Dr. Bowden explains the causes of inflammation.
Inflammation is probably, in my opinion, the least acknowledged cause of disease.
We in the United States and probably most elsewhere in the world with this conventional medicine have concentrated on cholesterol as the cause of heart disease and bringing cholesterol down.
I think that that is very, very misguided. Cholesterol is a pretty innocent molecule. It goes to the scene of damage to try to fix things, much like the fire department shows up when there’s a big fire but the fire department didn’t cause the fire.
What really is causing the damage in our vascular system is inflammation, and inflammation is a very interesting thing because people don’t quite know what it is.
They know what it is when they stub their toe or you get an inflamed tooth or an abscess or acne or any of these things that are visible and obvious.
You bang your knee that gets inflamed and what happens then is that liquid, fluid gets rushed to the site of the injury and it surrounds any kind of puncture wound, for example, to prevent microbes from getting a hold and prevent infection. That’s the kind of inflammation that we all know about.
We know when we have an inflamed tooth. We know when we have inflamed lungs or asthma.
These are second kind of inflammation. It’s called chronic inflammation and it flies beneath the radar; doesn’t have any symptoms, any more than high blood pressure does but it kills you.
And it does it by injuring the vascular system on a subtle but consistent way. It disrupts the flow of blood. It damages the walls of the arteries.
And this inflammation is part of what cholesterol goes around trying to patch up. This inflammation is really at the heart of most diseases.
Inflammation is a component of every degenerative disease we know of – Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, cancer, asthma, acne – they all have an inflammatory component.
So reducing inflammation is probably one of the most important health strategies for longevity, for good health.
And we can do it with foods. We can do it with supplements. There are two right off the top of my head – omega 3 fatty acids from fish, the most anti-inflammatory substance on the planet.
There is a new research on shea nut oil – that’s a nut that comes from Africa that people use for sunbathing shea nut, shea nut butter, but the shea nut oil, triterpene shea nut oil. Actually there’s a product out called FlexNow.
It’s just that. It’s inexpensive. It’s everywhere and it’s very, very anti-inflammatory and this is very important because one of the other strategies for living well, preventing disease and doing all these other things that we are talking about in this interview is exercise.
And if you are in pain and if you have inflamed joints and it causes you distress to walk, you are not going to be able to do a lot of the things that we know are very life extending and health promoting like exercise.
So, you know, a couple of supplements like omega 3s and shea nut oil, FlexNow – excellent for lowering inflammation and there’s also tons of stuff in the plant kingdom.
Quercetin, a flavonoid that’s found in apples and in onions – very anti-inflammatory and there’s lots others like that.
But again it goes back to the whole foods because most whole foods have anti-inflammatories in them just as they have antioxidants in them.
Dr. Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.:
Dr. Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S, is a nutrition expert specializing in anti-aging and weight loss. Dr. Bowden has a Master’s Degree in psychology and counseling and a Ph.D. in nutrition. He has earned six national certifications in personal training and exercise. He is board certified by the American College of Nutrition and is adjunct faculty at Clayton College for Natural Health based in Birmingham, Alabama.