Anti-inflammatory supplements, what they are and when to take them

 , Naturopath


- natural anti-inflammatory supplements are those foods or plants that help turn off inflammation, such as fish, green tea, and some spices. Let's find out better.

> What is inflammation

> Pro-inflammatory foods

> Anti-inflammatory food supplements

> Anti-inflammatory herbal supplements


Green tea among anti-inflammatory food supplements



Meaning of inflammation

Inflammation, or inflammation, can be caused by external causes of a physical nature (trauma, heat stroke, infections by bacteria or viruses), of a chemical nature (toxic compounds, acids, etc.) or derive from an incorrect diet.

Inflammation is therefore always there answer / reaction acute to such causes by the cells located in the affected area (local inflammation).

It originates following the immediate release of preformed mediators already naturally present in cells (histamine, serotonin, lysosomal enzymes), which is followed by the activation of particular enzymes called cyclooxygenases, Cox1 and Cox2, which cause the increase of substances (prostaglandins , thromboxanes, leukotrienes) suitable in various ways to facilitate the "repairing" process of damaged tissue.

La onset of fever, local swelling and leukocytosis (increase in leukocytes or white blood cells in the blood) are therefore symptoms of inflammation in progress, which has the beneficial purpose of neutralizing the pathogens that are acting.


Pro-inflammatory foods

The main pro-inflammatory foods are foods of animal origin (except fish rich in omega-3), in particular meats, sausages, eggs and cheeses, as they are rich in a substance, arachidonic acid, from which the body synthesizes inflammatory prostaglandins.

More studies have shown high blood levels of inflammatory mediators in people who habitually consume:

  • Meat
  • Hydrogenated fats (margarines, low quality oils)
  • White sugar, confectionery, sugary drinks 
  • Refined flours
  • Cheeses


Natural anti-inflammatory food supplements

The main anti-inflammatory foods are:

  • Fish such as tuna, herring, sardines, because they are rich in omega 3, the main anti-inflammatory molecules that reduce inflammation and pain. Fish oil also acts on the immune system by suppressing 40% to 55% of cytokines, a component that destroys the joints. 
  • Numerous vegetables and fruit, rich in fiber and vitamins antioxidants which protect against the attack of free radicals, the main protagonists of oxidative stress which also increases the general inflammatory state.
  • Green tea
  • Nuts and oil seeds, very rich in omega-3s such as walnuts, almonds and other seeds, such as chia, sesame and flax seeds

Even spices such as: 

  • turmeric: curcumin inhibits an enzyme that stimulates the production of substances that facilitate inflammatory processes, thus reducing blood levels. This mechanism of action helps to explain the strong anti-inflammatory action of this plant, which can give considerable relief from the typical osteo-arthritic pain.
  • ginger: it has been used medicinally for thousands of years in India as a naturally anti-inflammatory food. Its anti-inflammatory abilities are mainly due to the presence of Kaempferol, an antioxidant capable of inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme. Ginger is also useful for blocking lipoxygenase, another enzyme that is integral to the production of inflammatory compounds in the body. Ginger can also be used to counteract inflammation due to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • cinnamon: anti-inflammatory and anticoagulation properties are due to its cinnamaldehyde content.


Natural anti-inflammatory supplements among arthritis remedies


Anti-inflammatory herbal supplements

  • Willow: salicylic acid is obtained, it has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties with a broad spectrum of action; 
  • Spirea Ulmaria: is to consider oneself the "mother" of all NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) but unlike most of them, while acting through the same inhibition mechanisms of specific pro-inflammatory molecules, it has no side effects of the latter (for example gastric ulcers) thanks to its content in mucilage with a gastro-protective effect.
  • Devil's claw: anti-inflammatory, analgesic and pain reliever therefore extremely effective for rheumatic and joint inflammatory diseases (arthritis, arthrosis); presents the possibility of interactions with hypoglycemic and anti-acid drugs. 
  • Pineapple: the stem contains the Bromelina, proteolytic enzyme, powerful anti-inflammatory, thanks to the specific fibrinolytic activity and the ability to activate anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.  
  • Boswellia serrata or Incense Plant: the anti-inflammatory active ingredient is contained in the gum resin obtained from the plant exudate after the bark is incised. The boswellic acids contained in the resin inhibit the synthesis of leukotrienes (mediators of inflammation), prostraglandins and enzymes that degrade cartilage tissue.
  • Uncaria or Cat's Claw: the active ingredients are extracted from the bark and plays an important role in the treatment of both muscular and osteoarticular inflammatory processes and is therefore particularly suitable for the treatment of rheumatic joint diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.




Natural anti-inflammatories


Other articles on natural anti-inflammatory supplements:
> Natural anti-inflammatory supplements for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis

> 3 anti-inflammatory supplements against seasonal ills

> 8 anti-inflammatory foods and their properties




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