In a very interesting new study which adds further weight to the role of inflammation in a number of diseases, researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand found that reducing brain inflammation in mice also led to improvements in symptoms of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Inflammation, the natural response of the immune system to a stressor, is healthy in the short-term, as its characteristic swelling helps to protect the body from pathogens and other invaders. When inflammation becomes chronic, however, disease can thrive.
Just a few of the diseases that are linked to having inflammation at their core are heart disease, autoimmune conditions such as arthritis, eczema, and lupus, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
For their study, the University of Otago researchers set out to see if lowering inflammation in the hypothalamus would reduce certain symptoms of obesity and diabetes, such as high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. To combat the inflammation, they administered a flavonoid antioxidant called butein, which is found in some Chinese herbs, including Cosmos sulphureus, to brains of the mice through various pathways.
The researchers found that when the brain inflammation was treated with the butein, mice displayed improved insulin resistance, and also improved tolerance to glucose. According to lead researcher, Dr. Alex Tups, “we also showed that this profound effect was dose-dependent with better glucose tolerance achieved through higher doses of butein.”
On the subject of the effect of reversing the brain inflammation in the mice, Dr. Tups stated, “reversing this inflammation promotes a return towards normal metabolic functioning.”
While more research needs to be done, the promise of butein and other antioxidants in relieving inflammation, and the health benefits that ensue, is exciting.
This study reinforces the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, including anti-inflammatory foods, regular exercise, stress relief and lots of sleep, in order to keep our inflammation in check.
Research is finding more and more dangers related to inflammation, so keeping yours in check is essential to an optimal quality of life and health.
-The Alternative Daily