Updated: May 2, 2021
This might be the most important thing you can learn about your health.
You know what happens when you damage your
self such as with a cut or a splinter. It is sore, the damaged area goes red and sometimes swells up a little. A scab can form over the damaged area and if the offending item is still present, pus can form around it as your body attempts to isolate it and repair. Eventually the pus dissipates, the wound heals, and the redness goes away. This is normal. This is inflammation. Your body is fighting against things that harm it.
When you eat foods that your body is not designed for, or get stressed, or breath toxins in the air and other insults, you introduce into your body offending items and the response inside you is just the same as above. These offending items cause inflammation. When the inflammation is in your arteries, the end result is usually Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD).
Having read this far, either in my blogs or my book, you now know that cholesterol does not cause heart disease so what is the cause. “Heart disease is caused by chronic low-grade inflammation”. Source Dr. Dwight Lundell.
The standard low fat / high carbohydrate diet as promoted by the official dietary advice is pro-inflammatory. Many foods eaten are processed foods with chemicals and additives that your body has never evolved to deal with. As a result, it believes it is under attack and an inflammatory response is triggered. The increased fat storage from the action of excess carbohydrates increases the production of inflammatory compounds in the adipose fat cells. More body fat equals more inflammation.
Sugar is inflammatory, and food allergies are inflammatory. Excess sugar agitates the lining of blood vessels. Dairy and nut allergies can trigger inflammatory responses. The same food toxins in vegetables that fight off the plant's insect attackers are inflammatory within our digestion system and eventually in our blood.
Persistent stress which triggers cortisol and stimulates the fight or flight response is inflammatory because of the same response whereby the body perceives that it is under attack. Persistent high insulin levels are inflammatory as can be hormone imbalances, particularly in women.
The products we have around us that are made from synthetic compounds and the chemicals that leach from these are inflammatory in just the same way that smoking introduces inflammatory particles into our lungs and then into our bloodstream. Remember that we can absorb these compounds through our skin in the same way that a nicotine patch works.
Polyunsaturated Omega-6 from vegetable oils is inflammatory. Replacing dietary saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat creates inflammation in cells and inflammation in mitochondria. Omega-6 levels in US body fat have risen from 9% in 1961 to 25% in 2003. In women’s breast milk over the period 1940-2000 inflammatory omega-6 levels have risen from 6% to 20+%. (Source Dr. Gary Fettke). We not only eat more of this, but we also fry much of our food in these oils as well. With low levels of Omega-3 oils which traditionally would balance out the Omega-6 oils we have created a huge imbalance which the body must attempt to deal with.
The ketogenic diet is able to significantly reduce overall inflammation by controlling a number of mechanisms responsible for raising this. For example, it promotes the production of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) which works on inflammation by inhibiting the NLRP3 inflammasome, an inflammatory protein triggered by infections, tissue damage, or metabolic imbalances. BHB has a similar effect in the body to ibuprofen.
The dietary advice outlined in my book “Take Back Your Health” shows how you can use food as medicine to address these problems. It all starts with reducing sugar, Omega-6 seed oils, processed foods and carbohydrates.
It may be coincidence but arriving home from USA in mid-2019, with serious back pain, which I had endured for over 6 months, identified by an MRI scan as a lower lumbar disk protrusion, I began the keto diet within a week. Three months later I had lost about 5 kg, the chronic pain had gone and I was walking freely. Diet and physiotherapy had addressed the problem without surgery. Maybe the ability of keto to reduce inflammation was material.
Dr. Dwight Lundell, with experience of 5000 open heart surgeries, has produced a free pdf book titled “The Great Cholesterol Lie. Why inflammation kills and the real cure for heart disease”. It is available for free download. I can thoroughly recommend it.
George Elder, Author “Take Back Your Health” Amazon $3.99