3 Ways You Can Reduce Inflammation for Better Health

macrophage_chase

 

When you’ve been injured or have an infection, your body will likely respond with an increase in C-reactive protein, also known as CRP. Let’s take a closer look at why.

Zooming into the blood on a microscopic level, when there’s injury or infection, or if there’s anything in your bloodstream that’s not supposed to be there, macrophages will show up in droves. Macrophages are specialized white blood cells that chase, chomp down, and destroy foreign substances, cancer cells, and infectious bacteria. (See a macrophage in action here—after giving chase, it finally engulfs the invaders at :19 This is a good thing.

How CRP Works

Elsewhere in the body, the increase in macrophage activity has a different effect. When macrophages do their thing, proteins are released, which then travel through the bloodstream to the liver. This signals the liver to start synthesizing another protein—CRP. Once CRP enters the bloodstream, it latches on to bacteria or dying cells, improving the macrophages’ ability to rid the body of foreign microscopic materials. Again, a good thing.

The Effects of High CRP

When CRP starts to become a bad thing is after the acute phase—when the macrophages and the rest of the white blood cell team should have already finished the job. This is when it’s important to track and try to reduce excess levels of CRP. Because if the body’s repair process fails, it results in continued inflammation. The resulting chronically high CRP levels are associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and stroke, and may also be linked to brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Obesity is another issue correlated with high CRP. The protein that initiates CRP synthesis is also released by fat cells in the body. This has led researchers to examine the link between obesity and inflammation, hoping to determine whether reducing this inflammatory biomarker could help reduce obesity-related disease.

Many believe that dietary choices lead to inflammation, and are keeping an eye on the effects of sugar, additives, and refined grains on CRP levels. The use of birth control pills is also correlated with high CRP as well.

Trials have shown that reductions in CRP significantly reduces the occurrence of cardiovascular disease, usually through the use of statins. But there are other non-prescription methods that people use to help reduce their CRP.

If CRP levels and inflammation are an issue for you, here are some options you might try

3 Ways You Can Reduce Inflammation for Better Health

1. Change your diet

2. Add well-tested supplements

  • Vitamin C shows strong promise as a treatment for chronically high CRP. At high doses, it interferes with the inflammatory cascade that triggers production of CRP.
  • Vitamin D is known to prevent white blood cells from overreacting to bacterial infection. There is a such thing as too much though—raising Vitamin D levels too high can lead to further inflammation, making it important to find your own personal sweet spot.

Did you know that WellnessFX members have direct access to Thorne supplements? The process is easy. Read here for more. 

3. Reduce stress

  • Meditation, yoga, and massage are three things you can do for your body and mind to relieve stress, which can also lead to prolonged inflammation. A number of small studies show that regular stress-relieving treatments can result in reduced levels of inflammatory markers.

How WellnessFX Can Help

Periodically tracking your CRP levels through regular blood testing can help you and your healthcare provider tell if your supplements and lifestyle adjustments are making an impact on your body’s inflammation. Monitoring your CRP levels over time can help you figure out which changes lead to the most meaningful improvements, and reduce your risk of serious disease down the road. A WellnessFX Baseline package will cover this biomarker (along with many others).

Learn More About Baseline

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.