Nutrition For The Prevention of Age-Related Diseases

Dr. Nigel Plummer, a specialist in microbial physiology believes that chronic inflammation is the cause of many diseases that are age-related or occur more frequently with aging. Loss of immune competence can be expressed by chronic inflammation as in rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

An acute inflammatory response can be triggered by infectious organisms resulting in an increase in cytokines which makes an individual feel ill- fever, nausea, lethargy, muscle sensitivity, headaches, depression, lack of concentration and social withdrawal. Although the signs are severe, they are generally short lived. With chronic or longstanding inflammation, usually the signs are more moderate with feelings of tiredness, intermittent muscle or bone pain, decreased appetite, intermittent flushes, fever, or nausea as well as depression and lack of concentration. Theses symptoms can persist for months or even years.

Chronic inflammatory conditions include: cardiovascular disease secondary to atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Many nutritionals can be utilized to depress the inflammatory response. Administration of folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 has been shown to decrease the progression of Alzheimer’s by 50 %.

Other anti-inflammatories suggested include EPA and DHA found in fish oil. Recommended dosages range from 1.2-7.2 grams per day. It may take up to eight to twelve weeks before benefits can be detected.
Glucosamine may be useful for joint or arthritic conditions at 1500 mg a day.

Chronic inflammation can cause more oxidative stress, increasing the demand for supplemental antioxidants. Antioxidants occur naturally in every cell, but alpha lipoic acid at 50-100 mg per day, coenzyme Q-10 at 30-200 mg daily, vitamin C at 1000 + mg daily may be useful to combat the free radicals from damaged cells when the natural antioxidant capacity is overwhelmed.

Nutritional intervention for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases may be worthwhile to strengthen the immune system so vital in protecting the body. With any nutritional supplement, it is prudent to start at lower levels and gradually increase as the body adapts to the changes.

It is wise to talk to your health care provider to determine what dietary supplements are right for you and what effects they could have if you take them with other dietary supplements or medications.


This information is provided by Pat Stapley Chase to help educate and stimulate consideration on dietary supplementation for enhanced quality and performance in life.