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Foods that Douse the Flames of Inflammation

Illustration of girl with hamburger shirt

Hamburger Girl by Max Grünfeld

Why the fountain of youth isn’t actually full of water

When Ponce de León set out on his quest to discover the Fountain of Youth, he wanted to reverse aging and cure illness. Perhaps his plan was to use the magical water to douse the flames of inflammation. After all, we now know that chronic internal inflammation is a leading cause of accelerated aging, as well as many common serious illnesses.  When we think of inflammation, we still typically think of the acute kind, like a red-hot infected wound—the body’s first line of defense against external invaders. But as we age inflammation loses its discrimination and turns on the self, explains biologist Josh Mittledorf PhD, in Cracking the Aging Code. Arthritis is not caused by cartilage gradually wearing away, nor is atherosclerosis caused by a gradual buildup of cholesterol, nor is Alzheimer’s caused by a buildup of plaque. Instead, these diseases are caused by inflammation. Inflammation attacks joints (arthritis), arteries (atherosclerosis), and neurons (Alzheimer’s) and is statistically associated with many types of cancer. “Inflammation is among the root causes of many diseases including hear …

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Karolyn Gazella has been writing and publishing integrative health information since 1992. She is the author of several books and hundreds of articles published in both peer-reviewed medical journals and consumer magazines. She is also the co-creator and CEO of the iTHRIVE cancer survivorship plan. For more information visit

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