Many times, inflammation starts in your gut. Your intestines are a large and complex organ designed to pass nutrients to your body and gather waste to pass from your body. What you eat has a considerable effect on the permeability of your intestinal walls and how much waste or toxins may leak into your body. This leakage is a substantial driving force in the development of chronic inflammation.

This study provides more evidence that systemic inflammation may have lifelong effects on your health. The researchers took blood samples from a large, biracial community and analyzed five inflammatory markers at the start of the study and then again 24 years later. Those markers included levels of fibrinogen, albumin, white cell count, factor VIII and von Willebrand factor.

Using these levels, the researchers created a composite score they could compare against other participant scores and MRI images taken at the conclusion of the study. The participants were divided into three groups based on the level of their inflammatory markers.When the group with three or more elevated biomarkers was compared against the group without any elevations, they found the group with higher inflammation experienced a 5 percent reduction in brain volume.

Brain areas with reduced volume were in the hippocampus and other areas associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Those with higher levels of inflammation also performed poorer on a memory test given to the participants.

Lead study author Keenan Walker, Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said the effect of one standard deviation increase in inflammation, appeared to correlate to having a copy of the gene that increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s diseaseand was associated with a decrease in size of 110 cubic millimeters of the hippocampus.

There are several factors that affect the degree of inflammation you may experience in your body and brain. When you address these factors, you may be able to reduce the long-term effects of inflammation, including cognitive decline, cancer, immune-mediated disease, Type 2 diabetes and numerous other health conditions.

Foods that increase the inflammatory response in your body include: 

Sugar

Processed vegetable and seed oils

High fructose corn syrup

Excessive alcohol

Artificial trans fats

Refined carbohydrates

Processed meats

Oxidized omega-6 fats 

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