As physicians we often find people are concerned about “inflammation”. Inflammation is somewhat of a nonspecific term and can refer to any process in the body that triggers an immune response. This could be due to a an infection, an injury, an autoimmune process or other processes that cause the body to react. So think arthritis, GI ailments, headaches, sinus issues and more. There is also much data to like inflammation with various cancers, heart disease and dementia.
The question then follows, “Are there vitamins for inflammation?”. One recent study shows some compelling evidence that taking certain vitamins may reduce the risk of developing certain autoimmune diseases. This paper published in the American College of Rheumatology shows that taking Vitamin D3 and Omega 3s reduced the incidence of certain autoimmune diseases (inflammatory conditions) if taken for several years. There are few important take aways from this. Namely that these vitamins, which we always suspected played a role in inflammatory processes do seem to in fact help the body fend off inflammation. How exactly they do so remains unclear but we do know that white blood cells contain receptors for vitamin D and omega 3s seem to reduce the release of certain inflammatory substances in the blood stream.
Likewise certain inflammatory processes such as cardiac risk may also be reduced by certain vitamins. A large study of women taking multivitamins showed reduced cardiac risk. We suspect that addressing certain key nutrient deficiencies help the body function more optimally. This has also been suggested by several studies looking at certain vitamins for COVID, the most promising including vitamins D, C and Zinc. These likely help reduce severity of disease by reducing the inflammatory response that is the hallmark of severe infection.
Are there other vitamins that can reduce inflammation? Likely many of the common deficiencies we see can play a role in inflammation. We know that magnesium has antiinflammatory processes and helps nerve cells and muscles relax. Similarly, certain B vitamins are helpful with inflammation of nerves. There is also some data now on curcumin or turmeric, two herbal supplements that may help reduce inflammation. While the data is compelling there are some challenges in guaranteeing purity and quality of products which raises concerns about these ingredients.
Clearly there are some proven benefits to taking certain vitamins to reduce inflammation. However, not all vitamins are useful or safe for all people. The best way to determine vitamin needs is to take the right vitamins based on your individual needs. Your diet, lifestyle and health concerns should help determine which vitamins are useful, safe and medically appropriate for you. Take our vitamin quiz to get the right blend of nutrients for your needs in daily personalized vitamin.
Romy Block specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and is mother to three active adolescent boys. Arielle Levitan is a Doctor of Internal Medicine with a special interest in Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health. She is a mother of three teenagers. As professional women with active family lives, they recognize that people often neglect their own health needs and are uncertain about what vitamins to take. Each person is different in her diet, exercise and health history, and will benefit from different nutrients. After years of advising their patients about the proper vitamins to take, Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs. They are authors of the award winning The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health (She Writes Press, 2015). Take your vitamin quiz now to get exactly the right vitamins for your needs.
The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products offered by Vous Vitamin® are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Nothing contained herein is intended to be a diagnosis or constitute medical advice. The symptoms described in this Blog may be a result of a serious medical condition which requires medical treatment. You should consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this Blog and before beginning any vitamin or supplement regimen.