Inflammation involves white blood cells and their substances protecting the body from infection and against invaders like bacteria and viruses. As such, inflammation is an immune system response that helps defend the body. But, when the immune system prompts inflammation to occur even though invaders are not putting the body at risk, the immune system attacks normal tissues as though they are infected or abnormal, and the person develops an autoimmune disease.
Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gouty arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, muscular low back pain, and muscular neck pain are associated with unnecessary inflammation. Symptoms of inflammation commonly include redness, swollen areas that may be warm to the touch, joint pain, joint stiffness, and loss of joint function. Some people treat inflammation with anti-inflammatory drugs, but doctors do not always recommend treating inflammation because it may be a necessary immune response. That’s why it’s a good idea to check with your doctor and educate yourself about inflammation and the immune response before taking any medication.
To help you learn more about inflammation, it’s causes and its how it relates to the immune system, we have rounded up 50 resources from across the internet. Our resources are from trusted sources and leading publications and authorities on health and include tips for naturally reducing inflammation, knowing when inflammation is a concern, and understanding the connection between inflammation and the immune system. While we have listed our top 50 resources on inflammation and the immune system here in no particular order, we have grouped them by type and included a table of contents so you can easily get to the resources that are of most interest to you.
Guides and Tips
Easy Health Options is a leading health advisory service on natural healing therapies and nutrients. In her Easy Health Options guide, writer Margaret Cantwell explores how Dr. Mark Hyman, director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and author, explains the difficulty people have in dealing with autoimmune disease. One of the suggestions is to follow the paleo diet.
Three tips we like from 10 Best Ways to Blast Inflammation from Your Body:
- Eat whole foods rather than those that are packaged and processed
- Ensure your digestive tract functions properly to keep your immune system healthy
- Take supplements such as vitamins C and D, fish oil, and probiotics to fight inflammation
Mind Body Green is on a mission to revitalize the way people eat, move, and live. As registered dietitian and author Desiree Nielsen points out in her Mind Body Green guide on inflammation and the immune system, inflammation is a common problem for people today because of our unnatural diets. Nielsen also reminds us that inflammation is helpful when we need to heal, but it is harmful when it becomes a chronic condition.
Three tips we like from 10 Things I Tell Anyone Who Wants to Fight Inflammation:
- Eliminate junk food, condiments, processed foods, and packaged foods that contain ingredients you would not cook with from your diet
- A healthy gut with a health community of bacteria is key to keeping the immune system functioning properly and controlling inflammation properly
- Choose whole grains and whole-grain pastas to avoid grains that contain gluten and can cause inflammation
A leading environmental news site, EcoWatch drives fundamental change via online news. In 12 Antioxidant-Rich Foods to Boost Your Immune System, EcoWatch reminds us that inflammation may be controlled by boosting the immune system and eating antioxidants that protect us from free radicals and other hazards to our health.
Three tips we like from 12 Antioxidant-Rich Foods to Boost Your Immune System:
- Beets and beetroot juice contain powerful antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory
- Broccoli contains antioxidants because it is a source of kaempferol and isothiocyanates, which are anti-inflammatory phytonutrients
- Garlic is powerful in combatting inflammation; one study found that garlic is 100 times more effective than two antibiotics at fighting bacteria that causes intestinal illnesses
New York Times best-selling author and wellness activist Kris Carr explains the role of diet in chronic inflammation and offers five tips for reducing it in this guide. Understanding that diet is key to improving immune responses is the first step toward reducing chronic inflammation and healing the body.
Three tips we like from 5 Natural Ways to Reduce Chronic Inflammation:
- Strive to achieve a balanced life with plant-based food and less stress and fast food
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle to improve immunity and reduce inflammation
- Focus on gut health and start by taking a daily probiotic
Care2 shares thousands of ways for readers to enhance their life, from food and recipes, to health and wellness, to pets. In his Care2 guide, Dr. Michael Greger explains why mushrooms should be part of your diet if you want to boost the immune system’s ability to fight infection and reduce chronic inflammation at the same time.
Three tips we like from Boost Immunity & Reduce Inflammation with Mushrooms:
- Increase the amount of cooked mushrooms you eat to boost the amount of immunoglobulin A your body produces in its first line of defense against toxins, viruses, and bacteria
- White button mushrooms were included in the study, and eating them once a day increased IgA secretion by 50%
- It is better to eat cooked mushrooms for anti-inflammatory purposes
Prevention magazine offers expert tips on weight loss, fitness, health, nutrition, and more. In this guide, they share some of the best foods for boosting immunity naturally and reaping the benefits of their anti-inflammatory power at the same time.
Three tips we like from 9 Power Foods that Boost Immunity:
- Yogurt containing live and active cultures boosts the immune system and includes probiotics to keep the GI tract healthy
- Oats and barley contain beta-glucan, which has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties to improve immune response and wound healing
- Salmon, mackerel, and herring contain omega-3 fats that reduce inflammation to increase airflow and protect the lungs from colds and respiratory infections
Health.com helps readers life their best life by sharing the latest news and tips for fitness, food, beauty, and more. As their guide points out, inflammation is an important part of the immune response that helps us heal, but inflammation damages the body when it occurs unchecked as it does in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Because inflammation partly may be to blame for obesity, heart disease, and cancer, it’s important to know which foods to eat to reduce inflammation.
Three tips we like from 14 Foods that Fight Inflammation:
- Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation; for people who do not like fish, taking fish-oil supplements is effective
- Choose whole grains and foods that list whole grain as the first ingredient and do not contain added sugar
- Spinach, kale, broccoli, and collard greens contain vitamin E that protects the body from cytokines that cause inflammation; they also contain phytochemical that help the immune system fight disease
PreventDisease.com promotes strategies for preventing disease, advancing health, and improving people’s overall well-being. Mae Chan’s PreventDisease.com guide reminds readers that there are natural ways to combat inflammation and pain. She suggests several foods that pack the diet with nutrients to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Three tips we like from 21 Foods That Will Reduce Pain, Inflammation and Boost Immunity More Effectively than Medication:
- Acai juice reduce joint pain and improves antioxidant levels to improve health
- Raw almonds and walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that counteract pain and inflammation
- Celery and celery seeds reduce inflammation because they contain more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds
Slide Decks and Infographics
A leading provider of molecular sample to insight solutions, Qiagen presents Crosstalk between Cancer Inflammation and Immunity, part of a host defense webinar series. The SlideShare presents information on the mechanisms of anticancer immune responses and the effects of gut microbiota on cancer and drug effects.
Three facts we like from The Crosstalk between Cancer Inflammation and Immunity: Exploring Cancer Immune Responses:
- Anticancer immune responses include “crosstalk between cancer cells and the cellular mediator of inflammation and immunity”
- Gut microbiota spur immune responses against cancer
- Tumors either are not inflamed (immunologically-ignorant tumors) or are T cell inflamed
From the Fatima College of Medicine Department of Pathology Dr. Roberto D. Padua presents the diseases of immunity in this robust SlideShare. Complete with charts, graphs, and definitions and descriptions, Diseases of Immunity takes an in-depth look at inflammation and the immune system from a medical provider’s standpoint.
Three facts we like from Diseases of Immunity:
- Macrophages initiate inflammatory responses and have antiviral and anti-tumor characteristics
- Cytokines activate inflammatory cells
- Tissue injuries are caused by activation of inflammatory responses to healthy tissue
Ricochet Science promotes science for everyone. Their infographic visualizes the ways in which inflammation affects the body and explores solutions for reducing inflammation. As the infographic shows, inflammation is a specific immune response that removes damaged tissue and foreign substances but problems occur when it becomes chronic.
Three facts we like from Inflammation Infographic:
- Acute inflammation is caused by injuries and infections and lasts minutes to weeks
- Chronic inflammation is caused by poor diet, lack of sleep, and an unhealthy lifestyle
- Chronic inflammation is linked to cardiovascular disease, depression, and cancer
Piedmont Healthcare is a nonprofit system of hospitals and offices in Georgia. Dedicated to patients and care, Piedmont shares information about controlling chronic inflammation in this infographic that highlights foods that help the body combat inflammation.
Three facts we like from Anti-Inflammatory Diet:
- Tart cherry juice helps the body fight off inflammation
- Blackberries and blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties
- Good nutrition enhances the immune system and reduces inflammation
Freelance infographic designer Lucy Reading-Ikkanda has an interest in science that shines through her Inflammation, Pain, and Resolving for The Scientist. This infographic describes the basic processes involved in inflammation and its associated pain and explains how the body, medication, and certain foods reduce inflammation and pain.
Three facts we like from Inflammation, Pain, and Resolvins:
- As a first-line of immune response, neutrophils engulf and kill invading microbes and release inflammatory cytokines to help heal the body
- Aspirin can speed the process of reducing inflammation by converting omega-3 fatty aides into resolution mediators that block the production of additional inflammation
- When resolving factors reduce pain signaled by nerve endings, they also reduce the level of cytokines and inflammation
MD Anderson Cancer Center is a leader in cancer care, cancer research, and the fight to end cancer. In this presentation on innate immunity and inflammation, Dr. Willem Overwijk provides a detailed look into the cells and processes involved in protecting the body.
Three key facts we like from Innate Immunity and Inflammation:
- Because certain cells and molecules drive specific types of inflammation, innate immunity and inflammation are umbrella terms for a variety of responses to threats to the body
- Inflammation and innate immunity work to provide a rapid response to tissue damage, limit spread of infection, spur adaptive immune response, and drive tissue repair
- Innate immune molecules act as a complementary system by recognizing pathogens, antibodies, and lectins and causing inflammation
Khan Academy shares lectures, course content, and resources to help bring education to anyone, anywhere, anytime. This Khan Academy video gives viewers a first-hand look into the immune system and its inflammatory response and helps us see exactly what happens when we get a cut.
Three facts we like from Inflammatory Response:
- Symptoms of inflammatory response include redness, swelling, and the area feeling warm to the touch; in some cases, people experience pain
- Inflammatory response is “the initial field of battle of our immune system”
- Histamine is a main component of inflammatory response and serves as part of the first line of defense to protect the body from harmful bacteria and pathogens
A highly-detailed video, The Inflammatory Response clearly shows the process the body goes through to response to invading pathogens at an infection site. Though only four minutes in length, the video shares a great deal of information about the immune system protecting the body via inflammation.
Three facts we like from The Inflammatory Response:
- The inflammatory response is non-specific, in that it attacks all foreign invaders in the body
- Redness, swelling, and pus are part of the inflammatory response
- Injured cells release distress signals that result in increased blood flow to the site of infection that help the body heal itself and cause the redness and selling associated with inflammation
FitLife.TV offers resources and help for people looking to improve their health and wellness and have fun while doing it. Their video on inflammation, immunity, and the lymphatic system explains that we have toxins in our body that build up when we don’t get enough exercise or cleanse the body to release the toxins, which results in a weak immune system, inflammation, illness, and disease.
Three tips we like from 11 Ways to Reduce Inflammation, Improve Your Immunity and Cleanse Your Lymphatic System:
- Drink water, apple cider vinegar, and lemon in the morning
- Avoid sugar, caffeine, refined sugars, and replace them with healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables
- Test for food sensitivities and allergies to recognize how you are impacted by what you eat
Regenerative Health Education releases health videos to help viewers understand more about their bodies and how to get healthy. One of their videos, Inflammation and the 3 Stages of Tissue Healing, highlights key information about inflammation in joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and explains that inflammation begins as soon as an injury occurs to protect the body from the most dangerous effects of the injury.
Three facts we like from Inflammation and the 3 Stages of Tissue Healing:
- All musculoskeletal injuries undergo three stages of healing: inflammation, repair, and remodeling
- Inflammation results in swelling, redness, and pain for three to five days and causes pain
- Supplements can aid the body during the repair process by supplying nutrients the body needs to heal and maintain healthy inflammation levels
Elita Partosoedarso, educator and life-long learner, shares her lecture on inflammation and immunity in this YouTube video. Partosoedarso includes topics such as innate immunity, inflammatory response, pro-inflammatory chemicals, principles of wound healing, and chronic inflammatory response.
Three facts we like from Inflammation and Immunity:
- The function of the immune system is to defend and protect the body, and it includes three lines of defense: the first line of defense with natural and physical barriers and normal gut flora, the second line of defense with inflammation, and the third line of defense with adaptive/acquired immunity
- The inflammatory response is quick and most often localized with the goals of neutralizing and limiting the cause of tissue injury, to clean up damage caused by injury, and to heal the affected tissue
- Cells such as lymphocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils are involved in inflammation
Created by a veterinarian student, Acute Inflammation (Innate Response) features an unconventional introduction yet contains thorough, informative content about the body’s response to injury via inflammation. Over the course of four minutes, the video describes how acute inflammation helps heal the body.
Three facts we like from Acute Inflammation (Innate Response):
- Acute inflammation occurs before the body’s full-blown immune response in an effort to clear the body of the agent that caused the injury and protect from tissue damage
- Actue inflammation occurs at the vascular and cellular stages
- There are five classic signs of inflammation: redness, swelling, heat, pain, and loss of function
Dr. John Bergman focuses on natural health alternatives and shares information on diabetes, high blood pressure, sciatica, depression, chiropractic techniques, arthritis, and much more. His inflammation video reminds us that while acute inflammation is a critical component of the immune system that protects from life-threatening bacteria and pathogens, chronic inflammation is a cause of disease and death.
Three facts we like from Inflammation:
- Redness, swelling, and heat are necessary for healing, and people need to allow acute inflammation occur because it is a sign of the body doing its job
- People may be misdiagnosed with certain conditions if they have chronic inflammation that presents as other conditions
- Healthy water, vegetables, and a healthy thyroid help the immune system to function properly and reduce chronic inflammation
Thomas DeLauer is a body and business coach who helps clients optimize their health and life. He shares How Inflammation is Measured, an educational video that helps viewers understand exactly how inflammation affects our bodies and the importance of knowing how much chronic inflammation they have.
Three facts we like from How Inflammation is Measured | Immune System Hacks:
- Inflammation is much more than swelling and bloating
- Excess proteins in the blood cause chronic inflammation
- Ask your doctor for testing to determine inflammatory markers and discuss your level of chronic inflammation to know the dangers posed to your health by it
Dr. David Jockers specializes in maximized living via corrective care chiropractic, nutrition, exercise, and strength and conditioning. He shares five keys to healing autoimmunity and chronic inflammation in this ten-minute video, available on YouTube. The video especially is helpful for people dealing with autoimmune disease, allergies, asthma, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and other health concerns that are related to chronic inflammation.
Three facts we like from 5 Strategies to Heal Chronic Inflammation and Autoimmuity:
- Heal your gut to prevent holes in its protective lining from allowing harmful substances to enter the bloodstream and throwing the immune system into overdrive and promoting chronic inflammation; try bone broth, probiotics, fermented foods, collagen protein, and good fiber sources to heal the gut
- Eliminate food sensitivities such as gluten, dairy protein, eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, and nuts to reduce inflammation
- Stabilize your blood sugar to reduce chronic stress and inflammation by eating good fats such as avocados, olive oil, organic chicken, grass-fed beef, and vegetables
Dr. Justin Marchegiani, a holistic doctor, uses functional medicine, nutrition, and lifestyle to help patients tackle the underlying cause of disease. His inflammation video pinpoints an autoimmune diet as being a solution for people who have chronic inflammation or autoimmune disease.
Three facts we like from Autoimmune Diet for Autoimmune Disease, Leaky Gut and Inflammation:
- An autoimmune diet is appropriate for people who don’t have autoimmune disease but want to take advantage of its anti-inflammatory properties and reduce the stress on their digestive system to promote healing
- Most people are sick due to inflammation that is caused by stress, toxins, unstable blood sugar, gut or parasitic infections that create malabsorption, and food allergies
- Medication that treats symptoms of inflammation is not recommended because people need to change their diet and lifestyle to address the causes of chronic inflammation
Dr. Hilary Booth, of Darou Wellness integrative health center in Toronto, is a naturopathic doctor who focuses on digestion and autoimmune disease. In Stop Attacking Yourself: Autoimmunity and Inflammation, Dr. Booth shares five steps for reducing inflammation and eliminating symptoms such as fatigue, bloating, cold and flu, and headaches even if you don’t have autoimmune disease.
Three facts we like from Stop Attacking Yourself: Autoimmunity and Inflammation:
- Chronic inflammation occurs because the immune system has gone into overdrive and produces far too many “immune soldiers”
- 70% of our immune system starts in the gut, and gut health is key to controlling inflammation
- Stress, certain medications, and certain food harm the gut lining and cause more inflammation; avoiding inflammatory foods and taking probiotics helps heal the gut
Dr. Mark Hyman is a New York Times bestseller ten times over who is dedicated to transforming healthcare by tackling the causes of chronic illness through functional medicine. In 10 Steps to Reverse Autoimmune Disease, Dr. Hyman looks at the ways people can deal with chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease without taking anti-inflammatory drugs.
Three tips we like from 10 Steps to Reverse Autoimmune Disease:
- More people have autoimmune disease today than cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined
- The drivers of autoimmune disease are toxins, microbes, allergens, poor diet, and stress
- Ingredients for health include fresh, whole food, the right nutrients, the correct balance of hormones, movement, sleep, and rest; when people are out of balance, they develop chronic inflammation
Articles and Scholarly Papers
AboutKidsHealth is a Canadian resource that provides families with reliable, up-to-date health information created in collaboration with experts from The Hospital for Sick Children. Their Inflammation and the Immune System article provides a thorough introduction to and overview of inflammation as an immune response to injuries and pathogens.
Three facts we like from Inflammation and the Immune System:
- Inflammation and infection are two different things and should not be used interchangeably: infection is the invasion and multiplication of a pathogen in the body, an inflammation is the body’s response against infection
- Under normal circumstances, inflammation disappears on its own after the body has been protected and the invader has been removed
Alan Kennedy researches the association between Mycobacterium avian subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) and Crohn’s Disease and writes about his findings and knowledge at The Crohnie. In this article, Kennedy describes the inflammatory response from beginning to end and explains how the immune system uses it to protect the body.
Three facts we like from The Inflammatory Response:
- Phagocytes are immune cells that consume and destroy invading bacteria; they migrate to the site of invasion and produce more cytokines that actives even more immune cells
- The primary effect of inflammation is for blood circulation to increase around an infected area so that blood vessels dilate to allow immune cells to pass to the infected area
- A large supply of proteins fuel the immune response as well
Medical News Today shares the latest breaking health news along with information on a variety of health issues to help readers stay well. In How Does the Immune System Power Inflammation? MNT writer Grace Rattue reports on a study published in Nature detailing a key step in the immune system’s inflammation response.
Three facts we like from How Does the Immune System Power Inflammation?:
- Neutrophils are the main cells that protect the body from bacterial infections, but they also have inflammation-producing properties that cause issues in heart disease and several autoimmune diseases
- We now know that neutrophils attach to the blood vessel wall using membrane tethers much like slings
- While inflammation is an important part of healing, it is undesired when people have certain diseases; understanding the new discovery about neutrophil adhesion may help researchers and doctors better understand autoimmune disease and chronic inflammation
Sharing the best in men’s gear, adventure, travel, style, craft beer, and more, Men’s Journal is all about helping men learn how to live a more adventurous life. But, when active and healthy men don’t feel right, inflammation may be to blame, as Ethan Watters’ Men’s Journal article points out.
Three facts we like from Attack of the Immune System:
- Short-term consequences of chronic inflammation include weight gain, fatigue, aches and pains, indigestion, and low-grade depression
- Researchers refer to chronic inflammation as the “hidden disease” because there are no obvious symptoms or indicators of the condition
- The best way to diagnose chronic inflammation is to have a test like an hsCRP test
Medical Daily focuses on the health questions friends share with one another. Dana Dovey’s Medical Daily article explores the recent theory that the immune system is a cause of depression; specifically, people with high levels of inflammation suffer from an altered mood and that the inflammation causes depression rather than being a side effect of it.
Three facts we like from Does Inflammation Cause Depression? Growing Evidence Suggests Immune System May Be Behind Condition:
- If inflammation is to blame for depression, it would give doctors new ways to treat patients who do not improve with antidepressants or therapy
- In 2015, researchers found that people with clinical depression had a 30% increase in brain inflammation, or neuroinflammation
- People on anti-inflammatory medication have surprisingly better levels of well-being and improved moods
A student-centered research university, Tufts is committed to helping its students and faculty pursue bold ideas to innovate and become active citizens. Two members of the Tufts family who are making strides in understanding chronic inflammation, its effects on the body, and the role nutrition plays in squelching chronic inflammation are professor Joel Mason, director of the Vitamins and Carcinogenesis Laboratory, and professor José Ordovas, directoor of the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory.
Three facts we like from The Body on Fire:
- Inflammation is linked to many illnesses that occur in old age
- Inflammation may be the link between weight gain and diabetes
- Inflammation also may be the connection between obesity and cancer
Science Daily delivers breaking news about the latest science, health, environment, and technology discoveries. One such piece of breaking news involves research that finds a new mechanism that explains the inadequate immune defense against chronic viral infection. The implications of the study relate to vaccines, as the results may present new opportunities for vaccine development.
Three facts we like from Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection:
- Strong inflammatory reaction upon infection is behind the inadequate antibody response to chronic viral diseases
- In some cases, B cells react too hastily to chronic infections and enable the virus to thrive rather than eliminating it
- By helping improve the B cells’ reaction to chronic infections, researchers may unlock new vaccination strategies to combat them
Cell is a journal that aims to publish the most exciting and provocative research in biology. Yasmine Belkaid and Timothy Hand’s paper on the role of the microbiota in immunity and inflammation examines how the microbiota of people in high-income countries may be the cause of the rise in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.
Three facts we like from Role of the Microbiota in Immunity and Inflammation:
- Healthy immune system microbiota aids in sparking inflammation and other protective responses to pathogens and invaders
- Antibiotic overuse, diet changes, and the elimination of nematodes have resulted in individuals having an inadequate microbiota for balanced immune response in high-income countries
- The immune system relies on a complex microbiota to effectively protect the body from pathogens
A holistic wellness expert who specializes in chronic stress and adrenal fatigue treatment, Fawne Hansen explains how maintaining a balanced level of cortisol helps the immune system regulate itself and prevent chronic inflammation, regular infections, and autoimmune diseases or allergies. Adrenal fatigue is to blame for imbalanced cortisol levels.
Three facts we like from Adrenal Fatigue and Your Immune System:
- The adrenal glands produce hormones, such as cortisol, that play a key role in regulating the immune system
- One of cortisol’s functions is to reduce inflammation
- Cortisol levels may be elevated for months or even years because of the nature of today’s modern stress: it does not disappear after a few hours
Health.com continues to help readers live their best life now by sharing articles that relate to health and well-being. One such article, 13 Ways Inflammation Can Affect Your Health, provides a thorough overview of inflammation and more than a dozen ways that it impacts both short-term and long-term health.
Three facts we like from 13 Ways Inflammation Can Affect Your Health:
- Temporary inflammation helps the body fight infection and often includes a fever, sort throat with swollen glands, swelling, redness, and warmth because the immune system sends white blood cells and nutrients to the affected areas
- Inflammation also occurs in response to emotional stress, and people with chronic stress often also have chronic inflammation
- Inflammation is detrimental to gut health and plays a role in inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
Live Science shares science news that covers health, the environment, animals, and more. In this article on inflammation, Live Science contributor Jessie Szalay provides a comprehensive look at the condition and the link between the immune system and inflammation.
Three facts we like from Inflammation: Causes, Symptoms & Anti-Inflammatory Diet:
- Chronic inflammation also may be called persistent, low-grde inflammation and occurs when the body sends inflammatory responses to perceived threats that do not require inflammatory responses
- Chronic inflammation plays a role in heart disease and often is due to poor diet
- Chronic inflammation is associate with increased bone loss and lack of bone growth
wiseGEEK is on a mission to help people learn at least one interesting thing each day. Their article detailing the relationship between the immune system and inflammation includes several interesting facts about how these body processes protect us from harmful invaders. The problem is, when the immune system is unhealthy or inflammation occurs when it shouldn’t, people are at a greater risk of developing health issues.
Three facts we like from What is the Relationship between the Immune System and Inflammation?:
- The immune system acts as the commander directing cells and fluid to the region of the body that is affected by harmful invaders
- Temporary inflammation projects against infection and protects the body, but chronic inflammation puts the body at risk of autoimmune disease
- Inflammation is necessary for protecting the body, but we need to take steps to ward off chronic inflammation because of its effects on the body
With a focus on making research more personal to readers, Research Media and International Innovation present articles such as The Curious Relationship between Diseases and Immune Systems. This article features an interview with Dr. Tom Monie, who conducts research to better understand the immune system and how to control and treat diseases.
Three facts we like from The Curious Relationship between Diseases and Immune Systems:
- The body uses proteins to defend against infection; if researchers get a better handle on the process, their findings could improve treatment options for inflammatory diseases
- Researchers are working to identify the interactions that occur between cascade recruitment domains in the protein structure
- Researchers also are working to understand how to control signals to reduce inflammation and improve immune response
Dr. Mark Hyman strives to transform healthcare by addressing the root cause of chronic illness through functional medicine. His article on inflammation and immune balance explores the ways in which a blood test measuring hidden inflammation in the body can save your life.
Three facts we like from UltraWellness Lesson 2: Inflammation & Immune Balance:
- A blood test, C-reactive protein, measures inflammation and helps doctors determine whether you are at risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity, and dementia or arthritis, autoimmune disease, allergies, and digestive disorders
- Treating the symptoms of inflammation does not help improve health, but addressing causes of inflammation and achieving an anti-inflammatory lifestyle do
- People can feel healthy but still have chronic inflammation
Selfhacked.com shares information about innovative technologies that help people upgrade themselves to be healthier and perform better. Their Can You Boost Your Immune System and Lower Inflammation at the Same Time? is an article that explains how boosting the immune system can lead to increased inflammation but pursuing other kinds of immune boosters will reduce inflammation over time.
Three facts we like from Can You Boost Your Immune System and Lower Inflammation at the Same Time?:
- Vitamin D boosts immunity and is much less inflammatory than other immune boosters
- It is more complex to boost the immune system than you may think, but it is possible to boost immune response to infectious agents and lower base levels of cytokines
- A 1:1 ratio of immune boosting and inflammation reducing does not exist
Today’s Dietitian is a premier independent trade publication and continuing education resource for registered dietitians and nutrition professionals. In this article for Today’s Dietitian that doubles as a continuing education course resource, Mary Franz provides a comprehensive overview of inflammation and explains that for thousands of years it has signaled illness and injury but in more recent years has been identified as a cause of chronic illness.
Three facts we like from Nutrition, Inflammation, and Disease:
- Dietary factors may contribute to or reduce inflammation
- Chronic inflammation is a long-term response to exposure to environmental toxins, a microbial or viral infection, poor nutrition, stress, and the aging processes
- The immune system must maintain balance in order to reduce chronic inflammation
Keith Wassung is well-known as an author and speake in health education and research. He researches, writes, and lectures about the scientific principles of chiropractic in articles such as The Role of Inflammation in the Healing Process. As Wassung points out, inflammation is critical to the human healing process as part of the immune response.
Three facts we like from The Role of Inflammation in the Healing Process:
- The inflammatory response has three purposes: preceding the spread of damaging agents to nearby tissues, disposing of cell debris and pathogens, and setting the stage for the repair process
- It may not be best to treat inflammation with steroids because of the side effect they have that alter the immune response
- Chronic inflammation causes tissue damage and is accompanied by numerous attempts to heal and repair because the immune system is out of balance
IDEA Health & Fitness Association is the world’s leading organization of fitness and wellness professionals who coach, train, and influence health-minded individuals and inspire fitness. Their article reminds readers that exercise boosts the immune system but also can produce inflammation.
Three facts we like from Exercise and the Inflammation Process:
- For individuals with chronic inflammation, too much exercise is dangerous and can lead to injuries
- It is important to modify exercise programs to reduce inflammation as needed
- When inflammatory stressors become long-term and accumulate, people begin to have trouble because the immune system’s homeostasis is disrupted
Established to promote the practice and training of Tibb in South Africa, the Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb presents Nature and Role of Inflammation – Benefits and Drawbacks by Dr. Linda Mayer and professor Rashid Bhikha. This paper details the role of inflammation in healing and the importance of allowing it to occur to help heal the body.
Three facts we like from Nature and Role of Inflammation – Benefits and Drawbacks:
- Dietary fats and specific nutrient problems can result in chronic inflammation
- Inflammation is responsible for keeping us alive when we get even a small cut
- Interfering with acute inflammation negatively impacts the body’s ability to heal itself
An open access publisher of science, medicine, and technology research, BioMed Central shares Innate Immunity and Inflammation in Aging. This paper explains that chronic inflammation damages organs and is linked to aging and age-related chronic diseases.
Three facts we like from Innate Immunity and Inflammation in Aging: A Key for Understanding Age-Related Diseases:
- Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cancer are linked to inflammation
- Controlling inflammation may lead to more successful aging
- The immune system works from the day we are born until the day we die, and it becomes weaker as we age, which may account for some age-related diseases
The Inflammation Research Foundation is a non-profit foundation dedicated to providing support for clinical research projects that utilize innovative nutritional approaches to reducing the inflammation that causes chronic disease conditions. Their article explains that inflammation protects us from bacteria, viruses, and parasites but may also be responsible for a host of health issues.
Three facts we like from Cellular Inflammation: The Secret Killer:
- Chronic inflammation can be due to a genetic predisposition
- Researchers are working to determine if reducing chronic inflammation is better than treating each disease separately
- Inflammation commonly is caused by a western lifestyle that includes a diet high in sugar and saturated fats and a lack of exercise
NCBI provides access to biological information and advances science and health by doing so. In From Inflammation to Sickness and Depression: When the Immune System Subjugates the Brain, the authors explain that innate immune cells produce cytokines to trigger inflammation but the brain can get too much signaling if there is a systemic infection, cancer, or autoimmune disease and continue to promote inflammation.
Three facts we like from From Inflammation to Sickness and Depression: When the Immune System Subjugates the Brain:
- Excessive inflammation worsens sickness and leads to the development of depression in some people
- Inflammation may increase the risk of major depressive episodes
- The brain-cytokine system guides physiological and pathological behavior, and people who have chronic inflammation experience depression more often than those who do not because of the imbalance in their immune system
Inflammatory and Immune Pathways in the Pathogenesis of Periodontal Disease is a scholarly paper by Ali Cekici, Alpdogan Kantarci, Hatice Hasturk, and Thomas E. Van Dyke. Originally published in Periodontol 2000, this paper explains that innate and acquired immunity must be coordinated in order to return the body to homeostasis.
Three facts we like from Inflammatory and Immune Pathways in the Pathogenesis of Periodontal Disease:
- When chronic inflammation occurs, the adaptive immune response is activated with cellular and non-cellular mechanisms of acquired immunity
- The immune system is responsible for resolving inflammation, healing, repairing, and regenerating lost or damaged tissues
- Periodontal diseases are mediated by inflammatory response to bacteria
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology is a monthly online publication featuring reviews in all aspects of the molecular life sciences. Kim Newton and Vishva M. Dixit’s CSH Perspectives paper on innate immunity and inflammation examines whether chronic inflammation is a risk factor for cancer.
Three facts we like from Signaling in Innate Immunity and Inflammation:
- Vascular alterations play a key role in the inflammatory response
- Part of the immune response is signaling recognition of infection and injury to get cells where they are needed to fight invaders
- It is possible that chronic inflammation promotes tumor development