Like obesity, heart disease has many causes. In the past 2 decades an ‘inflammation theory’ of chronic disease has emerged and suggests a low level inflammatory response may be a risk factor in developing many chronic diseases but then again it may simply be caused by the chronic disease.
At least it can explain why a person with a low cholesterol level can still have a heart attack. It may explain the disease causing effects of excessive weight gain such as Diabetes, Heart disease and some cancers. Researchers are even linking chronic inflammation to dementia and depression.
The chronic inflammatory response tends to accompany an unhealthy lifestyle of chronic stress, processed foods and inactivity and is marked by elevated blood levels of C – reactive protein produced by the liver (CRP). We do CRP’s routinely at Circle of Care so check out your blood test next time you are in. They are very often elevated in obesity and it’s encouraging to see them reduce with weight loss, better sleep habits and a healthier lifestyle.
Australian researcher, Garry Egger summarizes the situation:
It seems the human immune system is reacting to new, man-made environments and lifestyles (anthropogens), to which it has been exposed for a brief period (ie, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, approximately 1800 CE) and to which the immune system has not had time to develop.
For the last 30 to 40 years, in particular, we have experienced the emergence of a sedentary, nutritionally engineered, consumption-driven, security-conscious, screen-focused environment, the likes of which have never before been experienced by humans. http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2012/11_0301.htm
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