July 10, 2019

Are You Inflammaging?

Photo courtesy of PIxabay

Chronic inflammation leads to premature aging. And, that’s what inflammaging is – aging resulting from inflammation. Inflammaging is premature or accelerated aging related to chronic low grade inflammation that causes a host of chronic disease.

If we can stop chronic inflammation sometimes referred to silent inflammation, then we can slow and even reverse aging related to chronic disease.

NF-kB and Inflammaging

NF-kB stands for nuclear factor kappa beta and it is the primary modulator of inflammation. The good news is there are ways for you shut off NF-kB. If you inhibit NF-kB you can slow down inflammaging. When NF-kB is turned on pro-inflammatory signals called cytokines are activated in the cell’s nucleus.

This inflammatory circuit travels through the body and damages cells and tissues. Inflammation also leads to telomere shortening eventually leading to premature cell death.

You can inhibit NF-kB through your diet and with nutritional supplements. This means we have practical ways to slow degenerative aging at the cellular level.

Nutrients that Inhibit Inflammaging

Several nutritional supplements have been shown to inhibit NF-kB. We gave written on many of these in the past and they include:


Curcumin comes from the turmeric plant and has been heavily studied since 2007 due to its ability to inhibit NF-kB. It can inhibit several mechanisms involved in the development and growth of cancer.

It protects the liver from fatty liver disease related to metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes. Curcumin helps to lower blood sugar and reverse insulin resistance seen in type 2 diabetes. It also lowers cholesterol and triglycerides that contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil also inhibit NF-kB reducing inflammation in blood vessels and reducing the development of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.

Studies show that fish oil limits the degree to which blood cells stick to each other an early step in the formation of plaque in the arteries.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been show to reduce neuroinflammation that raises the risk of dementia.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Lipoic acid is an antioxidant and unique in that it is both water and fat soluble. Antioxidants fight free radicals that damage cells and tissues. Lipoic acid also inhibits NF-kB. It helps to prevent bone loss and joint damage. In fact, in animal studies alpha lipoic acid stimulated new bone formation.


N-acetylcyteine or NAC is also an antioxidant that decreases NF-kB. NAC has been shown to limit liver damage related to inflammation and is used to treat acetaminophen toxicity. In animal models it has been shown to limit loss of dopamine-receiving cells associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Green Tea

The key nutrient in green tea is epigallocathechin gallate or EGCG. EGCG blocks the inflammatory steps associated with cancer development. It also reduces stiffening of the heart related to aging.

Cyanidine-3 glucoside

Cyanidine-3 glucoside or C3G is a polyphenol found in dark fruits and berries. It inhibits NF-kB and found helpful in reducing heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and retinal degeneration.


Found in red wine reseveratol inhibits NF-kB leading to improvement in insulin sensitivity, prevents osteoporosis and reduces development of osteoarthritis.


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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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