How to Lower Inflammation
STEP 5. Feeling just generally lousy? There's a good chance that
inflammation is behind it. The reason is that, like a cancer, elevated
inflammation slowly worms its way through your body, slowly doing its damage in
unexpected places. In some men, it anhilates the arteries. In other men it
leads to diabetes. In still other men it leads to arthritis, IBS, Crohn's Disease, allergies
or asthma. Of course, it very often damages multiple systems simultaneously in
many men as well. And, as you get sicker, lose energy,
exercise less, digest foods improperly, etc. - the downward spiral just accelerates.
This is why examining and, if necessary, lowering inflammation is "step 5" in
the Peak Testosterone Program.
Remember that modern life seems almost designed to raise inflammation, making it
a struggle for most men to keep inflammation in check. The first step, as
always, is to monitor you inflammation. Probably the most well-known measures of inflammation are probably CRP (C-Reactive Protein)
and TNF alpha (Tumor Necrosis Factor), but there are many others as well. C-Reactive protein is a fairly
standard test nowadays and many in-the-know doctors will order this as part of a
Typical C-Reactive protein guidelines are given below (straight from the
American Heart Association website):
If hs-CRP level is lower than 1.0 mg/L, a person has a low risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
If hs-CRP is between 1.0 and 3.0 mg/L, a person has an average risk.
If hs-CRP is higher than 3.0 mg/L, a person is at high risk.
Besides cardiovascular disease, high C-Reactive Protein levels are associated
with these common maladies:
Three of the biggest cancers for
males: colorectal,  and prostate,  and lung. 
Alzheimer's and dementia are
associated with inflammation.  For more information, see this link on
Often before high inflammation
takes out your brain and heart, it hammers your sex life from endothelial and
erectile dysfunction. 
So what do you do to reduce inflammation? Here are 20 Ways to Reduce
1) Pomegranate (and Cranberry) Juice. This juice significantly lowers systemic inflammation. 
There are other juices that will also lower inflammation dramatically. See
the link on Juicing and Inflammation for more details.
2) Magnesium. Supplementation with this mineral dropped hsCRP like a rock in prediabetic individual and here in the U.S., a huge percentage of adults are struggling the beginnings of insulin resistance.
The study noted that "at the end of follow-up, participants who received magnesium chloride
showed higher serum magnesium levels (0.86 ± 0.08 vs. 0.69 ± 0.16 mmol/L) and lower
hsCRP levels (4.8 ± 15.2 vs. 17.1 ± 21.0 nmol/L) compared with participants in the control group." 
3) Moderate Alcohol. Moderate alcohol consumption lowers many inflammatory markers. 
Of course, you should also read my links on
Alcohol and Testosterone and
Alcohol: The Pros and Cons first.
4) Exercise is well-known for its inflammation-lowering
properties.  Several studies have found that it lowers TNF alpha 
C-Reactive protein .
5) Avoid High Protein Diets (such as
the Atkins Diet). This type of eating has been shown
in several studies to increase inflammatory markers such as fibronigen and
C-Reactive Protein. 
6) Arachidonic Acid Reduction. Most guys need to lower their intake of Arachidonic Acid (AA). One study found
that those who ate high levels of
Arachidonic Acid (AA) (> 1500 mg/day) had 41% higher levels of
inflammatory messengers in their blood than those with low levels (< 200
mg/day).  These extra and unneeded inflammatory messengers flooding the body
lead to an unneeded and dangerous risk in bodily inflammation. Here are
common foods with high
levels of Arachidonic Acid (AA): farm-raised salmon (1306 mg), 2
egg yolks (140 mg), turkey (70 mg), pork (50 mg) and chicken (50 mg). 
Those middle aged and beyond should also be aware that the concentration of
Arachidonic Acid (AA) in the blood rises with age. And notice that the
diets I advocate on this site fit in perfectly with this strategy: the
Ornish Diet eliminates all of these foods altogether
Mediterranean Diet limits them.
NOTE: You may wonder why farm-raised salmon is so astronomically
Arachidonic Acid (AA). It is primarily because of diet: farm-raised
salmon are fed corn and soybean meal which is high in omega-6's whereas wild
salmon, which averages in at 175 mg of AA, eats omega-3 rich algae.
7) Low-Glycemic Foods. High levels of insulin activate enzymes that
actually cause the body to produce more Arachidonic Acid (AA). 
8) Fish and Fish Oil. Many studies have shown omega 3's to be proven
inflammation fighters.  See my link on
Fish and Fish Oil for more
9) Eliminate Periodontal Disease. Watch out for gum disease: it leads to
chronic inflammation and has recently been correlated to heart disease and
recently erectile dysfunction. 
10) Decrease Saturated Fat. Saturated fat impairs some of HDL's good qualities,
allowing inflammatory agents to accumulate in the arteries. 
11) Laughter. Laughter
in one study of
C-Reactive protein by 66%! 
12) Turmeric. Turmeric, the yellow in yellow mustard and curry, is well-known for its inflammation-lowering
has been shown to provide relief
for, among other things, Crohn's
13) Moderate Dark Chocolate and Cocoa. One study found that modest amounts of dark
chocolate (20 g every 3 days) reduced C-Reactive protein levels by almost 20%.
This is a very significant reduction, but it resulted from a relatively small
amount of dark chocolate, about a square or two every 3 days.
Another study gave volunteers 40 grams of cocoa and 500 ml of skim milk to
patients at risk for heart disease. What they found was that several key
arterial inflammatory markers were reduced, an additional explanation as to why
cocoa works its magic on cardiovascular disease.  CAUTION: You may
want to read my link on Does Chocolate Have An Ideal Dosage?
14) Cholesterol. A 2010 study revealed that one reason that high
cholesterol destroys arteries is that it forms crystals leading to
plaque-building inflammation along the arterial walls. 
15) Lack of Sleep. Going to just four hours of
sleep per night will significantly raise your C-Reactive protein levels and your
Pulse as well. 
16) Testosterone. Perhaps surprisingly to some, that all-important male hormone reduces inflammation,
specifically TNF-alpha and IF-1B, and is yet another reason to make sure you optimize your
androgen levels. 
17) Salt. Salt intake can lower levels of adiponectin, a protein that
inhibits inflammation. Dysfunctional levels of adiponectin have been associated
with inflammation and many other nasty conditions. See my link on Deadly
Salt for more details.
18) Boron. Boron is a proven inflammation decreaser and some research has
shown it lowering both TNF-alpha and C-Reactive Protein. It also
positively impacted free testosterone! See my link on
Boron and Testosterone for more
19) Progressive Muscle Relaxation. This simple tighten-and-release technique
developed in the 1920's has proven itself over the years as a huge physical (and
mental/psychological) health booster. Regular PMR practitioners receive a
huge TNF-dampening effect that can lower cortisol, TNF-alpha and IL-6. In
short it is one of your best protectors against
The Common Male Enemies, and you
can read about it more here in my link on
The Incredible Many Benefits of
Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
Tart Cherry Juice. This juice lowers TNF alpha levels. See
the link on Juicing and Inflammation for more details.
21) Vitamin C. Yes, there is a cheap supplement that lowers C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels
by 25%. At least that is what one study of men and womn with at risk CRP showed.  Furthermore, this
was achieved with only a gram per days. For other reasons to consider this pennies-a-day supplement,
see my link on The Many Benefits of Vitamin C.
22) Creatine. Creatine is known for its ability to fuel muscle
growth throught satellite cells and increase your ability to workout.
Researchers have also found that it clamps down on post-exercise rises in TNF
alpha and CRP (C-Reactive Protein), two of the biggest inflammatory cytokine
troublemakers.  For more information on creatine, see my link on
The Benefits of Creatine. The link says it is for vegetarians, but it
will generally to meat-eaters and non. I also have some warnings about creatine in my page on The Potential Risks of Creatine.
Also, a must-read book that will potentially save your life is Inflammation
Nation by David Chilton. It exposes many of the major causes of
inflammation as no other book or site that I have seen:
Inflammation Nation. He
explains how many of the underlying issues to our Western societies, such as
diabetes, autoimmune disorders and heart disease, are really just inflammatory
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Inflammation Nation, by David Chilton, Ph. D., 2006, p. 116.
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Presented at the 122nd Annual Meeting of the American
Physiological Society, Apri 18-22 New Orleans Experimental Biology 2009
"Mirthful Laughter, As Adjunct Therapy in Diabetic Care, Increases HDL Cholesterol and
Attenuates Inflammatory Cytokines and hs-CRP and Possible CVD Risk", Birk, Tan.
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atherogenesis and activated by cholesterol crystals"
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necrosis factor-alpha and HbA1c levels in healthy women"
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protein to exercise training in an at-risk population"
19) Inflammatory bowel diseases, 2008 Jun, 14(6):780-93, "Protective effects of
dietary curcumin in mouse model of chemically induced colitis are strain
20) J Nutr, Oct 2008, 138:1939-1945, "Regular Consumption of Dark Chocolate Is
Associated with Low Serum Concentrations of C-Reactive Protein in a Healthy
22) Am J Clin Nutr, 90: 1144-1150, 2009, First published September 23, 2009;
"Effect of cocoa powder on the modulation of inflammatory biomarkers in patients
at high risk of cardiovascular disease"
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Protein Concentration in Bosnian Patients with Probable Alzheimer's Disease"
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C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker of cardiovascular risk"
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testosterone replacement on endogenous inflammatory cytokines and lipid profiles
in hypogonadal men"
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elevated C-reactive protein"
29) Nutrition, Sep 2013, 29(9):1127-1132, September 2013"Effects of creatine
supplementation on oxidative stress and inflammatory markers after
repeated-sprint exercise in humans"
30) Archives of Medical Research, May 2014, 45(4):325-330, "Oral Magnesium Supplementation Decreases C-reactive Protein Levels in Subjects with Prediabetes and Hypomagnesemia: A Clinical Randomized Double-blind Placebo-controlled Trial"