SPMs: A Novel Way To Heal Inflammation


Are you continually reaching for an over-the-counter pain reliever to manage your chronic aches and pains? If so, you may be feeding the fire of chronic inflammation. The short-term relief you get could actually be costing you more than your realize. Fortunately, there are other ways to manage and even heal the inflammation behind your chronic aches and pains. Special Pro-resolving Mediators (SPMs) are your body's answer to the problem of chronic inflammation.

Keeping Inflammation In Check

Your body's normal response to an injury is geared toward repairing damaged tissue and fighting infection. The pain, swelling, redness, and heat produced in the process are all part of the acute inflammatory reaction that is necessary for healing to take place. If your immune system isn't able to completely resolve this acute phase of inflammation, a chronic state of low-grade inflammation results. Overtime, what started out as an injury or a mild infection can turn into a chronic illness like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, and autoimmune disease as the chronic inflammation affects other parts of your body.

Keeping your body's normal immune response from going awry is key to preventing chronic inflammation. SPMs are produced by your body as part of the resolution phase of your immune system's response to an injury. They resolve inflammation by facilitating the removal of debris from the site of injury - something Omega 3 fatty acids don't do - and by assisting in tissue remodeling so that healing can take place.

If you struggle with chronic aches and pains, you may be wondering why your body's own natural supply of SPM's hasn't been able to bring about healing. The truth is that aging, poor nutrition, and other lifestyle behaviors (smoking, too much alcohol, too much stress and too little sleep) negatively affect the production of SPMs. Furthermore, the over-the-counter pain relievers that most people turn to for relief all too often cause inflammation in the lining of your gut, leading to food allergies and sensitivities which, in turn, produce even more inflammation.

Bringing Resolution and Healing

Thankfully, you can stop this vicious cycle of inflammation by taking several important steps:

  • Cut out inflammatory foods: fast food, sugary foods, high glycemic carbohydrates, processed meats, meats with low quality fat, and foods high in pro-inflammatory fats like Omega 6.

  • If you aren't already taking Omega 3 supplements, do so. But choose a high quality fish oil, one without environmental contaminants. Omega 3s from plant sources are also available if you can't tolerate fish oils. See our blog on essential fatty acids for more detailed information.

  • Cook with healthy oils that can withstand high heat like coconut, red palm, and rice bran oils. It's best to use extra virgin olive oil or flax seed oil on salads or after food has been cooked. If you do cook with olive oil, don't overheat it.

  • Limit your red meat consumption and eat only grass fed beef.

  • Eat wild caught fish. Preferably, salmon, mackerel, sardines.

  • Eat lots of vegetables, but limit your intake of starchy vegetables.

  • If you don't eat fresh fruit, add it to your diet, but stick to fruits low in fruit sugar like apples and most berries.

  • Exercise! Even just adding a walk to your daily routine will help. But don't go to the extreme. Over exertion itself can lead to unresolved inflammation

  • Get enough sleep. Our bodies regenerate while we sleep.

  • Look for ways you can reduce your level of stress. This may mean saying "no" to some activities, but the benefits to your health will be well worth it.

OmegaGenics SPM Active is a nutritional supplement formulated to support the resolution process and keep chronic inflammation in check. It contains SPMs found in fish oil. For more information on SPMs or healing your gut, contact us today and check out our e-store.

References

Recchiuti, A. Immunoresolving Lipid Mediators and Resolution of Inflammation in Aging. J Gerontol Geriat Res 2014. 3(2)

Serhan, C.N. Novel Pro-resolving Lipid Mediators in Inflammation are Leads for Resolution Physiology. Nature. 2014 June 5; 510 (7503): 92-101.

Sigthorsson G, et al. Intestinal permeability and inflammation in patients on NSAIDs. Gut. 1998 Oct;43(4):506-11.

The contents of this blog are intended for educational purposes only. The information presented here is not a substitute for proper medical attention, diagnosis, or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider before starting or making any changes to an existing treatment plan, exercise program or dietary regimen, and before using nutritional supplements.

~ Dr. Sarah Williams ~ Concord & Nantucket, Massachusetts ~

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