Unchecked inflammation is one of the foremost causes of premature aging and countless devastating health conditions. The inflammatory process is associated with an overwhelming and crippling effect on our overburdened national health care system. Cardiovascular disease, major depression, cancer, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and systemic lupus erythematosus are some of the chronic diseases that will bankrupt our medical system in the next 10-20 years. However, these conditions have inflammation as common cause, leading to the suffering and progression of the disease process.
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract plays a pivotal role controlling inflammation and serves as the interface between the outside world and our internal environment. Our inner world is made of 75 trillion cells, which constitute our human structure. The GI tract controls nutrient absorption from the intestinal lumen into the systemic circulation. It also protects us against microbes and antigens invasion by inducing an immune response that further contributes to the inflammatory cascade. Loss of GI integrity leads to increased local inflammation in the gut, which triggers increased intestinal permeability. Altered intestinal permeability results in increased food antigen access to the systemic circulation, leading to the development of food allergen reactivity and the propagation of systemic immune and inflammatory reactivity.1 Ultimately, this process will predispose other organs and systems of the body to allergic reactions and inflammation.2
Each meal consumed challenges the GI tract with the demands of digestion, selective absorption of key nutrients and food allergens. When seeking to shift the body’s ecology, it is imperative to reduce the systemic burden, balancing our energy and improving function. This shift from illness to wellness can be accomplish easily by using key anti-inflammatory nutrients and botanicals in a hypoallergenic, protein-rich, low-sodium, powdered drink. These scientifically validated nutraceuticals fortify intestinal integrity and reduce local tissue and systemic cellular inflammation. The following discussion highlights some of the key nutrients required within the GI tract and for overall cellular demands throughout the body to regain and sustain healthful ecology and physiology. This is not an all inclusive list.
Low levels of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)and/orits active form pyridoxal-5-phosphate play several roles in the cause and progression of chronic inflammation and inflammatory diseases. Pyridoxine deficient rats developed up to 30-43% higher concentrations of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, which are indicators of cell membrane damage by oxidative stress, also known as lipid peroxidation. Increased lipid peroxidation is suggestive of an enhanced inflammation response caused by pyridoxine (B6) deficiency.3 Another study demonstrated that median pyridoxine levels were significantly lower in humans with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) compared to controls and were even lower in patients with active IBD compared to those whose disease was dormant. In addition, lower pyridoxine levels were positively correlated with increased serum hsCRP, a highly sensitive inflammatory marker. The researchers hypothesized that such evidence may indicate that vitamin B6 deficiency contributes to chronic inflammatory processes.5 Another aspect of inflammation in which vitamin B6 is involved is fatty-acid metabolism. For this reason, suboptimal levels of vitamin B6, are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease and rheumatoidarthritis.
Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Zinc
Vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc are additional key factors involved in the polyunsaturated fatty-acid (PUFA) metabolism.6,7 In addition, zinc assists in converting linoleic acid (LA), a highly inflammatory unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid, to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an anti-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid.
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
Historically, ginger root (Zingiber officinalis) has been used for its anti-inflammatory, antipyretic (fever reducing), analgesic (pain relieving), sedative (calming), and antibiotic activity. Ginger contains several active constituents such as gingerol, gingerdione, and shogaol. Evidence shows that ginger extract significantly reduces inflammation by inhibited the activation of TNF-alpha, COX-2 and 5-LOX, as well as suppressing the production PGE2, all inflammatory mediators.8,9 One study examined the effects of ginger supplementation on musculoskeletal pain and arthritis. Results showed that more than 3/4 of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients experienced, to varying degrees, relief in pain and swelling, and all of the patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief in pain.10
Green Tea (Camellia sinensis)
Green tea is a widely used botanical studied for its anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antioxidant activity. Many of its benefits are attributed to its active constituents: catechins epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epicatechin (EC). Animal models show that green tea inhibits the production of several inflammatory mediators (i.e., PGE2, IL-1beta, leukotriene B4 and 5-lipooxygenase activity.11, 12,13
AIM-Ph I - An Anti-Inflammatory Functional Food
AIM-Ph I powder is a new low-sodium, anti-inflammatory drink mix that combines the nutrients and botanicals discussed above with other potent anti-inflammatory herbs and nutrients. It also contains peas and rice protein, making it a pleasantly tasting, highly nutritious, hypoallergenic drink suitable for most patients. When combined with a low-inflammatory diet, it can serve as a proactive way for patients to reduce inflammation that may be brewing under the surface, as well as to stop inflammatory states involved in a variety of chronic health concerns.
- Shah U, Walker WA Pathophysiology of intestinal food allergy. Adv Pediatr. 2002;49:299–316.
- Buckley RH, Metcalfe D. Food allergy. JAMA. 1982;248:2627–2631.
- Lakshmi R, Lakshmi AV, Divan PV, Bamji MS. Effect of riboflavin or pyridoxine deficiency on inflammatory
- Saibeni S, Cattaneo M, Vecchi M, Zighetti ML, Lecchi A, Lombardi R, Meucci G, Spina L, de Franchis R. Low vitamin B6 plasma levels, a risk factor for thrombosis, in inflammatory bowel disease: Role of inflammation and correlation with acute phase reactants. Am J Gastroenterol. 2003;98:112–117.
- Friso S, Jacques PF, Wilson PW, Rosenberg IH, Selhub J. Low circulating vitamin B6 is associated with elevation of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein independently of plasma homocysteine levels. Circulation. 2001;12;103:2788–2791.
- Despret S, Dinh L, Clement M, Bourre JM. Alteration of delta-6 desaturase by vitamin E in rat brain and liver. Neurosci Lett. 992;145:19–22.
- Ayala S, Brenner RR. Essential fatty acid status in zinc deficiency: Effect on lipid and fatty acid composition, desaturation activity and structure of microsomal membranes of rat liver and testes. Acta Physiol Lat Am. 1983;33:193–204.
- Frondoza CG, Sohrabi A, Polotsky A, Phan PV, Hungerford DS, Lindmark L. An in vitro screening assay for inhibitors of proinflammatory mediators in herbal extracts using human synoviocyte cultures. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2004 Mar–Apr;40(3– 4):95–101.
- Grzanna R, Lindmark L, Frondoza CG. Ginger—an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions. J Med Food. 2005 Summer;8(2):125–132.
- Srivastava KC, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders. Med Hypotheses. 1992 Dec;39(4):342–348.
- Choi JH, Chai YM, Joo GJ, Rhee IK, Lee IS, Kim KR, Choi MS, Rhee SJ. Effects of green tea catechin on polymorphonuclear leukocyte 50-lipoxygenase activity, leukotriene B4 synthesis, and renal damage in diabetic rats. Ann Nutr Metab. 2004;48(3):151–155. Epub 2004 May 6.
- Ahmed S, Rahman A, Hasnain A, Lalonde M, Goldberg VM, Haqqi TM. Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibits the IL-1 beta-induced activity and expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and nitric oxide synthase-2 in human chondrocytes. Free Radic Biol Med. 2002 Oct 15;33(8):1097–1105.
- Wheeler DS, Catravas JD, Odoms K, Denenberg A, Malhotra V, Wong HR. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, a green tea-derived polyphenol, inhibits IL-1 beta-dependent proinflammatory signal transduction in cultured respiratory epithelial cells. J Nutr. 2004 May;134(5):1039–1044.