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Silent Inflammation

Have you ever wondered why certain organs or body systems start not to function how they use to? Is it just old age to blame, or is there more of an underlying condition?

Researchers have found a common link in chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and even Alzheimer's. This link is called silent inflammation. This type of inflammation sits below the normal "signs" we have when we have an acute injury. We have a physiological response to those situations known as inflammation.

joint hurting

Inflammation is a type of protective mechanism and a standard defense in our bodies. When this defense is working how it should, it alerts us to the potential for a problem. If someone were to fall and sprain their ankle, their body is sending the inflammation response. The ankle becomes red, warm to the touch, edema at the joint, and painful. These are all local responses to a stressor known as tissue damage. Each one of the responses allows the body to recognize what is occurring. The redness is caused by the body relaxing smooth muscle allowing more blood to flow to the area known as hyperemia. This increase in blood flow shows by reddening the skin. As the blood flow increases, the blood vessels allow more fluid flow and allow plasma to move in; as plasma moves in to protect the body against toxic materials, it creates swelling and fluid retention. The pressure and increase of fluids from the moving plasma put strain against local nerves putting more pressure against them, causing the body to notice the pain.

Silent inflammation is frequently not apparent by the typical inflammation signs described earlier. It hides in the body, giving mild stimulation without any signs. The most common way to find the inflammation is through blood work by measuring for C-reactive protein or CRP. the CRP shows how much inflammation is in the body but does not diagnose the specific disease. In Nutrition Response Testing, we look at finding the root causation of why the inflammation is occurring rather than just checking if you have inflammation. There are successful diet modifications and even natural whole food or herbal supplements to help the body overcome the low-grade response.

A few of our favorites to help reduce this type of inflammation are:

  • Fish Oils

  • Curcuma longa L - Turmeric

  • Zingiber officinale Roscoe - Ginger

  • Berberbine from Coptis chinenis franch

  • Rosmarinus officinalis Lamiaceae - Rosemary

  • Gymnema sylvestre Retz = Gymnema

But did you know that many of these natural solutions are more effective than their nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory counterparts such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen sodium, Celebrex, Voltaren, or Toradol?

Boswellia serrata

Boswellia serrata Roxb was just as effective as Valdecoxib during trials, and the improvements lasted longer after stopping treatment. What is more impressive is that in the study of those with Osteoarthritis, Boswellia serrata stopped the cartilage from degrading! (Sontakke, Thawani, Pimpalkhute, et al, 2007). Another study found that Boswellia is best taken with a high-fat meal rather than alone (Sterk, Buchele, Simmet, 2004)


Sontakke S., Thawani V., Pimpalkhute S., et al. Indian J Pharmacology 2007; 39(1): 27-29

Sterk, V., Büchele, B., & Simmet, T. (2004). Effect of food intake on the bioavailability of boswellic acids from a herbal preparation in healthy volunteers. Planta medica, 70(12), 1155–1160.

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