Tuesday, August 4, 2009

the inflammation age

Over the past couple of decades, the importance of chronic inflammation as a mediator of aging has become clear. All those antioxidants we hear so much about are ultimately targeted at inflammation. One dramatic example is the case of cardiovascular disease, where the process of plaque buildup in arteries is now known to relate more to inflammatory processes than simple buildup of cholesterol sludge. So the role of wine as a potential means of controlling inflammation may provide an explanation for some of its anti-aging properties.
71. There are several "markers" of inflammation in the blood, one of the more useful being c-reactive protein. High levels of this correlate to an inflammatory state and premature aging. Diets high in flavonoids such as quercetin (in red wine) result in lower c-reactive protein levels.
72. Research out just this month demonstrates the potent anti-inflammatory capabilities of resveratrol. Scientists in Scotland gave a group of mice a potent inflammatory trigger, to mimic the effects of septic shock. A second group pre-treated with resveratrol had a much diminished response, by blocking the production of two molecules known to be particularly destructive.
73. A diet study from Chile found that adding wine produced a much greater effect at reducing inflammation than adding vegetables, though the two together was best.

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