What is Inflammation?
- Inflammation is the result of an immune response to irritation, infection, or injury.
- When we are under stress, eat unhealthy food, workout too much, fail to get enough deep sleep and restoration, we develop a high level of inflammation that the immune system has a hard time keeping at bay.
- As a result, we develop GI tract issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), joint pain (arthritis), and ultimately serious diseases as the immune system become very week after years and years of fighting inflammation and no longer functions adequately.
- The immune system can even become confused and attack healthy tissue and this is what autoimmune diseases are such as vitiligo and arthritis are.
Benefits of lowering excess inflammation
- Lowering excess inflammation makes you more disease proof to cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, arthritis, and IBS.
Lowering inflammation to improve hormone optimization
- When inflammation goes up, the body has an immune response to lower it by increasing cortisol levels, as cortisol is an anti-inflammatory hormone.
- The hormonal pathway goes from the master sex hormone pregnenolone to cortisol instead of the ultimate stress management hormone DHEA and you’re left with much lower levels of DHEA, androstenedione, testosterone, and progesterone.
Inflammation and progesterone
- Cortisol is actually made from progesterone and both men and women need progesterone to avoid estrogen dominance.
- The more progesterone that is used to make cortisol the less is available to keep estrogen in balance. Estrogen dominance causes a lot of fat retention in the stomach, legs, glutes, and chest.
- Estrogen dominance can lead to diseases such as breast cancer and prostate cancer as excess estrogen causes increased inflammation in the prostate.
Essential fatty acids and inflammation
- Many people have high inflammation due to too much Omega 6 consumption and not enough Omega 3.
- Omega 6 is pro-inflammatory and ramps up levels of AA (arachidonic acid). Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory and ramps of levels of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid).
- According to essential fatty acid expert, Udo Erasmus you want a 2:1 ratio of Omega 3 to 6. This is especially important for people that are already experiencing the negatives of too much inflammation.
Why have omega 6 in the diet at all, why not focus on omega 3?
- Like everything in life, we need the ideal balance.
- We need a healthy level of creation and destruction in our bodies on a daily basis.
- Omega 6 fatty acids help break down unhealthy cells that can lead to disease. If we have too much Omega 6 then we break down healthy cells and tissues and that is where it becomes problematic.
- If we take in too much Omega 3 we have too much growth and not enough breakdown and this can lead to issues such as prostate enlargement and prostate cancer.
- For hard training athletes that want to put on muscle, lose fat, and get strong we need AA from omega 6 sources to initiate the signal for anabolism.
- AA plays a big role in androgen production and if we do not have enough AA we do not have enough androgen production, which is critical for all physique composition and performance goals.
- According to Ori Hofmekler, author of Maximum Muscle Minimum Time, people that have a hard time putting on size may be taking too much omega 3 and not enough omega 6. A ratio of 4:1 (Omega 6 to Omega 3) may be a better fit at least in the short run for putting on size.
What are some good sources of omega 3 and omega 6?
- Omega 3: Chia seed oil, flaxseed oil, milled flaxseeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, Udo’s oil.
- Omega 6: animal fats are high in arachidonic acid, borage oil, avocado, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and cashews.
- Omega 9: olive oil, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pistachios. Omega 9 lowers cholesterol, insulin resistance, improves immune system health, and heart health.
What about fish oil? Isn’t that important for essential fatty acids and lowering inflammation?
Check out the following PDF by Brian Peskin on the negatives of fish oil: Fish oil negatives https://brianpeskin.com
- Fish oil contains downstream essential fatty acid metabolites such as EPA and DHA.
- Both EPA and DHA can be made from ALA, which is in chia seed oil and flaxseed oil but not the other way around.
- ALA is a parent essential fatty acid and has been shown to lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein.
- Fish oil, on the other hand, has not been shown to lower C-reactive protein.
- Regarding EPA, many people report that joint pain subsides when taking EPA but here is the problem. According to Dr. Nick Delgado, fish oil lowers inflammation by suppressing the immune system.
- This is good if you have an overactive immune system but not good otherwise.
- Suppressing the immune system is not the way to lower inflammation in a productive manner.
- Instead, the key should be lowering inflammation at the root instead which is done by optimizing diet, restoration, and taking supplements that really lower inflammation such as systemic enzymes and magnesium.
What foods are causing all of this inflammation in the first place and what can we do about it besides addressing the omega 3-6 ratio?
- High sugar and processed food consumption are the primary causes of inflammation.
- I firmly believe that sugar plays the biggest role in all diseases and is highly addictive.
- Sugar addiction is not much different than hardcore drug addiction as far too many people realize.
- Tell the average person to cut out sugar for a week and they will have some serious withdrawal symptoms before the week is up.
- Too much caffeine consumption also causes a lot of inflammation.
- Sugar causes inflammation by promoting the hormone Insulin to be elevated all the time. Insulin is not something we want high all day long.
- It constricts the arteries and raises blood pressure. It causes a great deal of inflammation.
GI tract inflammation
- GI tract health is critical for overall health. Without proper gut health, we are doomed.
- There are several supplements I like for gut health. The five that everyone should take are probiotics (with FOS so they proliferate), digestive enzymes, Betaine HCL, glutamine, and ginger.
- Probiotics ensure that we have a good balance of healthy flora in the gut for optimal functioning and immune system health. Make sure to use one with FOS, which feeds the good bacteria.
- Digestive enzymes ensure that we extract the largest amount of energy from our food and assimilate it efficiently.
- Betaine HCL ensures we have enough acid in the stomach to breakdown protein. Betaine HCL also eats up viruses in the stomach. Take it with protein meals only.
- Glutamine helps with GI tract healing. 5-20 grams per day.
- Ginger helps with immunity, digestion, and gas.
Supplements for lowering inflammation
- My two favorites for lowering inflammation are Magnesium oil and systemic enzymes
- Magnesium is critical for overall health and lowering inflammation and magnesium oil is the best source of magnesium as it bypasses the GI tract and has much higher absorption.
- It has also been shown to ramp up the stress management hormone DHEA.
- Helps lower cortisol levels. Magnesium Oil helps drive up DHEA, which is a potent anti-inflammatory hormone.
- Lowers levels of C-reactive protein. Magnesium deficiency equals higher CRP
- Inflammatory responses are much higher when magnesium deficiency is present
- People with a magnesium deficiency have a hard time metabolizing inflammation fighting
- Magnesium helps convert the essential fatty acid GLA to anti-inflammatory DGLA.
- Magnesium deficiency causes lower activation of systemic enzymes. These enzymes are needed to eat up scar tissue, fibroids.
- Magnesium is the ultimate stress management nutrient and supports the adrenal
glands that get worn out from stress
- Research shows a direct relationship between the amount of magnesium in the diet and the ability to avoid high blood pressure.
- Magnesium prevents calcium buildup in cholesterol plaque in arteries, which leads to clogged arteries.
- Magnesium is a vasodilator, opening up blood vessels
- Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant
- Magnesium is an important part of treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
- Magnesium helps to detoxify toxic chemicals
- Magnesium deficiency increases insomnia