inflammaging, inflammation, diet, aging, anti-inflammatory, immune system
Family Practice Nursing | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing
The immune system is a complex cohesive network. It requires every cell to work efficiently at maintaining homeostasis. It also prevents and repairs damage from internal and external pathogens. Recent research has focused on the concept of inflammaging, which is defined as age-related changes that occur in the immune system leading to dysfunction. The current understanding is that inflammaging contributes to the development of chronic diseases including; Type II Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Cancer, autoimmune disorders, neurological disorders, Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease. The underlying pathophysiology of inflammaging is chronic inflammation and the imbalance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators. This imbalance leads to non-adaptive tissue repair, oxidative stress, and cellular DNA damage. Chronic inflammation predisposes people to disability, frailty and increased risk of mortality. The health care system is now tasked with managing an aging population and the increasing number of chronic diseases. New studies have shown there is a direct correlation between diet and the bodies’ ability to modulate inflammation over time. Ultimately everything about a person’s diet either supports or breaks down the immune system’s efficiency. Emerging studies have focused on tracking inflammatory markers, as well as biomarkers of oxidative stress, to measure the effects of anti-inflammatory diets. The most studied diet to date is the Mediterranean diet, which has been proven to reduce inflammatory markers when compared to the traditional low-fat diet. The Mediterranean diet combines a balanced mix of nutrients that are full of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and prebiotic effects. Advanced practice providers can help patients understand how diet can play a vital role in preventing chronic disease. Further research is needed to develop a better understanding of the complementary role anti-inflammatory diets can play in slowing the inflammaging process.
Wiland-Gress, Morgan, "Aging: The Impact of Diet and Inflammation" (2020). Nursing Student Class Projects (Formerly MSN). 407.