Inflammation raises blood pressure
Researchers have known for some time that people with high blood pressure have elevated CRP levels, indicating systemic inflammation. But it was unclear whether inflammation causes hypertension or merely accompanies it. Now, researchers have established that the presence of inflammatory chemicals directly provokes an increase in blood pressure.
Link between inflammation and cancer
A team led by biochemists at the University of California, San Diego has found what could be a long-elusive mechanism through which inflammation can promote cancer. The findings may provide a new approach for developing cancer therapies.
Inflammation, depression, and stress linked
Previous research has shown that people suffering from depression tend to have higher levels of inflammatory chemicals in their blood. Those with depression are also at higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. A new study shows that depression and heart disease may be connected to inflammation. Researchers from Emory University found that men with depression had an exaggerated response to stress, producing higher levels of inflammatory chemicals, which can contribute to heart disease.
Atkins diet results in increased inflammation
Researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University found that overweight women following an Atkins-style diet had increased CRP levels (indicating inflammation) after just one week on the diet. Although the Atkins diet has been shown in previous studies to reduce cholesterol levels, this is the first study to show an increase in inflammation, a significant risk factor for heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, and other diseases.
Reducing inflammation can lower cholesterol
Scientists at Penn State University found that a cholesterol-reducing diet (one that is low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol) is only effective for those with low levels of inflammation. Subjects with high levels of CRP (an inflammation marker) in their blood actually experienced an increase in their cholesterol levels while following the cholesterol-reducing diet. Researchers concluded that the presence of low-grade systemic inflammation not only reduces the effectiveness of a cholesterol-lowering diet, it may actually aggravate cholesterol problems.
Dietary fiber helps reduce inflammation
Increasing your fiber intake, especially in the form of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, can help reduce inflammation and disease risk. A study of 524 adults found that those who ate the most fiber (around 22 grams per day) had the lowest levels of C-reactive protein. As fiber intake fell, C-reactive protein levels tended to rise.
Weight loss leads to reduction in inflammation
A study conducted at the University of Washington confirms that weight loss leads to a reduction in mulitple markers of inflammation, including C-reactive protein (CRP) and amyloid A. Researchers found that the reduction in inflammation was roughly proportional to the amount of weight lost.
Inflammation impairs brain signals in overweight people
The hormone leptin, which signals the brain that the stomach is full, was first identified in the 1990s. Now researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, reporting in Nature Medicine, provide evidence that C-reactive protein (CRP) binds to leptin and impairs its ability to control appetite. CRP – an indicator of inflammation in the body – is known to be elevated in obese people. The results may help explain why obese people have so much trouble losing weight.
Inflammation triples risk of colon cancer
Researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that people with the highest blood levels of C-reactive protein (a marker for systemic inflammation) are three times as likely to contract colon cancer as those in the lowest ranges.
Inflammation a causal factor in cancer
British Journal of Cancer, 2001
British scientists have concluded that the long-term over-activation of the immune system, such as through infection and inflammation, may be an important causal factor in cancer cases. They call any inflamed tissue “a melting pot of cancer-causing molecules”. “The long-standing over-activation of the immune system is the key event in the genesis of many forms of the disease,” says Dr. Angus Dalgleish of the Department of Oncology, University of Leicester. “My research shows that there is an elevation of C-Reactive Protein in most cancers – breast, lung, colorectal, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.”