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Damn Good Advice

Let's talk healthy inflammation


Q: I keep seeing supplements for healthy inflammation support, but how is inflammation ever considered healthy?

A: It can be surprising to learn that inflammation is a normal process of a healthy immune system. This type of healthy inflammation has three phases. First, inflammation activates—responding to an issue, like injury or foreign bacteria. The hurt cells release key molecules that act as flares, and the body responds by sending oxygen, nutrients and immune cells. In the restore phase, the work of healing is carried out. The last phase is to regenerate—preparing for the next round of work. Think of this as an archer pulling back another arrow and being at the ready. We usually think of inflammation as something we can feel, like in our joints where there are large numbers of sensitive nerve endings. But we also have inflammation we can’t feel. Inflammation can affect the entire body. So whether or not we’re aware of it in our body, maximizing our personal response to inflammation is critical for whole-body health. In fact, many scientists now believe that the key to healthy aging lies in how successfully we balance inflammation. What I’ve learned from years of product formulation and from my studies in herbalism is that the innate wisdom of nature can support a healthy inflammation cycle. Key botanicals have long been allies for humankind, including one of my favorite herbs: turmeric. To reap all of turmeric’s benefits, including perfect herbal support for a healthy inflammation response, make sure that you’re getting a whole-food approach, not just the isolated curcumin. Whole-food turmeric supplements include hundreds of compounds, from curcuminoids to turmerones. And these herbal extracts work together, contributing much more than the sum of their parts.



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