Does All Obesity Stem from Inflammation?

New research suggests it’s a definite possibility.

According to research published in the FASEB Journal, inflammation and obesity are more closely linked than previously thought. The report revealed that fat tissues forming the abdominal fat associated with obesity, have an abnormal number of the protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2), which is an inflammatory protein. This is the same protein found in increased amounts on the surfaces of human immune cells that respond to common fatty acids found foods. The findings were true in both laboratory rats and humans.

obesity and inflammationObesity as an Inflammatory Disease

According to the researchers, this unusually high level of PAR2 suggests obesity may actually be an inflammatory disease. The discovery sparks excitement within the scientific community because it may be an important step leading to creating anti-inflammatory drugs to treat obesity.

The author of the study, David Fairlie, states that inflammation is notably associated with obesity because of the response of immune cells to high sugar diets. Anti-inflammatory medications might be options for treating and preventing obesity by blocking the proteins that trigger the inflammation process.

What You Can Do on Your Own

Although the discovery is positive news, researchers are a long way from proving that obesity is the result of inflammation or finding any anti-inflammatory treatments to treat obesity. But finding solid evidence that connects obesity closely with inflammation is also a victory for those struggling with weight loss.

Scientists are learning that inflammation is the underlying cause of many serious health concerns such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. This makes sense, since most people living with obesity are also dealing with similar health problems.

Nutritionists and health experts have long known that abdominal fat is especially susceptible to highly-processed sugary and starchy ingredients. Such types of foods also trigger inflammation. The best way to combat inflammation is to avoid the food that causes it in the first place. By doing so, you also help to combat cancer, high blood pressure and arthritis symptoms.

Foods to Avoid

Avoid highly processed food that has a long shelf life, such as sugary snacks, common cooking oils, and canned goods with high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, frozen or fresh pastry, and refined grains. Other ingredients that typically trigger inflammation are dairy, red meat, excessive alcohol and many types of additives.

It is also important to pay attention to how your body reacts to certain foods. Some ingredients that are not typically associated with inflammation may cause a slightly more adverse reaction in fewer people, so it is important to pay attention to how the body uniquely responds to food.

Foods that Reduce Inflammation

Following a diet that has a rich variety of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables is an easy way to combat inflammation in the body. For an extra punch, you can load up on food that has been researched and found to contain extraordinary amounts of the antioxidants that reduce free radicals and inflammation in the body. Inflammation fighting super foods can include kale, blueberries, strawberries, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, turmeric, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, green tea, wild salmon, mushrooms and citrus high in vitamin C.

Food for Thought

It’s interesting that the same foods that help us lose weight can also combat inflammation. It makes us wonder if the swelling of the body in the form of added body fat is just a systemic form of inflammation brought on by too much sugar or overly processed foods.