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Inflammation as Potent as Cholesterol


Independent studies that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine say inflammation is as potent as cholesterol. An article in Men’s Health (Dec 2004), Bonfires of the Arteries, concurs, reporting that “inflammation is the slow burn that sparks thousands of heart attack and strokes every year”.

According to Paul Ridker, MD, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, “Half of all heart attacks and strokes in the United States each year occur among people with essentially normal cholesterol levels”. Dr. Ridker continued, “There is more to heart disease than just lipids. A heart attack occurs when plaque ruptures inside your vessels. Rupturing is not dependant just on how much plaque is present, but also on the level of inflammation”.

According to a 2003 report from the University of South Florida, chronic inflammation partly due to an estrogen deficiency may render postmenopausal women vulnerable to degenerative conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Low-grade inflammation is also underneath aging and age-related disease, according to dermatologist Nicholas V. Perricone, MD. Perricone says, “The skin is always getting inflamed by sun, weather, pollution, and products because it is our interface between the environment and our body. So the best ways to decrease disease risk and slow the aging process is to take nutrients with powerful anti-inflammatory activity on a regular basis. Through a three-tier approach involving diet, supplements, and creams, we can control the rate at which we age”.