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In a study relating to people suffering from type 1 diabetes, it eased inflammation in the pancreas. It also reversed type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance through its anti-inflammatory properties.
CDB relieves skin problems as well. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found it to reduce inflammation and production of sebum in people with acne. It also reduces inflammation associated with psoriasis and eczema.
Take CBD oil in the form of capsules or drops to reduce inflammation in the body. Apply it to painful joints to relieve pain and inflammation in the joints. Apply it to the face for acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
Black Currant Powder
The black currant (cassis berry) plant is native to parts of Europe, and Asia and is also grown in North America and New Zealand. The berries are black, purple, or red. Black currant powder is made from the berries or the leaves and it has been traditionally used for medicinal purposes.
Among its several health benefits, black currant powder directly affects the body’s inflammatory response. It contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid, which has been found to ease inflammation when the body converts it into an inflammation-reducing substance called DGLA. Black currant powder also contains high levels of anthocyanin. Both of these compounds can help reduce joint or muscle stiffness, pain, soreness and damage.
In studies involving people with rheumatoid arthritis, GLA supplements so effectively reduced pain and stiffness, and increased joint mobility, that the participants managed to reduce their usual pain medications.
Black currant powder is easy to incorporate into your diet. You can take capsules or add the powder to your juices, smoothies, and salads.
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in India to spice their food and for medicinal purposes. Scientific research has confirmed that it contains active compounds that have many medicinal benefits, the major one being curcumin. Turmeric contains about 3% curcumin which makes it difficult to achieve its benefits through using it as food. Turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin are used for studies and they are available in health food stores.
Curcumin is easy to incorporate into your daily diet. You can add turmeric to your food when you cook, bearing in mind that you are only getting a small amount of curcumin. Remember to add black pepper to increase absorption. You can also make tea with turmeric. However, the best way is to get curcumin supplements from your health food store. Just make sure that it also contains piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper that increases absorption.
Astaxanthin is one of the most popular supplements these days. It is a carotenoid, a reddish pigment that occurs naturally in certain algae, trout, Pacific salmon, shrimp, lobster, fish eggs, crab, and other seafood. It is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory so it is used to treat various diseases when taken orally or applied topically. Its anti-inflammatory properties come from its antioxidant tendencies.
Some studies have shown that astaxanthin may be able to reduce inflammation and pain symptoms related to arthritis. In one study published in the Journal of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, scientists found that it is effective against oxidative stress caused by nitric oxide. Reduced inflammation helps to protect your heart, lungs, stomach lining, and eyes against bacterial inflammation.
Seafood is not the most effective way to get astaxanthin because you can only get small amounts at a time. That is why most people take it as a supplement.
Take the supplements
While eating the foods that reduce inflammation and taking other precautions, increase your chances of reducing inflammation by taking any of the supplements discussed above.