A healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent inflammation, experts say

In the genesis of most diseases, there is a inflammatory processas the Stadium shown in reports published on Saturday and Sunday. This explains the renewed interest of science to discover all the mechanisms that cause inflammation in different pathologies, which can lead to the development of more effective drugs. For now, the prevention it is still the best investment available to individuals.

“A healthy lifestyle strengthens the mechanisms of regulating inflammation in the body to make us ignite only at the right time. That is, only when the body needs it to defend against infections, repair the tissues, among other functions”, explains Ana Caetano Faria. , President of the Brazilian Society of Immunology and Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG).

Besides the Balanced dietother healthy habits such as frequent physical activity, sleep restorative therapy, stress management and smoking cessation are the measures most cited by experts as interventions to reduce the development of chronic inflammation and its consequences (see list below).

When overdone, it can lead to the development of multiple diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular problems, cancer, among others. Several studies show that the aging is accompanied by low-grade subclinical inflammation. “It’s a small, chronic inflammation that doesn’t hurt or even notice, but accompanies the aging process,” he says.

Even centenarians who age very well have this subclinical inflammation, but they also have other mediators that compensate for the inflammatory state and maintain the body’s physiological balance (known as homeostasis). “There are genes that are protective, but healthy habits are essential to stimulate the action of various anti-inflammatory mediators in the body”, explains the professor. These mediators are, for example, metabolites such as the fatty acids butyrate and propionate.

The research group coordinated by the professor at UFMG is investigating healthy lifestyle interventions to prevent damage resulting from chronic inflammation. “In terms of public health, finding ways to promote this homeostasis in the body through a healthy lifestyle makes much more sense than treating age-related inflammatory diseases,” she says.

Cardiovascular illnesses

The more inflamed a patient is, the greater the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, among many others. THE atherosclerosis (accumulation of fat, calcium and other substances in the arteries) is caused by several factors, but the inflammatory process is present from the beginning.

Inflammation causes atherosclerotic plaques to break down and contributes to the formation of clots that can lead to heart attack, stroke and other problems. “We were selected by nature to get fat and have big inflammatory responses because a million years ago there was no food or antibiotics,” says cardiologist Raul Santos, director of the clinical unit of lipids from the Instituto do Coração (InCor).

“The sum of this predisposition with a sedentary environment, excess food and smoking eventually leads to exaggerated inflammatory responses and the development of various diseases,” explains Santos. “The full package of healthy lifestyles is essential to prevent chronic inflammation and its consequences.”


When problems resulting from chronic inflammation need to be treated, doctors turn to medications and surgical procedures, depending on the type of disease. In the case of the heart, statins used to control cholesterol also have an anti-inflammatory function. For inflammatory bowel disease, there are corticosteroids, immunobiological drugs, and surgery.

Transplantation of feces from healthy patients to enrich the gut microbiota of patients is one of the areas being investigated, but not yet widely adopted in clinical practice. Studies indicate, for example, that inflammatory processes in the gut can affect the brain and contribute to the development of diseases such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease, but the details of this relationship remain to be discovered.

“Deciphering the crucial mechanisms of inflammation signaling through the gut-brain axis is critical to understanding neuroimmune communication,” said researcher Gulistan Agirman, from the University of California, in a paper recently published in review Science. According to her, this should facilitate the development of new therapies for disorders of the intestinal tract and also for neurological diseases.


  • lifestyle improvement

A healthy lifestyle (balanced diet, regular physical activity, adequate weight, quality sleep, etc.) is essential to prevent the development of inflammation and most diseases.

Stress leads to a state of chronic inflammation that contributes to the development of several diseases, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Physical activity and other practices such as meditation help prevent excessive inflammation.

Smoking is one of the biggest causes of inflammation which contributes to the increase in clogged arteries. The consequence is an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and many other ailments.

Inflammation leads to the rupture of atherosclerotic plaques, heart attack and stroke. Statins have an anti-inflammatory action, in addition to fighting cholesterol. Corticosteroids and immunobiologicals are used to treat, among other things, inflammatory bowel disease.

Researchers seek to improve the gut microbiota of patients with inflammatory diseases through stool transplantation. The technique is also emerging as an attempt to reduce brain disease. Not yet available in clinical practice.

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