If you lined up 10 random Canadians, 9 of them would have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke (smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes). That is 90% of the population! That number, while high, might not be all that surprising with the state of our health and dietary choices. What is surprising is that the underlying cause of many of those risk factors is inflammation. Not the sort of inflammation that occurs when you injure yourself but SILENT INFLAMMATION and it could be killing you.
There are two types of inflammation; Acute and Silent. One is good, the other is bad.
Acute Inflammation: This is good. It is the body’s local, protective reaction to injury or infection. Swelling, redness, and pain trigger the healing response. This is what happens when you slam your finger in the door. The inflammation is needed to heal the injury.
Silent or Chronic Inflammation: This is bad. It is a deep, low grade inflammatory attack within the cells. It can’t be seen or felt and it damages the body rather than heals.
Silent inflammation is the root cause of many chronic and debilitating diseases such as heart, arthritis, autoimmune, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. Interestingly, three of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease are also SIGNS of silent inflammation; high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Silent inflammation is a major health concern but the solution is well within reach. One very effective way to combat silent inflammation is to consume more omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), have a strong anti-inflammatory effect in the body. In fact, there are over 7000 published studies on the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and much of this research is focused on inflammation and heart health. Since our body does not manufacture omega-3 fatty acids on its own, it is very important that they are acquired through a healthy daily diet. However, the typical Canadian diet is severely deficient in these. In fact, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is ranked number 8 on the Harvard School of Public Health’s list of Preventable Causes of Death. Repairing this deficiency of omega-3 fats in the body by taking a high potency fish oil supplement will help improve, alleviate, or even eliminate inflammatory conditions in the body.