Here are 3 ways to clear stubborn inflammation: managing your fatty acids, taking a new supplement that jump-starts the resolution process, or going with the aspirin protocol from a few episodes ago. Tune in for the details!
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Here are links mentioned in this episode:
The last episode on omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids:
The aspirin episode: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/2019/01/01/aspirin-goes-best-bicarbonate-glycine/
Here are products mentioned in this episode. Purchasing them using these links earns me a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps support the free work I provide:
Arachidonic acid supplements: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/aa
Specialized pro-resolving mediators: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/spm
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Read the Transcript
Here are three things to do to get rid of that stubborn inflammation that just won’t go away.
Hi. I’m Dr. Chris Masterjohn of chrismasterjohnphd.com.
And this is Chris Masterjohn Lite, where the name of the game is “Details? Shmeetails. Just tell me what works!”
And today we’re going to talk about resolving inflammation.
This episode assumes that you have done the work to get rid of chronic triggers of inflammation, and we’re addressing the clean-up process. So, there are many potential triggers to chronic inflammation. Three that would be very common would be: dysbiosis, meaning your gut microbiome is altered in a way that is causing inflammation; obesity because although everyone has their own personal level of body fatness that they can handle without triggering an inflammatory cascade, every single person on the planet will develop inflammation in response to crossing whatever that threshold is, and many of us have inflammation because we are overweight; and then the third thing is eating foods that you don’t tolerate.
Trying to ferret out the changes in the microbiome and the foods you don’t tolerate could be very complicated. All of that is well beyond the scope of this episode. You probably need to be working with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner to take care of those, and then of course there are more severe diseases that could cause inflammation that you definitely would have to be working with a qualified healthcare practitioner to address.
Here, what we’re talking about is, let’s say we have done everything that we can to stop causing inflammation, how do we make it go away? And I think there is epidemic proportions of inflammation that has not gotten resolved, and we’re still doing research to try to figure out why, but there’s a few things that I can suggest in the meantime while we’re trying to figure it out. So, first of all, as I said in the last episode, you want to have arachidonic acid levels and DHA levels that are high enough in your tissues because those are what you use to resolve inflammation. And you can test those.
The simplest test to get would be the Quest test. I’ll relink to that test as well as the panels that are included in the description of this episode. You want to make sure that your arachidonic acid and DHA levels are on the higher end of the spectrum. If arachidonic acid is not high enough, you want to eat more egg yolks, and you can take an arachidonic acid supplement. I’ll link to one in the description. If your DHA isn’t high enough, you want to eat more fish, you want to take more fish oil or cod liver oil, or you want to—you want to take—you could take algal oil DHA as a supplement. That is a vegan supplement. And to some extent if you consume pasture-based animal products, you will have a pretty good balance of those. In other words, egg yolks from chickens that are raised on pasture that are eating grass and insects have both arachidonic acid and DHA in them. If you’re eating animal products that are grain-fed, they are not going to be good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. So that’s number one.
Manage your diet and supplements to get your arachidonic acid and DHA levels on the higher end of the spectrum. If that alone isn’t sufficient, then you might want to jump-start the process of resolving the inflammation. The gentlest way to do that, and to be honest everything in the rest of this video should be considered pharmacological, not nutritional, but arguably the best way to approach this in a way that has the least probable side effects would be to take a fairly new supplement out from Metagenics called Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators. What this supplement is is basically you’re eating the chemicals derived from those fatty acids
that jumpstart the resolution of inflammation, and there’s just not the research to really say this will work, but there’s the basic science of how this works that allows us to say this might work, and it’s something that you could try.
It’s on the expensive side, so if you can just get these fatty acids to where they should be nutritionally, and that helps, then you can avoid the expense of that. If that doesn’t work, or you don’t want to put down the money, then I would try what I suggested four episodes ago about aspirin. And briefly, that protocol is, number one, you want to take bicarbonate on an empty stomach at doses and at frequency that will maintain your urine pH around 7, possibly as high as 8, before you start using the aspirin. You do not want to take bicarbonate and aspirin within 30 to 60 minutes of each other because you could get stomach problems from that.
Then you want to take aspirin with glycine. The glycine doesn’t have to be exactly at the same time. It could be at the nearest meal, but basically three grams of glycine for every dose of aspirin that you take. You want to take the aspirin according to the label. You want to clear that it’s okay to take aspirin with your doctor and start at a lower recommended dose and titrate up as you need it. And along with this, you could take some fish oil to get not only the DHA but also the EPA in the presence of aspirin, and only in the presence of aspirin, the EPA will help resolve inflammation. I would not use high doses of fish oil like 5 or 6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids because the EPA can have negative effects in blocking the enzymes involved, so I think you want to get low doses, maybe up to a gram per day of EPA and DHA total. So, get a fish oil that says exactly the yield of EPA and DHA that take the sum of EPA and DHA, go up to a gram in that.
You could experiment with going higher over time, but if you do, I would do so very slowly and give yourself some time. Give a week or two taking the lower dose with the aspirin to make sure that you have to go up higher before you actually shoot up there into the higher dose range. Again, aspirin is not without its side effects, and so I would use that as the last resort rather than the first resort and make sure that the higher you go up in each step—just getting the fatty acids normal is totally nutritional; you don’t really need to clear that with anyone.
As you go up to step two and step three with the Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators and then the aspirin, you’re getting more and more out of the nutrition zone and into the pharmacology zone, so it becomes more and more important to let your, the healthcare practitioner that you work with know about this and get clearance for especially the aspirin, but maybe even for the other products involved.