Inflammation plays a key role in the immune system.1 This physiological process, the inflammatory response, is the body’s way of protecting itself from infection due to bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other foreign substances.2 Inflammation plays a key role in the body’s natural healing process.1,2
While inflammation is natural—it is necessary in many cases—not all inflammatory responses are created equal.2 Sometimes the body might be inflamed when there are no foreign invaders the immune system needs to fight.2
Far too often, refined sugar is partly responsible.1 So if you have a serious sweet tooth and experience symptoms like redness, joint or muscle stiffness, fatigue, and loss of appetite, you may have fallen victim to the sugar-inflammation connection.1
How does added sugar cause inflammation?
Consistently eating high quantities of refined sugar can cause chronic, low-grade inflammation.1 This may lead to serious health issues like cardiovascular challenges, weight gain, or allergies.1,2
Specifically, added sugar promotes the following changes in the body:
While the government recommends that added sugar and solid fats combined account for no more than 5% to 15% of one’s total caloric intake, 13% of US adults’ total calories come from processed sugar.4 All of the above symptoms are linked to chronic, low-grade inflammation. That said, it’s worth noting that added sugar consumption alone is unlikely to cause severe inflammation; often, there are a number of factors at play.1
How can you support a healthier inflammation response?Lifestyle changes can address some of the symptoms mentioned above.1 Examples include: eliminating junk food from your diet, reducing your general stress levels, and so much more.1
Regardless, you will want to take stock of where you are at and make a conscious effort to improve your health.1 Read through the following list to see if there are areas where you can enhance your lifestyle:1,5
Returning to the topic of sugar, there’s no need to give up the sweet stuff entirely. You might consider substituting processed sweets with naturally sweetened alternatives in order to reduce your inflammatory symptoms.1 The next section explains how natural sugars like honey and maple syrup may decrease inflammation.
Natural sugars and inflammation
Chances are you’re familiar with refined sugar and how it differs from the natural alternatives. Where refined sugar is separated from its source, reconfigured, and then added as a sweetener, natural sugar occurs—you guessed it--naturally in foods.1 This means it is sourced directly from a whole plant source.1
Whole foods like fruit and dairy products feature varying amounts of fructose and lactose—yet they’re also full of fiber, protein, and nutrients, so the body is equipped to process them efficiently.1 Natural sugar is not associated with inflammation.1 It is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps to minimize blood sugar spikes.1
What does this mean? The verdict is that consuming natural sugar, within moderation, is just fine from a health and wellness standpoint.1 Added sugar, alternatively, should only be eaten rarely and in limited quantities.1 Please contact your doctor if your inflammatory symptoms persist even after eliminating refined sugar from your diet.
For more information on nutrition and general wellness topics, please visit the Metagenics blog.
Submitted by the Metagenics Marketing Team
BY RUTH KIRK-GARCIA | IMMUNE, INFLAMMATION | 0 COMMENT
Inflammation is the body’s initial response to cell damage and is designed to protect it from infection or further injury. Like day and night, the inflammatory process is a cycle defined by two halves – initiation and resolution.
The initiation phase begins with a local dispatch of immune cells at the site of damage, which sounds the alarm, igniting inflammation within the surrounding tissue. Once the threat of infection or damage is neutralized, the resolution response is activated, calming the initial phase of inflammation and facilitating cellular repair and recovery.
The transition between initiation and resolution is required to complete the cycle of inflammation and to promote healing. However, for some people, this transition fails to occur, leading to a chronic, sustained inflammatory response. This keeps the body in the initiation phase where it cannot resolve inflammation; like a loud alarm system with a broken ‘deactivate’ button. The result? A state of unremitting inflammation that keeps the body in a cycle of tissue damage, preventing recovery.
However, for some people, this transition fails to occur, leading to a chronic, sustained inflammatory response. This keeps the body in the initiation phase where it cannot resolve inflammation; like a loud alarm system with a broken ‘deactivate’ button.
A Remedy for Resolution
If you or someone you know suffers from an inflammatory condition (such as arthritis), you will no doubt be aware of the frustration that comes from persistent symptoms, despite your efforts to find a solution. You may be doing all the right things, taking the right medications, taking steps to improve your diet, exercise and sleep, while proactively managing your stress. However, if the resolution of inflammation is impaired, you will continue to experience symptoms, as the inflammatory response cannot be ‘deactivated’. It’s no wonder that cutting-edge research in the field of inflammation resolution is turning heads, particularly in regards to a group of compounds called specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs).
Send in The SPMs
As their name suggests, SPMs trigger or ‘deactivate’ the resolution phase of inflammation in the body, which are produced from omega-3 fatty acids, (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Like a half-time speech that inspires a triumphant victory, SPMs motivate the immune system to promote resolution. In the initiation phase, white blood cells are known as macrophages actively destroy problem microbes and clear the excess of immune cells released during inflammation. However, in the resolution phase, SPMs reprogram these macrophages, switching their game plan from offence to defense to help regenerate and repair damaged tissue. This results in resolution, relief and recovery.
So why, if the body can produce SPMs, does inflammation remain unresolved? Research tells us that the body’s ability to produce SPMs is lower in conditions involving chronic inflammation, meaning that in highly inflamed individuals, the ability to resolve inflammation is likely to be impaired. Some pharmacological anti-inflammatories (even some used to treat inflammation) may also prevent SPM activity, as they inhibit inflammation preventing the body’s ability to activate the resolution phase. This is why supplements providing SPMs are an exciting development for chronic inflammation sufferers; as restoring SPM levels goes beyond the effects of conventional treatments to actively promote resolution and full circle recovery.
This is why supplements providing SPMs are an exciting development for chronic inflammation sufferers; as restoring SPM levels goes beyond the effects of conventional treatments to actively promote resolution and full circle recovery
Viva la Resolution!
Heralding a new era of healing, SPMs offer a beacon of hope for those suffering from chronic inflammation, offering a new solution for achieving resolution! For more information on natural management of inflammation, read on by clicking here.However, if you are ready to experience the resolving effects of SPMs, contact a Practitioner near you today.
 Serhan CN, Hong S, Gronert K, Colgan SP, Devchand PR, Mirick G et al. Resolvins: a family of bioactive products of omega-3 fatty acid transformation circuits initiated by aspirin treatment that counter proinflammation signals. J Exp Med. 2002 Oct 21;196(8):1025-37.
 Hirahashi J. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for the treatment of IgA nephropathy. J Clin Med. 2017 Jul;6(7):70. doi: 10.3390/jcm6070070.
 Spite M, Clària J, Serhan CN. Resolvins, specialized proresolving lipid mediators, and their potential roles in metabolic diseases. Cell Metab. 2014 Jan 7;19(1):21-36. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2013.10.006.
 Barden AE, Mas E, Croft KD, Phillips M, Mori TA. Specialized proresolving lipid mediators in humans with the metabolic syndrome after n-3 fatty acids and aspirin. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec;102(6):1357-64. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.116384.
 Chiang N, Serhan CN. Structural elucidation and physiologic functions of specialized pro-resolving mediators and their receptors. Mol Aspects Med. 2017 Dec;58:114-129. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2017.03.005.