Researchers and students of these things are spending more and more time these days focusing on the process of inflammation and the aging process.
Inflammation is a normal biological process which has already been linked to various health issues, including obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and heart disease.
Now, researchers are taking another step.
The National Institute of Health defines inflammation as:
“A very complex response to an injury, infection, or other stimuli, in which many different cells types and secretions orchestrate (direct) protective immunity, tissue repair, and resolution of tissue damage.”
To put it simply, inflammation is the result of the body’s white cells and certain chemicals in your body working to protect you from foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses, and repairing any tissue damage present.
That doesn’t sound like a bad thing…But.
Perhaps that will get some people’s attention…
Some of the “thought-leaders” involved have gone so far as to suggest that inflammation is the primary cause of aging in human beings.
And here we thought it was just the passing of the years…
That correlation may or may not prove to be true. However, inflammation is still something we need to aware of because of its already proven role in troublesome medical conditions, such as Diabetes and Heart Disease.
Most of the research on inflammation and the aging process concerns degenerative diseases, which includes the ongoing and often irreversible deterioration in the elderly, as well as the loss of function of their organs and tissues.
So far, there seems to be a moderate agreement that inflammation does play a primary role in speeding up the aging process.
A panel on aging, organized by the National Institute Of Health, has stated:
This begs the questions of how inflammation starts and where it originates? But there are no fast and easy answers in medicine.
You can read the long, detailed scientific answers by clicking on the research references below if you’d like, but let me break it down for you, to get to the point.
- Inflammation, by its simplest explanation, is just the body’s response to an abnormal event which it’s trying to repair. That’s it.
Think about the example of a stubbed toe that swells up, turns black and blue and eventually returns to normal as healing occurs.
- That is why the body produces the inflammation. It is protecting the area to help it heal.
But it’s not all good because there’s chronic inflammation also.
Chronic inflammation is internal inflammation and, over time, can accelerate the aging processes to some degree.
- As the research study stated, chronic inflammation causes stress and lowers certain abilities of the body which are key to the aging process, in order to deal with other stressors within the body.
Sometimes there’s more than one thing going on inside.
So, how do we prevent inflammation?
Well, the jury is still out officially, although two different recent studies examined the role of restricting calorie intake in the inflammation process.
I know, right? Groan.
Both studies examined the anti-inflammatory actions of aging, as they related to calorie restrictions and exercise.
Although it’s not a complete surprise, it appears that a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle will increase inflammation and therefore the aging process.
➡ In fact, the study found that “major chronic aging-related diseases such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, dementia, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular diseases, are inflammation-related.”
And it’s certainly not a coincidence that most of these conditions are also symptoms of a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet choices.
We talk about diet and exercise, weight loss, healthy lifestyle choices, yadda yadda yadda…Far too many people ignore the information which is everywhere these days and has been for years.
We read article after article suggesting better, healthier options, encouraging us to lean toward better choices.
➡ Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
➡ In 2015, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. … Almost half of all deaths attributable to high blood glucose occur before the age of 70 years.
➡ 30.3 million adults with diabetes, 23.1 million of them formally diagnosed, and 7.2 million undiagnosed (they have all the markers but don’t seek medical care).
➡ The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 25.2%, or 12.0 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).
➡ New Cases: 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
➡ Prediabetes: 84.1 million Americans age 18 and older had prediabetes.
➡ Diabetes remained the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2015, with 79,535 death certificates listing it as the primary cause of death, and a total of 252,806 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death.
It would seem fair to conclude that inflammation has a high correlation and may be a direct cause of many aging and degenerative conditions we face later in life.
We also know for sure that inflammation is a reactive process of our body to attempt to heal conditions within our bodies which are not normal, or events that place stress on the body.
Those conditions and events are molecular and result from the bad kind of stress, the stress we place on our organs and the rest of our bodies, as a result of poor diet choices and our reluctance/refusal to exercise.
➡ We leave our bodies with no way to respond other than by creating inflammation in an attempt to help us.
➡ Poor diets and lack of exercise increase inflammation.
You may safely conclude that eating a healthy diet and moving your body can and will inhibit the aging process.
Learn More About How To Protect Yourself:
- The Role Of Inflammation In Age-Related Disease
- Chronic Inflammation and Oxidative Stress as a Major Cause of Age-Related Diseases and Cancer
- Molecular inflammation: Underpinnings of aging and age-related diseases
- The Molecular Inflammatory Process in Aging