What is inflammation?

Inflammation is the immune system’s natural response to help the body fight and heal from injury or bacterial infection. But low-level, chronic inflammation can lead to disease over the long term.

Aged garlic extract and obesity

Ancient civilizations used garlic to help maintain physical and mental health, and aging garlic stabilizes its sulfur compounds, allowing larger, more easily digestible doses. Extra weight can trigger inflammation, putting stress on body systems. In this study, 51 obese but otherwise healthy people, average age 45.6 years, took a placebo or 3,600 mg of aged garlic extract in three 1,200 mg doses per day. Doctors asked participants to maintain their regular diet and exercise schedule.

After six weeks, compared to placebo, the garlic group had significantly lower levels of two inflammatory factors: tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin-6 (Il-6). The garlic group also had lower levels of LDL—the “bad” cholesterol.

Discussing the findings, doctors said this may be the first study to test whether aged garlic extract may help prevent several chronic diseases linked to low-grade inflammation in obese adults.

Vitamin D and type 2 diabetes

Doctors knew that chronic, low- grade inflammation precedes and exists in type 2 diabetes, and that vitamin D is a natural anti-inflammatory. This review of 20 placebo-controlled vitamin D studies covered 1,270 people with type 2 diabetes. The doses and forms of vitamin D in the studies varied, as did their duration.

Overall compared to placebo, those taking vitamin D had lower levels of the inflammatory factors C-reactive protein, TNFα, and fibrinogen, which causes red blood cells to stick together.

Commenting on the findings, doctors said chronic inflammation in type 2 diabetes triggers insulin resistance, imbalanced lipid levels, and circulatory problems, all of which vitamin D may be able to counteract by reducing inflammation.

Reference: Clinical Nutrition; April, 2018, Vol. 24, 148-55
Natural Insights for Well Being September 2018

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