Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and other substances protect us from infection. This sounds nice but, unrestrained inflammation is common in Western cultures and scientific research has demonstrated that it is a major cause for coronary artery disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer and virtually every chronic disease there is¹.
When there’s too much inflammation in our body a variety of chemicals are produced which are toxic to our cells. The main negative effect of inflammation in the brain is the activation of chemical pathways that increase free radical production.
Free radicals are atoms with an unpaired number of electrons. When there’s an alteration in the balance of free radicals production, something called “oxidative stress” happens. This is basically a fancy way of saying: rusting. This natural rusting is a normal part of life that happens in all tissues and occurs everywhere in nature. But when it begins to get out of control it can be a very dangerous thing².
The connection between inflammation and brain diseases may be a little bit hard to embrace because the brain doesn’t have any pain receptors and we can’t feel the inflammation, but studies dating back as far as 1900’s showed that people who have been taken non-steroidal anti inflammatory medications like Advil and Aleve have a 40% reduced risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Situations such as stress, pollution, toxic dietary triggers and even ordinary body activities can make free radicals lose an electron. When this happens, the free radical molecule tries to steal electrons from other molecules and this separation is what creates more free radicals and provokes inflammation. The oxidation process can make you vulnerable to a stack of health challenges such as low resistance to infection and anxiety.
The nutrients found in antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, donate electrons to free radicals and help prevent the damage.
Previously, antioxidant-rich foods were an important part of our diet, but the food industry processes a lot of the nutrients in our food and interrupts the natural process in which we absorb the nutrients that we need for an optimal health.
We have always had in our hands the tools to detoxify ourselves, using natural substances like turmeric³. Nowadays we are barely beginning to understand how natural substances you can buy at your local grocery store, can act as powerful detoxifications agents. This information can help us take back the control of our health and change the expression of our genes.