Friday, September 17, 2010

Inflammation affects intelligence and mortality

Inflammation is associated with lower intelligence and premature death, according to research published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity. In one of the largest, longest studies ever performed, data collected over several decades on inflammation and intelligence were measured at 18-20 years of age in nearly 50,000 young men, and deaths over the following 35 years were recorded.

Men with low-grade inflammation performed more poorly on standardized intelligence tests, even after excluding those with signs of current illness. Inflammation also predicted an increased risk of premature death, according to researchers. While researchers know inflammation is associated with infection, cardiovascular disease, and brain function impairment, this is the first time that similar associations have been shown in healthy young people. This suggests that even low levels of inflammation can have detrimental consequences for health and brain function. This is why we include C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in our initial blood panel for new clients, which can indicate cardiac and whole body inflammation.

One interesting finding was the role environmental factors played during childhood. Children of farmers had higher levels of inflammation than those whose fathers were non-manual workers, potentially because they were exposed to more pesticides.

Moreover, In European Heart Journal, experts admit the emerging status of biomarkers of inflammation is crucial to lead to advances in clinical care, but they must do better.

Clinicians must improve the number needed to treat and strive for further refinements in risk prediction to individualize interventions.

Clinicians must aim to assure that individuals targeted for medication do not lessen their adherence to a healthy lifestyle, believing that they enjoy pharmacological protection from unhealthy behaviors. Clinicians need to understand more about the mechanisms and clinical significance of unwanted actions of statins, including dysglycemia.

Most importantly, clinicians need to devise measures to optimize lifestyle change at both a medical and societal level. For individual patients, implementation of sustained lifestyle change, while very challenging in practice, is paramount for success.

The expects go on to say recognition that inflammation contributes to cardiovascular risk independent of LDL levels raises the possibility that other anti-inflammatory treatments might reduce cardiovascular events. But of those that are currently available, anti-inflammatory strategies have drawbacks in this regard.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDS) effectively combat inflammation, but if anything, seem to augment atherosclerotic complications. Moreover, NSAIDS tend to cause slight elevations in blood pressure that over time can adversely affect cardiovascular outcomes. Glucocorticoids also exert strong anti-inflammatory effects, yet may accelerate atherosclerosis rather than abate its consequences. This class of agents causes many metabolic perturbations that may mitigate their anti-inflammatory actions. For example, glucocorticoids cause dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin insensitivity, each an important risk factor for atherosclerotic events. Pharmacological inhibitors of certain other effectors of inflammatory pathways, such as the matrix metalloproteinases, have also exhibited undesired actions that render them unsuitable for prevention of atherosclerotic events. The continued search for selective anti-inflammatory agents remains a high priority for future research in this arena.

Unfortunately, the researchers never mention the myriad natural substances for lowering localized or whole body inflammation. Thankfully, we have vast experience in naturally reducing inflammation based upon individual needs. When vigilantly adhered to, clients get results.

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