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Inflammaging and the Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Apr 30

What the science says

But does the anti-inflammatory diet work? What is inflammaging? And can we really stymie inflammation and potential age-related illness?

Here’s what a September study out of the Research Center On Aging at the University of Sherbrooke in Canada (among a long list of other affiliations) had to say about the newly coined phrase of inflammaging:

“The inflammaging concept” considers “the lifelong proinflammatory process as an adaptation” with “either beneficial or detrimental consequences. Both genetics and the environment influence this dichotomy. Depending on which way prevails in an individual, the outcome may be healthy longevity or pathological aging burdened with aging-related diseases…”

In simpler terms, the study suggests an inflammatory or anti-inflammatory diet may have a massive impact on age-related illness. That said, the precise effect is dependent less on the diet itself, and more on the individual, their genetics, and environment.

More research out of the Department of Clinical Gene Therapy at Osaka University in Japan takes a bit of a more rigid stance. The Osaka study denotes inflammaging as “chronic low-grade inflammation occurring in the absence of overt infection.” When this happens, it poses a massive threat to age-related health, primarily due to associated morbidity and cognitive degeneration in the elderly.

The bottom line? As we age, inflammaging can be detrimental to overall health, at worst culminating in potentially fatal age-related illness. However, a few simple lifestyle changes – including an anti-inflammatory diet – can help protect against the negative effects of chronic inflammation and support overall health and longevity.