What do heart disease, cancer, dementia, and diabetes have in common? Cellular inflammation. Learn the statistics, and see how Zone can help beat the odds.
By Dave Schreck:
Heart disease: the leading cause of death for both men and women. About one in every three deaths in the United States is attributed to cardiovascular disease.
Cancer: the second leading cause of death. 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
Dementia: the third leading cause of death. One in 8 over the age of 65 and nearly 50% of those over 85 have Alzheimer’s, a severe form of dementia.
Diabetes: the 7th leading cause of death. Statistics for both adults and children are rapidly approaching epidemic levels. More than 1 in 3 adults in the United States have pre-diabetes, a precursor to the full-blown type 2 diabetes.
What do all of these diseases have in common? Cellular inflammation.
These statistics should scare you because most likely you know of someone who has been affected by one of these diseases. Realize that you are not a victim because you can do something to lower your risk factors, and if you are afflicted, you may improve your outcomes. All hope is not lost.
Remember Jim Fixx (52, running guru, author of “The Complete Book of Running);Tim Russert (58, moderator of Meet the Press); James Ganodolfini (52, actor) and Wayne Dyer (self-help author and motivational guru)? What did they all have in common? Unfortunately, they all died suddenly of a heart attack, also known as an acute myocardial infarction, caused by silent inflammation that ruptures cholesterol plaque, cutting off blood to the heart. This type of cellular inflammation is the most dangerous type because there is no pain as it continues to attack your organs (heart, brain, pancreas) for years. When enough damage occurs, it begins to hurt, and then you go to see a doctor, but it may be too late. This is great news for the drug companies because they now have a lifetime customer. The bad news for you is you’re only treating the symptoms while the underlying cause, cellular inflammation, continues to fester.
How do you know if you have silent inflammation?
There is no single criterion, but if you can answer yes to 3 or more of these questions, it is likely that you have high levels of silent inflammation.
- Are you overweight?
- Are you taking a cholesterol-lowering drug?
- Are you groggy upon waking?
- Are you prone to stress?
- Are you constantly craving carbohydrates?
- Are you fatigued throughout the day?
- Are you hungry two hours after a meal?
- Are your fingernails brittle?
How did you score?
If you had more than 3, there are steps you can take to protect your health, reduce the risks of chronic disease and avoid future harm.
Did you know that your everyday habits (environment, activities, diet) are major factors that can increase your risk factors related to all chronic conditions, such as heart disease, dementia, cancer and diabetes.
Heart disease: Inflammation destabilizes cholesterol deposits leading to heart attacks.
Dementia: Inflammation is associated with the development of amyloid plaques in the brain, similar in many ways to the plaques that clog the artery walls and eventually lead to heart attacks.
Cancer: Inflammation can cause the proliferation of abnormal calls that turn into cancer.
Diabetes: inflammation causes your fat cells to become more inflamed leading to insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia and the development of metabolic syndrome (increased waist circumference, low HDL and high triglycerides).
As you can see, inflammation may be the underlying factor that drives our feared chronic diseases. What causes this cellular inflammation and what can you do about it?
Our diets activate inflammation with excessive consumption of processed carbohydrates (grains, rice, pasta, chips, soda, fast foods) and cheap vegetable oils (canola, soy, safflower, sunflower, etc.). The excessive consumption of carbohydrates stimulates insulin, which converts the vegetable oils into hormones that cause inflammation.
What can you do about it?
Realize that food is a drug, and if you are willing to make a few changes in what you eat, you will reduce your risk factors associated with chronic disease. The Zone Diet is a lifelong anti-inflammatory diet that balances lean proteins with colorful non-starchy vegetables and a dash of monounsaturated fat, such as olive oil. Plus, you enhance the anti-inflammatory benefits of the Zone by supplementing with your ideal dose of the omega-3s EPA and DHA found in fish oil.
Dr. Sears believes the future of medicine lies in the control of cellular inflammation. This is most effectively accomplished by the constant application of anti-inflammatory nutrition. The success of following the Zone principles can be measured clinically by the reduction of the AA/EPA ratio in the blood.
The best way to determine your future state of wellness is the AA/EPA test. Info at:
http://www.drsears.com/resources/cellular-inflammation-testing/ and www.zonediagnostics.com