Biology of Inflammation
Pp. 69-87 (19)
Robert E. Smith
Inflammation can be a cause or a symptom of many diseases. When
controlled, it is also an important part of maintaining good health. Reactive oxygen
substances (ROS) are produced as part of normal, healthy aerobic metabolism, such as
electron transport in the mitochondria of cells. Many foods, spices, herbs and dietary
supplements contain antioxidants that can destroy ROS and help to prevent diseases.
Some important dietary antioxidants include vitamins A and E, oleic acid, polyunsaturated
fats, omega-3 fats, resveratrol and polyphenols. Inflammation is a
significant factor in many diseases, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease,
stroke, Alzheimer´s disease, hormonal diseases, osteoporosis, inflammatory bowel
disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, and many others. Smoldering inflammation is a
relatively low level of inflammation that occurs in obesity, type-2 diabetes, asthma, and
atherosclerosis. In many cases, these diseases of inflammation can be prevented by
avoiding obesity, trans fats and saturated fats that are in the typical fast food diet that
many people in the USA consume. Instead, unsaturated fats are much better. Omega-3
fats can be taken as dietary supplements such as fish oil and flaxseed oil. They are also
present in fatty fish, such as salmon. Omega-3 fats are also very important in the brain,
where they play an important role in cognitive function and behavior. Inflammation
plays an important role in all stages of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
Inflammation is also an important factor in stroke.
Arthritis, Alzheimer´s disease, Cancer, Heart disease, Inflammation,
Omega-3 fats, ROS, Saturated fats, Stroke, Trans fats.
Park University, Parkville, USA.