Dr. Mitchell Fleisher explained that good nutrition can manage chronic inflammation. He presented his talk at the 24th Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging Medicine (Dec. 9-11, 2016) in Las Vegas that I attended. It was entitled “Effective Anti-Aging Nutritional Management of Chronic Inflammatory Conditions”. Dr. Fleisher practices integrative medicine.
What causes inflammation?
Dr. Fleisher stated that overproduction of free radicals through oxidative stress causes inflammation. The main free radicals in humans are reactive oxygen species (ROS). Excessive intake of refined carbohydrates (sugar and fructose) are forming them. The other source of ROS is from oxidized fats. With fast food preparation cooked polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are what cause ROS. With inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables there are not enough antioxidants in our food. According to Dr. Fleisher smoking and excessive alcohol consumption also lead to ROS. Furthermore pollution, processed foods and exposure to ionizing radiation will contribute to ROS production. As a result all these factors can cause chronic inflammation.
Effects of free radical stress
Excess free radical stress can lead to damage of cellular DNA and the energy producing mitochondria. A whole host of disease processes stem from this. Accelerated aging and premature senility are just two examples. Hardening of the arteries with subsequent heart attacks and strokes can also occur. Blood sugar control may get out of control. The metabolic syndrome may start and eventually type 2 diabetes can develop. But lung diseases like emphysema and COPD can also appear. Autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis can arise as a consequence of free radicals. Osteoporosis, cataracts and Crohn’s disease are other conditions that can present themselves because of ROS. Years of chronic inflammation can also lead to cancer.
Anti-inflammatory supplements can stop the ROS production. You need to combine this approach with good nutrition, which contains many bioflavonoids and antioxidants. This is preventing damage to the mitochondria and the cell DNA. Free radical oxidative damage occurs at the mitochondrial and cell level. Appropriate supplements will repair this.
Dr. Fleisher explained in detail that astaxanthin, seanol-P and gamma-linoleic acid complex (GLA) are one of his favorite combinations. Seanol-P is a standardized extract of natural compounds from edible brown algae. This combination possesses a broad spectrum, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effect on several tissues. They protect the brain, the eyes, the heart, all blood vessels, joints, skin, and cells from free radical-induced stress. Dr. Fleisher gave many examples from the literature showing the protective effects of these supplements.
Supplements and good nutrition can manage chronic inflammation
In addition Dr. Fleisher listed the following combination of supplements to fight acute and chronic inflammation: Quercetin, bromelain, magnesium, ascorbate, papain, pancreatin and rutin. They are a combination that will help conditions like asthma, hay fever, allergic rhinitis and bronchitis. Furthermore they also help colitis, eczema, prostatitis, psoriasis and colitis. Dr. Fleisher mentioned that this supplement combination can also help patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. In addition the supplement combination was helping sports related injuries, other physical trauma and post-surgical patients as well. All of these components have antioxidant, anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory effects that are amplified when taken in combination. In conclusion, supplements and good nutrition can manage chronic inflammation. One example given was a group of 17 chronic prostatitis patients who experienced a 25% improvement in their symptom scores when bromelain, papain and quercetin were added to their regular medicine.
Conventional medicine tends to treat symptoms of various diseases. However, this can make treatments less effective. As a result symptoms are only controlled, but the approach with prescription medicines does not control the underlying condition. Dr. Fleisher attempted to make the point that many disease processes have underlying chronic inflammation from excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS). If these are specifically treated with anti-oxidant supplements, the response rate is much more effective than when prescription medicines of conventional medicine are used alone. Integrative medicine combines conventional and alternative medicine, and the benefits for the patients are significant.