Dr. Paul explains that inflammation in the body is both good and bad.
In the review article "Inflammation: Depression Fans the Flames and Feasts on the Heat" authors review 200 papers on the topic. They begin with the statement "depression and inflammation fuel one another". Think of inflammation, which can be measured in the blood stream as elevated CRP (C-Reactive Protein) or pro-inflammatory cytokines (like interleukin-6 [IL-6], tumor necrosis factor-alpha [TNF-α], IL-1β, the soluble IL-2 receptor, the IL-1 receptor antagonist [IL-1ra]), as pouring gasoline on the open flame of depression.
Inflammation is a good thing – if we are mounting a response to an infection or disposing of a cancerous cell or carcinogen – but, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can cause more harm than good. Ways that we typically deal with chronic inflammation include using over-the-counter medications like NSAIDS (ibuprofen), exercise, yoga and meditation – the last three are also helpful in reducing the effects of depression.
However, the one thing that we can do several times a day is to eat healthful food. A poor diet, one that is loaded with pro-inflammatory foods (foods high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 fatty acids), tend to trigger not only inflammation, but obesity.
Pro-inflammatory foods include food that is:
When a person is obese, the condition itself becomes pro-inflammatory. Depression and emotional distress can also lead to increased inflammatory markers. When all is considered, in the context of an increasingly isolated and fast-paced, fast food eating country, is it any wonder we have an epidemic of obesity, depression and inflammatory conditions?
Ways to create an anti-inflammatory condition in our bodies is to:
By incorporating actions that promote an anti-inflammatory condition, like taking high-quality fish oil supplements, we can activate the body’s natural pathways to resolve inflammation.
The best way to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids is to eat 12 ounces of oily fish and or shellfish a week, but many of us find that difficult to do. This is where taking a high-quality fish oil supplement, like OmegaGenics SPM Active, with pro-resolving mediators of omega-3 fatty acids of DHA and EPA, can step in to provide the beneficial omega-3 needed to harness the body’s natural mechanism to resolve inflammation.
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Dr. Paul Thomas
Dr. Paul Thomas is an award-winning Dartmouth-trained pediatrician with nearly 30 years of experience in pediatrics. In addition to being board certified in Pediatrics, he is an expert on addiction and board certified in Addiction Medicine. His practice, Integrative Pediatrics, serves some 11,000 children in Portland, Oregon. He is the co-author of the forthcoming book, The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health—from Pregnancy through Your Child’s Teen Years (Ballantine 2016).
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