(NaturalHealth365) There is growing consensus – among holistically-minded healthcare providers and conventionally-trained physicians alike – that chronic inflammation is the root cause of chronic disease. And chronic disease, from arthritis to cancer to diabetes, is currently endemic within the Western world.
In fact, the National Council on Aging reports that a shocking 80 percent of people 65 and over suffer from at least one chronic disease condition. (Of course, younger people can be affected as well.) Although Western medicine attempts to treat chronic inflammation with a variety of pharmaceutical drugs, these medications not only add a toxic burden to the body, but fail to address the real cause of the problem.
A steady decline in the quality of food is causing rampant inflammation
Inflammation in and of itself is not necessarily harmful. In fact, it is a natural response to injury and infection – the body’s attempt to repel invaders, repair damage and heal tissues.
With acute inflammation, which resolves within days, this reaction is appropriate and beneficial. It is only when inflammation becomes chronic – which happens in response to repeated trauma or long-term exposure to toxins – that problems arise, including the triggering of chronic disease. These can include cancer, asthma, allergies, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
A major cause of chronic inflammation, says Dr. Lewis, is the quality of our food, which has declined drastically over the past 50 years. The presence of environmental toxins, the depletion of nutrients from the soil and the primacy of pro-inflammatory GMO (genetically-manipulated) foods all conspire to create an overactive immune system, which triggers inflammation.
And the problem is widespread. Soy and corn products, which Dr. Lewis calls “the most modified foods in North America,” make up a large part of the Standard American Diet. Of course, many healthcare providers also point to gluten-laden foods – which can cause “leaky gut” syndrome, an increased permeability in the intestinal lining, that cause all kinds of health issues like, depression, anxiety, thyroid disorders – to name just a few.
A natural way to reduce inflammation by improving the digestive system
To deal with chronic inflammation, Dr. Lewis advises a ‘four-step protocol.’ Increasing nutrients, decreasing toxins, repairing leaky gut and introducing “friendly” digestive enzymes can help eliminate inflammation – and stop chronic degenerative diseases in their tracks.
One of the most potent natural remedies advised by Lewis is bromelain, a digestive enzyme obtained from fresh pineapples. Bromelain specifically breaks down proteins, while helping the body absorb valuable nutrients more effectively. Bromelain can also help heal and repair the digestive tract.
In addition, bromelain is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that can stand up to prescription medications in clinical studies. In one study, a combination of bromelain and two other enzymes was as effective as pharmaceutical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in reducing knee pain from osteoarthritis – and accomplished this without unwanted side effects.
Bromelain, available in convenient capsule form, can be used for a variety of digestive issues, including inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, constipation and Crohn’s disease. Antiviral and antibacterial, this versatile enzyme is also used for post-operative pain and swelling — as well as the treatment of asthma, allergies and sinus infections.