Inflammation: Good or Bad?

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Fotolia 49085118 XS resized 600I think we’ve all heard about the importance of reducing inflammation in our bodies. But you may have also heard that some inflammation is good. So what is the truth about inflammation?

If you’ve ever bruised, cut, or otherwise injured the cells of your body, you know firsthand how inflammation feels. Normally, if we are in good health, the inflammation will stay just long enough to do its healing work on the injured area, and then retreat. That is a good inflammatory response. However, sometimes the inflammation lasts for extended periods of time, becoming chronic or acute, which is a bad inflammatory response as it can have some serious side-effects to our body.

Inflammation can occur not just from injury, but also from stress, diet, environmental sources, etc. Most of us are bombarded daily with toxins in our foods, water, and even the air we breathe. Many foods, even if grown organically, can be inflammatory (such as gluten, corn and sugar). It is easy to see why our systems may be in a constant state of inflammation. And with many scientific studies showing a link between chronic and/or acute inflammation and disease, we likely should be concerned about reducing inflammation on a regular basis.

The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines inflammation as “a local response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, pain, swelling, and often loss of function and that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue.”

Whew – I’m glad that’s not my elevator speech! You might like our new YouTube video where Richard Lee explains inflammation in a different way.

Photo credit: © underdogstudios – Fotolia.com

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