Ways to reduce inflammation without drugs

February 28, 2012

Diet, Exercise, Health, Inflammation

Many experts predict that millions of people will be put on statin drugs, as a result of the 1.9-year JUPITER study, a clinical trial evaluating the drug, Crestor®. The study seemed to show that Crestor lowers the risk of heart attack and strokes in those with high levels of inflammation.

But the benefits were actually minuscule — about 0.72 percent of the statin group in the trial had a heart attack or stroke, compared with 1.5 percent of those taking placebos.

Instead of a statin drug (that comes with dangerous side effects), try these six measures:

Stop smoking. Smoking hardens the arteries and increases inflammation, but research shows that all the damaging effects to your arteries can be reversed within 10 years of quitting.

Think olive oil, fish and nuts. People who stick with a Mediterranean-style diet based on fruits, vegetables, nuts and olive oil can lower their levels of inflammation. This is due to eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fats, which fight inflammation.

Get active. Exercise is a great way to lower inflammation without any of the side effects associated with medications.

Shrink your waist size. If you’re a woman with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches or a man with a waist of more than 40 inches, you probably have high inflammation. Whittling a few inches off the waist by reducing food portions and increasing activity can go a long way toward solving that problem.

Get enough sleep. A new study shows that elderly people with high blood pressure who sleep less than 7.5 hours a night have dramatically elevated chances of having a stroke or heart attack. Other research has shown that both too little and too much sleep increases inflammation. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.

Reduce stress. High levels of stress hormones can lead to the release of excess inflammatory chemicals.


Resources: U.S. News & World Report November 11, 2008 and www.mercola.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  3, Jun/July 2009.

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