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Inflammation is the new health crisis

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Remember when you were a kid and "germs" were the cause of all diseases? Then you got older and "bacteria" became the villain for everything from acne to tooth decay to ulcers? Oh and somewhere in there we went through a "bad fats" phase in which high fat and particularly high cholesterol were to blame for the majority of deaths. Well welcome to the new uber-villain: INFLAMMATION!!!

Of course as with any of these health paradigms, nothing is that straightforward. Researchers still differ greatly on whether fat is the cause or the effect of inflammation, whether cholesterol is a cause of inflammation or the body's response to it, whether eating grains or red meat causes inflammation or reduces it. Funny that everyday foods are now this big mysterious area of scientific research.

What I've learned in my quest to deal with my multiple health issues is that ALL chronic and metabolic manifest themselves via inflammation, either by triggering an inflammatory response or via damage from inflammatory response.  Even HIV does most of it's harm via inflammation.

So the key is to avoid inflammation? Or to stop it when it happens?

Sounds like marijuana could be the wonder drug -- doesn't it fight inflammation?

Scientific evidence that marijuana reduces inflammation?!

Cue Jesse Pinkman...

marijuana reduces inflammation Yeah Science gif - Jesse Pinkman Breaking Bad Reddit Imgur

By the way, marijuana also causes complete remission of Crohn's disease:

Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the intestine.

Once again, inflammation.

Wow, these thinks all seem interconnected.

also the raw versions of THC and CBD seem to play a large part too:

Here's another take on the inflammation model of coronary disease:

So cholesterol is not the CAUSE, it's the EFFECT? Wow.

This is actually been known/hypothesized for a while, yet governments, at least in Canada push that traditional food pyramid.   Now having said that and being very familiar with weight management and wellness, for most people a simple reduction in intake, without worrying too much about the composition of your diet (I am assuming that you are not going to eat 1500 calories of chocolate per day) you will see physical changes and benefits.  If on a regular basis, you consume 200 calories beyond your activity adjusted BMR (which is always an approximation), you could add just over 1lb to your body weight in 20 days.   Now if you make a little effort and try to remove food that spikes your insulin up, you minimize the impact of the extra calories.   There is a potential argument for a 50% bacon/50% vegetable diet

New York Times article on immune disorders, inflammation, and autism:

Inflammatory diseases seem on the rise.

It's more in developed countries than undeveloped countries.

Perhaps too much hygiene is causing it?

Ah yes the scrooge of inflammation and our society's unwillingness to recognize that our focus on high carb (low quality carbs) promote inflammatory reactions that lead to all sort of nasty diseases and conditions.

On the weed front - here is the perspective from canada and its current legal status -

Let's just get off the sugar and refined carbs, and inflammation, obesity and a host of diseases will fade... of course, easier to say than do. I know this, and I have the relationship with wheat and sugar my mom did with cigarettes. 

Carbs correlate with inflammation, but our regulatory agencies are doing nothing.

At least with cigarettes there are skulls and crossbones on the package labeling them as poison.

Sugar reminds me of tobacco. We all know it's horrible for us, yet we don't do a thing to try to reduce it. Refined carbs are just things our body can make into sugar, but at least there is some dietary value in some carbs. Sugar is a giant zero. 

That's an astute observation.

Why sugar is not regulated by the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms folks speaks to the power of sugar's lobby.

Why marijuana is illegal and sugar is advertised heavily is beyond me. It's terrible.

That is an amazingly informative historical overview! I am astonished to learn that marijuana is illegal in Canada... having grown up in the Great Northwest, I tend to think of Canada as like Seattle but more liberal.

In my mind, the worst side effect of marijuana is its impact on appetite.

Not all strains induce appetite.

I know someone taking medicinal marijuana who has had zero increase in appetite.

Regarding cholesterol, Uffe Ravnskov wrote the seminal study, The Cholesterol Myths, and debunked all the fallacies that cholesterol causes chronic heart disease or plaque buildup in arteries:

[Disclosure: my cholesterol levels have been averaging over 350 for a decade and it took me awhile to find a good doctor that didn't demand I go on statins.  I've never been on statins and all my labs, including carotid artery sonograms, show that I have zero arterial plaque and my lipid panels show great ratios, and large fluffy vldl cell size--unheard of for a 52 year old male in the US, where by age 30 the average incidence shows 40% to 60% arterial plaque occlusion observed in male patients.  I'm not sure how many males have arterial plaque, but it's apparently a large percentage of our total US population.  Go figure.]

Dr. Mark Liponis is one of the earlier medical advocates of "most all health problems are inflammation related" and his books Ultraprevention and Ultralongevity provide some actionable advice on how to reduce inflammation:

A few insights I've found through research and practice include:

1. Processed foods that the body does not naturally recognize create stresses of extended and imperfect digestive efforts and idiosyncratic enzyme production in order to catabolize denatured proteins and fats, i.e. high heat cooking or synthetic food creations like pasteurized milk and hydrogenized oils aren't easy on the body and make it work harder.  

2. The easiest way to test if your digestive system is working optimally and effortlessly is when you use toilet paper to wipe your ass after a daily constitutional and there's nothing on it.  That's the ideal litmus test.  And once a day dumps are perfectly efficient...taking multiple dumps a day may be evidence of excess consumption, pathogenic gut microflora colonies, enteric brain / endocrine system imbalances or just plain old indigestible foodstuffs (most crap sold today).

3. Inflammation arises from more than just the composition of what is eaten, metabolic stresses also arise from eating excess volumes of food at a single sitting and by excessive frequency of eating, as our pancreas can only secrete a limited amount of insulin and its recharge rate is typically about 2 to 3 hours post prandial.  So larger volumes of food and food eaten more frequently than what our endocrine system can process builds excess glucose circulating in the blood and leads to a lethargic liver that doesn't get a chance to regularly dump its glycogen production.  Overworked insulin production not only fatigues the pancreas but also yields insulin intolerance throughout the body, which requires higher levels of insulin for cells to metabolize glucose and yadda yadda then the pancreas must work even harder...

Then everything else goes to shit.  Literally and figuratively.

Final thought, as a possibility: the ONLY reason LOW FAT works at all is because it prevents us from eating all the denatured, toxic fats that have become modern processed foods.  These are best eliminated to a NO FAT fly zone in our diets.  HOWEVER, we should be wonderfully joyous about eating the bejeezus out of all the raw, whole, natural fats from both animal and vegetable kingdoms we can get.  I eat 80 to 90% fat compositions in my seasonal diets.  Fat is where it's at and it's party time!  But that's me.

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