Arthritis Specialist Advocates Anti-inflammatory Diet

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A recent study links chronic inflammation throughout the body with such serious health issues as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Inflammation is caused by poor diet, high stress and unhealthy lifestyles, all of which put strain on the immune system. Dr. Ralph Venuto, an orthopedic specialist in Newport Beach, California, has seen the effects that chronic inflammation can have on joint health in his own practice, particularly in his arthritis patients.

Although inflammation arises as part of the body’s natural healing processes and is designed to protect the body and promote healing, this response can wreak havoc if left unchecked. Under sustained, long-term attacks, the immune system can become over reactive, causing ongoing chronic inflammation that has the potential to worsen existing arthritis symptoms, as well as cause more severe damage to critical systems within the body such as heart valves and brain cells.

“Arthritis, by definition, causes inflammation of the joints,” explains Dr. Venuto, a California arthritis specialist and well-known orthopedic surgeon. “Yet the body can’t reduce that painful inflammation while it remains under constant attack, because it can’t relax enough to heal. Instead, those defense systems just keep right on fighting, and inflammation becomes chronic.”

Arthritis symptoms can be aggravated by lifestyle habits that result in increased inflammation, like high stress levels and poor eating habits. Similarly, activities and habits that have been shown to reduce inflammation, like dietary changes, stress reduction and moderate exercise, can work together to reduce the painful symptoms of arthritis and improve the health of the entire body.

Recent research indicates that chronic systemic inflammation is perpetuated by unhealthy habits, excess abdominal fat and other risk factors. While previously the treatment of chronic inflammation focused mainly on medication, new attention is now being turned toward first addressing dietary and lifestyle changes.

Many physicians and nutritionists have begun advocating “anti-inflammatory” diets, which are intended to reduce chronic inflammation throughout the body and promote healing. These Mediterranean-style diets typically consist of plentiful fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and unsaturated fats while avoiding refined sugars, processed carbohydrates, and meats.

Stress is another primary cause of chronic inflammation. A study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University discovered that ongoing psychological stress affects the body’s ability to properly regulate inflammatory response. This unchecked inflammation fosters the development of health conditions, and also increases the progression of existing disease. Reducing stress levels can help the body regain appropriate functionality and promote healing from within.

“Treating the problem at the source has always been my philosophy,” says Dr. Venuto, whose Orange County orthopedic practice treats joint disorder and sports injuries as well as arthritis. “Starting with the underlying cause of the ongoing inflammation rather than just masking the symptoms leads to improving health from the inside out.”

Dr. Ralph Vento ( is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in Newport Beach serving all of Orange County, California. He specializes in the care of conditions and injuries of the knee and shoulder joints, and also is a well-known sports medicine physician. Through the use of minimally invasive techniques such as platelet-rich plasma therapy, he is helping patients recover quickly and return to the activities they love most.

Related information: Olive oil is on average 10% linoleic acid (an omega-6 oil) and less than 1% linolenic acid (an omega-3 oil), therefore the ratio of harmful Omega-6 to healthy Omega-3 is about 10:1 (not good). When following a Mediterranean Diet for health reasons, use olive oil and all oils very sparingly if at all.  Oils are 100% fat with no nutrients with 120 calories per tablespoon. How too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 is making us sick

Inflammatory beverages to avoid: colas and all sodas, sugary drinks, apple juice, Red Bull and all energy drinks, coffee, tea and all caffeinated drinks, milk and all dairy beverages, alcoholic drinks. Best anti-inflammatory drinks: water with freshly squeezed lemon or lime, freshly squeezed green juice made from greens and vegetables, grapefruit juice, herbal tea such as chamomile or peppermint.

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