NOTE: We are updating our coronavirus (COVID-19) page with evidence as it comes in.
Summary of Inflammation
Inflammation is the response of immune cells to tissue damage, pathogens, and other intrusions, with the purpose of healing and restoring cells. Acute inflammation entails a number of adaptations that take place to protect and repair the body. Immune cells are recruited to the site to combat any pathogens they encounter, while some cells secrete proteins that help to clear dead cells and damaged extracellular matrix, and facilitate healing. Pain, heat, and increased blood flow are also common features.
That’s the healthy, adaptive part of inflammation.Then there’s chronic inflammation, which is a persistent elevation of inflammation that affects many parts of the body continuously. It may be caused by a persist injury or an inability to clear an infection, but it’s also oftentimes caused by excess adipose tissue, metabolic stress and dysregulation, a compromised microbiome and gut barrier, persistent exposure to toxicants, and autoimmunity, where the immune system attacks the body directly. A lack of the nutrients, cells, and friendly microbiota that are involved in immune regulation will make it all the worse, and lead to greater inflammatory activity for longer.
The inflammatory response, much like a war, is costly and leads to collateral damage. Inflammatory signaling molecules, the chemical weapons of immune cells, and the cellular breakdown, can damage and dysregulate our own cells and contribute to a wide variety of common diseases and disorders.
This page is for inflammation in general, and will include study outcomes of a variety of markers of inflammation, but will largely be made up of c-reactive protein, and various cytokines, as these are the most common inflammatory markers that are tested for. For information on a specific inflammatory marker, it’s best to search for it by name, and not to rely on this page.
Improve your health with the latest information on 400+ supplements and their effects on 600+ health outcomes.
By becoming an Examine Plus member, you'll have access to all of the latest nutrition research. Quickly and easily look up scientific research on over 400 supplements across over 600 different health goals, outcomes, conditions, and more.
Human Effect Matrix
The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect inflammation.
|Grade||Level of Evidence [show legend]|
|Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials|
|Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled|
|Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies|
|Uncontrolled or observational studies only|
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
|Minor||Moderate See all 17 studies|
|Notable||Very High See all 6 studies|
|Minor||Very High See all 4 studies|
Get access to the latest nutrition research summarized
By becoming an Examine Plus member, you'll have access to all of the latest nutrition research on over 400 supplements across over 600 different health goals, outcomes, conditions, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions and Articles on Inflammation
Click here to see all 3 references.