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Adequate nutrition influences inflammatory processes, decreases chronic diseases risk

Posted:  Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hippocrates said let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. Befitting this saying, a group of experts have recently established that nutrition can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases through positive modulation of inflammation.

Commissioned by the ILSI Europe Obesity and Diabetes Task Force, this article was published in the British Journal of Nutrition. A group of experts have presented novel ways to identify the inflammatory status in the human body and the extent to which food influences inflammation.

Prof. Anne Marie Minihane, University of East Anglia (UK) explains that, "Inflammation acts as both a friend and foe, being essential in metabolic regulation, with unresolved low-grade chronic inflammation being a pathological feature of a wide range of chronic conditions including the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases."

Thus, preventing or controlling low-grade inflammation is the cornerstone of risk reduction and can be achieved by consuming healthy food or food ingredients. The inflammatory response is affected by the individual’s nutritional status such as deficiency or excess of micronutrients (e.g. folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin E and zinc).

A growing body of evidence suggests that post-prandial inflammation witnessed after consumption of a meal high in fat and glucose can contribute to developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

The Western diet (high in fats and simple sugars and low in micronutrients), though gaining more and more popularity, is thought to increase the prevalence of diseases with strong immunological and autoimmune components (e.g. allergies, food allergies, atopic dermatitis and obesity). Considering all this research, adequate nutrition is clearly the way out!

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