Nutrition and inflammation: first part

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Nutrition and inflammation. It is a really serious topic and full of interesting things to explain. We need to understand how important nutrition is, for a long and healthy life! For this, we will need more articles to be able to say everything that seems really fundamental to us to share.

These are articles written by Doctor Patrizia Belilli, collaborator of Omeomundi.

Nutrition and inflammation. Let’s begin!

Health is a path of awareness. It is much more than the absence of disease. It is the tendency to a situation of well-being that is obtained by reaching a state of balance between the mind and the body, through a path of knowledge. 

Being aware means understanding how to achieve and maintain our balance in our body.

We need to understand what the elements and causes of disturbance of harmony in our body are. Why are a series of processes triggered that lead to the onset of pathologies, including inflammatory ones? Now, we will suggest a series of measures that aim at a correct lifestyle.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation represents the body’s response to any condition perceived as potentially harmful to the body. It aims to identify the cause of the problem, use defense tools, induce tissue repair and restore its balance.

It consists of four phases:

1-     a system that activates it (internal or external harmful agent)

2-     A danger perception mechanism (harmful agent receptors)

3-     A transmission of the warning sign

4-     A defense mechanism thanks to mediators and effector cells

The inflammatory process involves several chemical mediators (substances that are released following a certain stimulus). Those of plasma origin (complement system, quinine, coagulation factors) and those produced directly by cells (histamine, prostaglandins, ROS, cytokines, etc.).

We distinguish two types of inflammation:

Acute inflammation   

Acute inflammation has an “unspecific” response. Here, the mediators involved do not change, regardless of the harmful agent that gave rise to it. It is characterized by local vasodilation, leukocyte extra-vascular (a process by which white blood cells migrate, crossing the walls of blood vessels, in response to inflammatory chemical signals to perform their function in the tissue) and release of various plasma proteins. Example: bruises, sprains, tendon inflammations, dental trauma, tears, localized tensions.

Chronic inflammation   

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, tends to have its own specific response based on the damaging agent that is the cause.

Example: arthritis, arthrosis, rheumatic diseases, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases.

Frequency of chronic inflammatory diseases in Italy.

Inflammation represents an essential adaptation response. It aims to stop the invasion of the pathogen and repair the tissue damage induced by the damaging agent.

The regulation mechanisms are fundamental. In fact, they manage to confine the inflammatory response in a localized compartment and allow or facilitate the transition from the inflammatory state to the repair of the tissue (homeostasis).

In some cases, this mechanism does not take place adequately. Therefore, a persistent state of cellular stress is established accompanied by an excessive amplification of the inflammatory response. This leads to the establishment of a chronic inflammatory state. The presence of chronic inflammation can indicate a not really efficient immune system.

So, we mean by inflammation, the set of changes that occur in a district of the body affected by damage (e.g. trauma, heat, bacteria, viruses, etc.). This damage will have an intensity that does not affect the viability of all the cells in that district. In fact, the response to the insult will be given by the cells that survived the attack by the injurious agent. Inflammation is a predominantly local reaction.

This, in short, is the explanation of what inflammation is, wherever it occurs.

Well! Now let’s understand how to defend ourselves by eating properly, putting the right foods in our daily diet.

Then continue to follow Doctor Patrizia Belilli in the next article: “Nutrition and inflammation: second part”.

Enjoy the reading!!!

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