Inflammation and your Diet

  • By richard watson
  • 24 Aug, 2017

The Impact Your DNA Has On Inflammation.

DNA and the risk of injury
Reducing the risk of injury

What if we told you that top athletes suffer from the same thing as you do? Inflammation happens to everyone; it is part of our body’s natural response to training and damaged tissues and also plays a role in the immune system response. With modern day advances in sport science we are now able to see just how much inflammation you’re likely to feel from a strenuous bout of activity through the analysis of your genes.

 

A DNA Kit test will look at four genetic inflammatory markers - IL6, IL6R, CRP and TNF. Variations in these genes give us a clue if you are predisposed to suffer significantly higher levels or slightly lower levels of inflammation. Knowing your predisposition of this biological phenomenon can make big alteration to your training and even more so to your recovery strategies which dictate your training schedule and ultimately your goals.

 

Acute inflammation is important for healing; however excessive inflammation can result in prolonged feelings of soreness, tenderness, swelling, and also in a loss of function (reduces ROM or range of motion) and could even result in allergies and chronic diseases. There are various strategies that can be used to help decrease acute and chronic inflammation like sports massage therapy , but for the purpose of today's blog we will be looking at foods that can help in the role of decreasing inflammation in our body:

DNA and Omega 3
Omega 3

Omega – 3

 

Known as an essential fatty acid because it is both crucial to our bodies function, and cannot be produced by the body, we therefore need to get them from food sources. Omega- 3’s are also a type of unsaturated fat. There are quite a few healthy benefits that can be provided through the right intake of omega-3’s in our diet; they help reduce rheumatoid arthritis, lower fats in our blood and they also provide our bodies with an anti-inflammatory result. They have been seen to reduce inflammation and help promote recovery following bouts of resistance training.

 

Foods that contain omega-3: Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, cod, tuna; nuts and seeds like walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds and chia seeds or through a one a day tablet form

Tip: Grind in omega-3 rich nuts or seeds with your post-workout shake.

Vitamin D

 

This fat-soluble vitamin is vital as it helps to regulate anti-inflammatory cells as well as muscle growth. It has been well known for many years that vitamin D is important for bone health as it helps with the absorption of calcium. Low vitamin D levels are associated with a few diseases including arthritis (joint inflammation).

 

A study conducted in 2012 examined specific mechanisms by which vitamin D might act on our inflammatory and immune pathways. The researchers isolated human white blood cells by incubating these cells with assorted levels of vitamin D, they then exposed these white blood cells to LPS (lipopolysaccharide). This molecule is associated with bacterial cell walls that are known to promote inflammatory responses. The outcome showed that cells which were incubated with no vitamin D produced high levels of cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha, which are major markers in the inflammatory response. The same result was also seen in white blood cells incubated by a solution containing 15 ng/ml of vitamin D. Cells that were incubated in 30 ng/ml and above of vitamin D showed significantly decreased response to the LPS. Incubation in 50 ng/ml of vitamin D resulted in the highest levels of inflammatory inhibition.

 

Vitamin D food include oily fish, fortified breakfast cereals, milk and mushrooms.

 

Tip: Instead of mixing your post-workout protein shake with water, try using milk instead. It will also provide you with great amount of casein protein that can assist with muscle repair and ultimately your gains.

Antioxidants

 

Found in various fruits and vegetables, and they play an significant role in removing harmful compounds from our body known as free radicals. Vitamins A, C and E, bioflavonoids, polyphenols and glutathione are some good examples of antioxidants.

 

Many berries like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and other cherries contain great antioxidant compounds that have been shown to help reduce inflammation as well as chronic disease risk and their effects has been seen to help encourage recovery from exercise.

 

Tip: Have a handful of assorted berries as a daily snack choice.


Curcumin

 

This is a yellow-like substance which can be found in some Asian meals, such as curry, and is the most active component in the yellow spice turmeric. It has been seen to reduce soreness and inflammation after exercise. Research suggests that Curcumin has the ability, at molecular level, to target several steps in the inflammation pathway. Curcumin blocks a molecule (NF-kB) that travels into the nuclei of cells and turns on genes related to inflammation.

 

Tip: Add turmeric to your carbohydrates. If you are going to eat rice or perhaps you are carbo-loading for an event, adding the turmeric spice can be a great option to combat stiffness and soreness

Phytochemicals

 

These are chemicals created by plants that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Foods that are rich in phytochemicals range from various berries, vegetables that are green, red, or orange in colour (such as sweet peppers), peanuts, and whole grain products.

Tip: Include colourful fruits and vegetables in your diet, whether this is at breakfast, lunch or dinner that’s up to you. The way you can attain this is to include a “colourful” salad as a side to your main course.


Beetroot Juice

 

Along with its suggested effect of dilating blood vessels to allow for more oxygen transportation towards functioning muscles, it has also been revealed to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Beet’s contain a micronutrient called betaine which has anti-inflammatory properties as it has been related with reduced levels of IL6, TNFa and CRP.

 

Tip: Drink a glass (250-300mL) 2 hours before an endurance activity to get the best benefits from it

In Summary


It is not a secret that there is a connection between strenuous, harder bouts of training or exercise and bigger levels of inflammation, and it shouldn’t be a secret that a healthier diet can help relieve inflammation and therefore allow you to do more high intensity activity in a week as recovery becomes faster. As previously stated, our genes play a role in the regulation of inflammation. The DNA test looks at four genes that impact the inflammatory response:

 

IL-6 - Stimulates the immune response to training and is involved in the inflammatory repair process.

 

TNF - Is shown to regulate our immune cells which is able to induce fever, inhibit tumor growth, and is part of the inflammation process.

 

CRP - This is an acute phase protein which rises in response to inflammation. It is stimulated by the IL-6 and is often used as a marker for inflammation in blood tests.

 

IL6-R - The IL6R gene specifically encodes this IL6R subunit, which in-turn influences IL6 cytokine action.

 

Difference within the genes mentioned above can predispose a person to lower levels of inflammation after a demanding bout of activity, leading to quicker recovery times. Some genotypes are associated with increased levels of inflammation after exercise, and as such would need a longer rest period between bouts of activity. Understanding your genes and their indications could be an essential part in the approach to decrease inflammation. Adopting stability between correct strategies like workout, rest, active recovery sessions and modalities as well as nutrition should provide you with the best possible approach to recover.


Discover more about our ultimate personal training package with the DNA Fitness Pro test; see all the genes that are tested to help you gain the most potential from your training and diet, click here

Sports Therapist Richard Watson

Richard Watson

Sports Therapist

Richard is a leading sports therapist in the Coventry and Warwickshire area, he has worked at the Olympic and Paralympic games 2012 treating the many athletes competing. Richard has been involved in many major sporting projects including treating and training a team that took on an accent of Everest. He currently runs his own Sports Therapy company providing local athletes with sports massage and personal training.

In The Zone

By richard watson 24 Aug, 2017

What if we told you that top athletes suffer from the same thing as you do? Inflammation happens to everyone; it is part of our body’s natural response to training and damaged tissues and also plays a role in the immune system response. With modern day advances in sport science we are now able to see just how much inflammation you’re likely to feel from a strenuous bout of activity through the analysis of your genes.

 

A DNA Kit test will look at four genetic inflammatory markers - IL6, IL6R, CRP and TNF. Variations in these genes give us a clue if you are predisposed to suffer significantly higher levels or slightly lower levels of inflammation. Knowing your predisposition of this biological phenomenon can make big alteration to your training and even more so to your recovery strategies which dictate your training schedule and ultimately your goals.

 

Acute inflammation is important for healing; however excessive inflammation can result in prolonged feelings of soreness, tenderness, swelling, and also in a loss of function (reduces ROM or range of motion) and could even result in allergies and chronic diseases. There are various strategies that can be used to help decrease acute and chronic inflammation like sports massage therapy , but for the purpose of today's blog we will be looking at foods that can help in the role of decreasing inflammation in our body:

By richard watson 18 Aug, 2017

For those people who know me will tell you I am the most skeptical person out there when it comes to new products and fad diets to aid fitness training and weight management. I go to lots of trade fairs and seminars and see lots of new products, most of the time I have made my mind up within 20 seconds. Science has to prove it works for me to believe in something, it’s the way I run my business as a sports therapist and the way I train myself.

 

I first saw the DNA fitness tests in 2013 at a trade show; it was not something I was not interested in at the time so I walked on by. However, after seeing these tests repeatedly pop up on trade and fitness magazines I started to take more of an interest.

 

Over the years I’ve personally battled with injuries from playing sport and had to deal with my own weight issues while being off sport recovering from injury. It’s what got me in to my now profession as a sports therapist; I help many athletes recover, prepare and condition their bodies ready for their events.

 

As a sports person you are always looking for that extra legal edge, that extra bit that will gain you a few seconds off your personal best or just be able to train and diet better for a healthier lifestyle. So I felt that taking the DNA Diet Fitness Pro test was really worthwhile.

 

The reports included an abundance of manageable and easily understandable information about my DNA and also provided focused and implementable advice, which wasn’t just based on eating less and exercising more. I was particularly impressed with the strength of the connections DNAFit made between my genetics and the practical implications the results might have in terms of my diet and fitness.

 

I would recommend this test to anyone interested in improving their health and fitness, regardless of whether you’re a complete beginner or training for a marathon.

By richard watson 10 Apr, 2017

There has been a huge increase in interest in cycling over recent years as more people become aware of the health and fitness benefits’ cycling achieves, as well as its advantages as a fast and economical means of transport. Studio cycling has also grown and has been identified as one of the most popular group exercise formats in clubs worldwide.

By richard watson 01 Mar, 2017

Good bacteria can help you lose weight

True
For every probiotic evangelist there are several that sneered at the idea that these ‘good bacteria’ products did anything other than leave a big whole in your pocket. But according to a recent study, probiotics are very much more than a health food gimmick.

Probiotics, which are available as yoghurts, drinks and pills, contain so called ‘good’ bacteria that manufacturers claim aid digestive health and boost the immune system.

But the jury remained out – until now when a study has found that they do have many health benefits, including proving effective medicines and helping to control weight.

But you need to need to use the probiotics every day to see any benefits and you should be mindful of the sugar content (it’s best to opt for a pill over yoghurt) which will negate any of the benefits.

By richard watson 06 Feb, 2017

The definition of motivation is that which gives the impetus to behaviour by arousing, sustaining and directing it towards the successful attainment of goals. Abraham Maslow (1954) proposed that we all have a hierarchy of needs, the most basic being physiological needs such as food, and the highest needs being those related to self-fulfillment. Motivation directs behaviour – it organizes behaviour towards a particular goal state. It maintains behaviour until that goal is achieved.

 

The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 26 miles and 385 yards that is usually run as a road race. The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 500 marathons are contested throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes. Larger marathons can have tens of thousands of participants.

By richard watson 05 Jan, 2017

Disclaimer
Although, all of the information that is presented in this article is geared toward the benefits and/or effectiveness of anaerobic high intensity interval training (HIIT) vs. low intensity aerobic training with regards to fat utilization, there is an understanding that some reasons for aerobic training supersede the outcomes. For the sake of pure enjoyment, personal goal setting (training for a triathlon, marathon, road race, etc), and the challenge of competition are all viable and respectable reasons for interacting with long slow distance (LSD) activities. For many people these types of activities are suitable for their lifestyle and enjoyable means of living an active life. The goal of this article is not to discount or diminish the value of physical activity in all its modalities, but to merely present data with regards to optimum fat loss, hormonal indicators, and other factors of cardiovascular and cardio respiratory markers as they pertain to exercise intensity prescription.

By richard watson 01 Nov, 2016
Cancers are classified as a family of related diseases that result from uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells5 that usually become a tumor. The most common causes of cancer related deaths in the United Kingdom are seen in Figure 1 below.The evidence linking low levels of physical activity and an increased potential for development of cancer is growing. More studies are focused on determining if physical activity can be used as a preventative measure in the incidence of cancer.

Figure 1: The 9 Most Common Causes of Cancer Death in 2014

Number of Deaths per Year, All Ages, UK

Cancer Site                Male           Female       Persons
Lung (C33-C34)       19,563       16,332         35,895
Bowel (C18-C20)       8,566          7,337         15,903
Breast (C50)                       73        11,360        11,433
Prostate (C61)          11,287                               11,287
Pancreas (C25)           4,426          4,391           8,817
Oesophagus (C15)   5,213          2,577          7,790
Bladder (C67)              3,614          1,755          5,369
Brain                                2,881          2,342          5,223
Liver (C22)                    3,055          2,036          5,091
By richard watson 05 Oct, 2016

In the world of endurance, it seems that you cannot discuss fitness without discussing VO2 max. Ask any endurance athlete about it, and you will hear epic stories with names like Indurain, and LeMond. Many of you, however, may find yourselves wondering what exactly VO2 max is and why is it so important. To better understand this concept; let’s take a little trip back to school, specifically back to physiology class. According to the Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning textbook, VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen in millilitres one can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight (ml/kg/min). In other words, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) is the greatest amount of oxygen that can be used at the cellular level for the entire body. VO2 max has been found to correlate well with an individual’s degree of physical conditioning and has been accepted as an index of total body fitness. Numerous studies show that one can increase his/her VO2 max by working out at an intensity that raises the heart rate to between 65 and 85 percent of its maximum, for at least 20 minutes, three to five times per week. The estimated mean value of VO2 max for male athletes is about 3.5 liters/minute and for female athletes is about 2.7 liters/minute.

By richard watson 14 Sep, 2016

It is ironic that in this age of information, people continue to be confused about supplements. While in The UK alone, billions of pounds sterling are spent annually on vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids and other nutritional products, studies still show that people in all walks of life (including fitness professionals) need a good foundation in basic supplement information to help them make informed decisions about which products might best suit their individual needs. Because of this, the following is a list of what I feel are the top 10 supplements facts that can help save you time and money - and get the most out of the products you use.

By richard watson 27 Jul, 2016

Caffeine is one of the most heavily researched and beneficial ergogenic aids available. It is mostly consumed in coffee, with 1 cup containing around 75mg of caffeine. The understanding of the performance effect of caffeine has increased and this has widened its use. Most people know that “caffeine may improve performance” but what does it actually do and how can we make the most of caffeine?

Caffeine is classified as a stimulant and is the most common drug used in the world. Caffeine crosses the membranes of all the body's tissues. It can wield effects on the central nervous system and the peripheral tissues that result in physiological effects. Studies have shown that caffeine can help an athlete perform better. It has been shown to be a powerful ergogenic aid that is beneficial in athletic performance and training. Caffeine has been shown to increase speed and power output, improve the length an athlete can train, and assist the athlete in resisting fatigue. Caffeine has also been proven to stimulate the brain which contributes to an athlete's clearer thinking and ability to concentrate harder on the task at hand.

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