If you do not follow medical research obsessively, as I do, the story I'm about to tell you will sound more like science fiction than science.
And given my own initial rejection of this biotechnology, I have to believe that as an intelligent reader you will be as skeptical.
To the uninitiated, in fact, this idea might elicit a big yawn. However, if I'm correct about the ideas inside this article, it will actually be a medical breakthrough of unparalleled proportions—one of the greatest discoveries of all time.
In the last decade, it's become clear that inflammation plays a major role in almost all diseases.
When you're young, the primary role of inflammation is to help heal injury or infection. But in the last century or so, the "inflammatory reflex" has begun to play a role that it almost never did in the past. . .
Because from an evolutionary standpoint, we weren't expected to live as long as we now do.
Old people, as you may not know, are an aberration.
For the vast majority of human history, life was hard and life spans were short. For Greeks during the Classical period of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., the average person lived about 28 years.
Life spans then rose to about 30 years in medieval Britain. In the early 20th century, in the developed world, it reached about 45 years.
Before the mass production of penicillin, which helped extend our current average life span to about 80 years, a broken bone that protruded through the skin resulted in death at least 50% of the time.
Getting thrown from a horse, kicked by a cow or bitten by any kind of animal was a potentially life-ending matter.
Indeed, in the "olden days," the only way to survive a nearly inevitable sequence of industrial and household accidents was with a strong inflammatory immune response.
If individuals didn't have that ability to mount a powerful inflammatory response, well, they were unlikely to live long enough to pass on their DNA.
However, inflammation is a double-edged sword. . .
Inflammation increases the rate of aging, and leads to various deadly diseases.
For example, this is why your dentist, every time you visit, lectures you about flossing. Aside from causing periodontal disease, inflammation from unhealthy gums also increases the odds of getting heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Even with perfect gums, however, chronic low-level inflammation increases as you age. Eventually, it creates a problem serious enough to trigger a cascade effect.
Uncontrolled inflammation can lead to cancers, heart attacks, lupus, IBS, macular degeneration, stroke, obesity, ED, allergies, psoriasis, Crohn's disease, endometriosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hair loss, diseases of the organs such as the thyroid and liver as well as. . .well, you name it.
The general public learned about this for the first time in a 2004 Time magazine cover story titled "The Fire Within."
Today, scientists have advanced the science much further.
Many are now using the term "inflammaging," coined by Claudio Franceschi, professor of immunology at the University of Bologna, and a world-renowned endocrinologist and gerontologist.
It appears your immune system reacts to the normal effects of aging as if they were injuries. This initiates inflammation, an immune response.
This inflammation, in turn, causes cellular stress, which increases the degree of chronic inflammation—which causes even more damage.
Tragically, for some, inflammaging begins early in life.
The classic worst-case example is progeria, which kills children through premature senescence, or biological aging. It's a vicious, chronic cycle that spins faster and faster until the child dies of old age.
So we now know aging is not linear. It's actually an exponential process that accelerates over time.
If there is a way to stop chronic low-level inflammation, however, we could put the brakes on this accelerating autoimmune inflammation cycle and actually slow the aging process.
Quoting Dr. Franceshci:
"Chronic exposure to a variety of antigens for a period much longer than that predicted by evolution, because we live much longer, induces a chronic, low-grade inflammatory status that contributes to age-associated morbidity and mortality. . .
"The key to successful aging and longevity is to decrease chronic low-level inflammation without compromising an acute response when exposed to pathogens."
In other words, we need to turn down our age-related inflammatory responses—without endangering our immune system's ability to deal with real and acute emergencies.
So there you have it: to live a longer and wealthier life, now's the time to look to add companies with inflammation beating products to your medicine cabinet and your portfolio.
The Penny Sleuth