Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July holiday week and got a chance to be active outdoors! If you were inspired by the beautiful weather to exercise a little harder or longer than usual, your may have ended up like me with a sore and inflamed knee!
Inflammation, what we commonly think of as the swelling, redness, heat, and pain that often accompany injuries, is one of our body’s most important mechanism to healing an injury or a cut. The inflammatory reaction triggers our immune system to fight infection and clean up damaged tissue while initiating the healing process. This acute inflammatory process, due to direct injury or infection, generally lasts a few days and is the body’s way of healing naturally. However, it is also possible to develop chronic inflammation, not related to injury or infection, which causes continual low level inflammation throughout the body. This type of inflammation can result in damage to healthy tissue leading to many diseases, including……osteoporosis!
Chronic inflammation has been found to be a culprit in a wide array of health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, dementia and age-related macular degeneration. There is mounting evidence that suggests chronic systemic inflammation contributes to osteoporosis and fracture risk in adults as well.
Studies have linked a commonly used inflammatory marker called a C-reactive protein (CRP- measured in the blood) with decreased bone strength and an increased risk of fractures. There is also evidence that bone mineral density (BMD) may be influenced by chronic inflammation as well. Chronic inflammation may contribute to loss of bone mass and bone strength by affecting the bone remodeling process; the process where old bone is re-absorbed and new bone is laid down. Inflammation causes an increase in osteoclast (cells that break down bone) activity resulting in accelerated bone loss. Overtime, this will lead to a decrease in bone mass and result in weak and brittle bones more susceptibility to breaking.
Unlike acute inflammation which results from an injury or infection, chronic inflammation can result from daily living. Damaging lifestyle choices (smoking, excessive alcohol consumption), poor dietary habits, gastrointestinal distress, hormonal imbalances, stress, toxicity and even the aging process can all cause chronic inflammation. In fact, in a recent Harvard Women’s Health Watch reports on research out of Ohio State University where they found that women following a lower inflammatory diet had less bone loss than those eating a higher-inflammatory diet. Low-inflammatory diets are rich in unsaturated fats, fruit and vegetables, whereas diets that cause greater inflammation include baked goods, high sugar foods, fried foods and meat.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to limit inflammation’s damage to your bones and your body.
What can you do to extinguish the fire?
1. Avoid inflammatory foods:
Baked products that have partially hydrogenated oils
Vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower, safflower, soy
Fried foods such as French fries, potato chips
Soda, high sugar juices
Food or drink with artificial sweeteners or food additives, such as MSG and aspartame
Fatty red meat
Processed meats such as hot dogs, sausage, luncheon meats
2. Exercise Moderately
3. Find ways to reduce stress or perform stress reduction techniques
4. Rule out food allergies
5. Add these TOP ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS into your diet:
Green leafy vegetables
Nuts and seeds
6. Add these TOP ANTI-INFLAMMATORY HERBS to your diet:
If you don’t think you can add all those wonderful anti-inflammatory foods and herbs into your diet, you can also consider anti-inflammatory supplements.
My favorite is Zyflamend by New Chapter. Zyflamend is a blend of 10 different anti-inflammatory herbs including turmeric, ginger, rosemary, holy basil, green tea and oregano. Zyflamend has gone through several clinical tests for a variety of health problems with one study noting that Zyflamend reduced the formation of osteoclasts as well as other inflammatory proteins.
You can find Zyflamend at many natural food stores or click here to order online from Amazon.
Contact Nurtured Bones to aid you in your quest to squelch inflammation and help you manage your bone loss through effective safe and natural methods.
1. Apalset, E. M., Gjesdal, C. G., Ueland, P. M., Midttun, , Ulvik, A., Eide, G. E., . . . Tell, G. S. (2014). Interferon (IFN)–mediated inflammation and the kynurenine pathway in relation to bone mineral density: the Hordaland Health Study. Clinical & Experimental Immunology,176(3), 452-460. doi:10.1111/cei.12288
2. Barbour, K. E., Lui, L., Ensrud, K. E., Hillier, T. A., Leblanc, E. S., Ing, S. W., . . . Cauley, J. A. (2014). Inflammatory Markers and Risk of Hip Fracture in Older White Women: The Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 29(9), 2057-2064. doi:10.1002/jbmr.2245
3. Ishii, S., Cauley, J. A., Greendale, G. A., Crandall, C. J., Danielson, M. E., Ouchi, Y., & Karlamangla, A. S. (2013). C-Reactive Protein, Bone Strength, and Nine-Year Fracture Risk: Data From the Study of Womens Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Journal of Bone and Mineral Research,28(7), 1688-1698. doi:10.1002/jbmr.1915
4. Sandur, S. K., Ahn, K. S., Ichikawa, H., Sethi, G., Shishodia, S., Newman, R. A., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2007). Zyflamend, a Polyherbal Preparation, Inhibits Invasion, Suppresses Osteoclastogenesis, and Potentiates Apoptosis Through Down-Regulation of NF-k B Activation and NF-k B Regulated Gene Products. Nutrition and Cancer,57(1), 78-87. doi:10.1080/01635580701268295