Fighting Inflammation in a Nut Shell

Fighting Inflammation in a Nut Shell
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The equivalent of eating a single walnut half per day appeared to cut the risk of dying from inflammatory disease about in half, whereas fish did not appear to play a protective role. That may be why those eating vegetarian foods have lower levels of inflammation and chronic disease risk.

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Do all these anti-inflammatory plant foods actually have an impact on inflammatory disease mortality, though? A recent study out of Australia reported the results of following about 2,500 older adults and their diets for 15 years. During that time, about 200 died of inflammatory diseases. And so, the researchers tried to calculate what it was about the diets of the survivors that seemed to help the most, and it was nuts.

Half a walnut a day appeared to cut the risk of dying from inflammatory disease in about half. In the study, “increasing the consumption of nuts by as little as 1.4 g[rams a day]”—that’s about half the weight of a penny—”was associated with a reduced 49% risk of dying from chronic inflammation-related diseases.” That’s like one almond a day.

Fish consumption didn’t seem to do a thing. “Our data indicate a protective role of nuts, but not fish, against inflammatory disease mortality.”

This may help explain why most studies done to date on those eating vegetarian or vegan show significantly less inflammation in their bodies compared to meat-eaters. There have been a dozen studies so far; four showed no significant difference, and eight showed significantly less inflammatory markers in those eating vegetarian.

Here’s the latest. A vegetarian diet was associated with lower inflammation levels, lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is in accordance with “research showing…vegetarians have a lower risk of [heart disease] and an improved antioxidant and inflammatory status…”

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Renée S / flickr

Do all these anti-inflammatory plant foods actually have an impact on inflammatory disease mortality, though? A recent study out of Australia reported the results of following about 2,500 older adults and their diets for 15 years. During that time, about 200 died of inflammatory diseases. And so, the researchers tried to calculate what it was about the diets of the survivors that seemed to help the most, and it was nuts.

Half a walnut a day appeared to cut the risk of dying from inflammatory disease in about half. In the study, “increasing the consumption of nuts by as little as 1.4 g[rams a day]”—that’s about half the weight of a penny—”was associated with a reduced 49% risk of dying from chronic inflammation-related diseases.” That’s like one almond a day.

Fish consumption didn’t seem to do a thing. “Our data indicate a protective role of nuts, but not fish, against inflammatory disease mortality.”

This may help explain why most studies done to date on those eating vegetarian or vegan show significantly less inflammation in their bodies compared to meat-eaters. There have been a dozen studies so far; four showed no significant difference, and eight showed significantly less inflammatory markers in those eating vegetarian.

Here’s the latest. A vegetarian diet was associated with lower inflammation levels, lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is in accordance with “research showing…vegetarians have a lower risk of [heart disease] and an improved antioxidant and inflammatory status…”

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Renée S / flickr

Doctor's Note

This is the second of a three-part video series on the latest discoveries about fighting inflammation with plant foods. See Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Purple Potatoes for part one, and Dietary Treatment of Crohn’s Disease for part three. Other recent videos on nuts include Eating Healthy on the CheapHarvard’s Meat and Mortality Studies; and Plant-Based Atkins Diet, whereas industrial pollutants present in fish oil supplements may even increase inflammation in the body (see Is Distilled Fish Oil Toxin-Free?). The anti-inflammatory nature of plant foods may explain why those eating plant-based diets have less diabetes (Preventing Macular Degeneration With Diet); fewer allergies (Preventing Allergies in Adulthood); less heart disease (China Study on Sudden Cardiac Death); better moods (Improving Mood Through Diet); and fewer chronic diseases in general (Say No to Drugs by Saying Yes to More Plants). Be sure to check out my many other videos on plant-based diets.

We know plant-based diets can help prevent inflammatory disease. But to see if plant-based diets can be used to treat it, you’ve got to put them to the test. Check out Dietary Treatment of Crohn’s Disease.

For more context, see my associated blog posts: How Does Meat Cause Inflammation?Treating Crohn’s Disease With DietThe True Shelf Life of Cooking OilsCholesterol Lowering in a Nut ShellTop 10 Most Popular Videos of the YearBiblical Daniel Fast TestedLead Poisoning Risk From VenisonPlant-Based Diets for Rheumatoid Arthritis; and Mushrooms and Immunity.

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