Aging, Inflammation and Nutrition

Published on May 23, 2012 by

Aging is a life phase when the risk of inflammatory disease increases; certain protein molecules (called cytokines) can influence lifespan, morbidity, and mortality. During inflammation, mechanisms are challenged to provide adequate defenses against oxidative molecules and an external supply of antioxidants is required. Pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidant molecules produced from inflammatory responses can be either helpful or harmful, depending on quantity and circumstances of their formation. Slowing cytokine and inflammatory mediator production and maintaining antioxidant defenses are beneficial and depend on adequate nutrient intake, absorption, and utilization. If the body is working correctly, and supplied with adequate nutrition, the nutrients obtained from foodstuffs can influence inflammatory aspects of the immune system and alter cytokine production by limiting the cytokine responsiveness of target tissues. Healthy diets that contain a variety of fruits and vegetables and tea products providing antioxidant nutrients including ascorbic acid, tocopherols, ╬▓-carotene, lycopene, and bioflavonoids are recommended. If the diet does not supply these nutrients, nutritional supplements are recommended.

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Filed under: Prevention

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