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Inflammation: the fires within, main cause of many health problems!

What does a stubbed toe or a splinter in a finger have to do with your risk of developing diabetes, suffering a heart attack or succumbing to most forms of cancer? More than you might think.
As scientists delve deeper into the fundamental causes of those and other illnesses, they are starting to see links to an age-old immunological defense mechanism called inflammation — the same biological process that turns the tissue around a splinter red and causes swelling in an injured toe. This has radically change doctors' concept of what makes us sick.

As a result, inflammation has become one of the hottest areas of medical research. Hardly a week goes by without the publication of yet another study uncovering a new way that inflammation does harm to the body. It destabilizes cholesterol deposits in the coronary arteries, leading to heart attacks and potentially even strokes. It chews up nerve cells in the brains of Alzheimer's victims.
It may even foster the proliferation of abnormal cells and facilitate their transformation into cancer. In other words, inflammation may be the engine that drives many of the most feared illnesses of middle and old age.

Inflammation also fascinates scientists because it indicates that our bodies may have, from an evolutionary perspective, become victims of their own success. "We evolved as a species because of our ability to fight off microbial invaders," says Dr. Peter Libby, chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "The strategies our bodies used for survival were important in a time when we didn't have processing plants to purify our water, when we didn't have sewers to protect us." But now that we are living longer, those same inflammatory strategies are more likely to slip beyond our control. Making matters worse, it appears that many of the attributes of a Western lifestyle — such as a diet high in sugars and saturated fats, accompanied by little or no exercise — also make it easier for the body to become inflamed.

In medical schools across the globe, cardiologists, rheumatologists, oncologists, allergists and neurologists are all suddenly talking to one another — and they're discovering that they're looking at the same thing. The speed with which researchers are jumping on the inflammation bandwagon is breathtaking. Just a few years ago, "nobody was interested in this stuff," says Dr. Paul Ridker, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital who has done some of the groundbreaking work in the area. "Now the whole field of inflammation research is about to explode."

Everywhere they turn, doctors are finding evidence that inflammation plays a larger role in chronic diseases than they thought.

Prevention through early detection of inflammation, the best "medicine" available!

Well known cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell on the cause of heart disease.
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