Monday, January 5, 2009

Is Inflammation Causing Cancer, Arthritis and Alzheimer's?

Inflammation is your immune system's way of protecting you from physical trauma or foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. It's supposed to be a short and powerful response. Unfortunately, the body doesn't turn off the inflammation switch and it ends up destroying the very tissues and organs it was meant to protect. We tend to think of inflammation as synonymous with arthritis. However, inflammation can strike anywhere in your body. It's a major contributor to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and many more life-threatening conditions. Control inflammation and you control disease.

In her book, Prevent Cancer, Strokes, Heart Attacks and other Deadly Killers! Dr. Vijaya Nair, Harvard-trained M.D. FAMS, M.S. (Epid) says, "Inflammation is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it protects you. When you get a splinter, inflammation makes sure that immune cells arrive at the scene of the injury to kill any bacteria or viruses that may have entered the broken skin. That's what all that redness, heat, swelling, and pain is about. Your immune system is going to war! On the other hand, inflammation can kill you. It can cause diseases no one wants to get, like cancer, arthritis, heart disease, digestive tract diseases, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome."

Inflammation is only supposed to stick around as long as a threat exists. That's why your inflammation levels shoot through the roof if you have a severe bacterial infection, but, quickly go back to normal once the bacteria is successfully eliminated. When the body doesn't turn off the inflammation response -- when all those inflammatory chemicals stay in the system for a long time -- it ends up the whole article

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