Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

September 26, 2021
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A diet to douse inflammation

A study in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine1 shows that there are lifestyle factors that can reduce the markers of inflammation. These include diet and physical activity.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish can decrease chronic inflammation.2 Research is shedding light on the exact mechanism that lead to this reduction.3 People who don’t consume enough fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring, trout) should look for foods with added omega-3 fatty acids from fish sources like yogurt and orange juice. A fish-oil supplement is also an option.

Low glycemic load

More studies have confirmed that lowering a diet’s glycemic load causes reductions in the level of C-reactive protein in the blood. Men whose body fat mass was greater than 32 percent and women with a body fat mass greater than 25 percent showed that a low-glycemic-load diet resulted in reduced levels of C-reactive protein and slightly elevated levels of adiponectin. These changes took place even when the participants maintained their weight and exercise levels.4

Vitamin D

A study published in the January 2012 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology confirms that serum levels of C-reactive protein go down when serum vitamin D levels are normal. This study noted that once blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] reached 21 ng/ml or more, CRP levels started to rise once again.5 These findings underscore the need to determine the serum levels of 25(OH)D before recommending supplementation. Each patient should then receive individual recommendations for how much and how often they should take vitamin D supplements.

Physical activity

Aerobics has been found to reduce inflammation.6 Improving cardiovascular health reduces inflammation even if the clients don’t lose weight. Another study linked sitting time in women to an increase in inflammation.7 In 2011, the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada published new physical activity guidelines for Canadians. The current recommendations suggest that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should accumulate 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity during the week. In order to be considered beneficial, the exercise sessions should last a minimum of 10 minutes.8

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