Chronic inflammation has now been linked to an overwhelming majority of serious lifestyle disorders, including hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, most cancers and aging.
In addition, numerous inflammation-related genes have been linked to susceptibility to most age-related diseases, such as those mentioned above. The chemical markers in the bloodstream that serve to indicate inflammation are associated with the aging body and cellular death. Already some gerontologists are floating the idea that inflammation may be the largest contributor to aging. If this turns out to be right it will greatly simplify a complex subject, because two aspects of aging have traditionally made it very hard to grasp medically.
First, the deterioration of the body over time is not a straight line but an unpredictable set of changes that look different in everyone. Second, no single process can be pinned down as “aging” by itself. The common signs of aging, such as losing muscle strength, defects in memory, and moving more slowly – not to mention medical conditions like arthritis and dimmed eyesight – are related to many different processes and don’t appear in every elderly person.
Chronic inflammation takes years or even decades before visible damage or disease symptoms appear. This means that to reverse the process individuals must dedicate significant time. No one can do that without turning anti-inflammation into a lifestyle that feels as easy and natural as their present lifestyle. The most basic changes involve going down the list of things that create inflammation and doing the opposite instead.