Inflammation is one of the most complicated processes in the human body. Though necessary to fight invasion and infection, uncontrolled inflammation can wreak havoc on your system. Fortunately, your body produces several substances to combat inflammation when it’s gone too far. One of the most critical of those are lipoxins, cool, little molecules that control and mediate the inflammatory process.
While there is still plenty to understand about how to regulate inflammation, lipoxins are offering some intriguing possibilities.
Why Is Inflammation So’ Complicated?’
When your body is injured in any way — disease, injury or ailment — the body triggers the release of several healing chemicals and proteins. Then, it allocates increased blood flow to the infected area, so it can ensure all of that freshly-released goodness can get where it’s supposed to go. The result (from your perspective, at least) is inflammation. Think of inflammation as your body’s safety mechanisms arriving on the scene, like a paramedic at a car crash.
Once the job is done, your body is supposed to release certain agents that trigger the end of the inflammation response and send everyone back to what they were doing pre-injury. When your body is incapable of controlling the inflammation response, it’s like your whole body remains on alert. This leaves you with consistent feelings of fatigue, fever and pain.
Fortunately, there are lipoxins.
What Are Lipoxins?
It probably comes as no surprise that the human body is filled with an incredibly complex array of chemicals and substances. So, you shouldn’t feel bad if you’ve not heard of lipoxins. When the immune response delivers neutrophils and macrophages to the damage site, these cells release lipoxins. After the site has been treated to the best of the body’s ability, lipoxins are the body’s signal that it’s time to get back to the typical routine.
Though they’re not the only anti-inflammatory tool in the body, lipoxins are one of the most crucial and most prized. Lipoxins are so potent that hospitals even use aspirin to stimulate a lipoxin response in patients suffering from chronic inflammation.
Why Are Lipoxins So Crucial?
At first, inflammation is great. It signals that your body’s immune response has kicked in, and agents are already arriving on the scene, releasing hormones that can sweep aside infection-causing germs like they were nothing.
When there is nothing to regulate the immune response, it takes an enormous toll on the body. Not only does a constant inflammation response require a lot of energy to maintain, but unchecked inflammation will eventually start eating away at the cells in your body. Some medical experts suggest that excessive inflammation can result in cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, asthma and more.
As a result, it’s critical to ensure that your body’s production of lipoxins is ample enough to counteract and shut down any inflammation response once it’s had time to work.
What Causes Chronic Inflammation?
The cause of inflammation is as broad as its use in the body. Chronic inflammation can be brought on by various means:
- Untreated Injury or Illness: Remember, the primary purpose of your infection is to cure what ails you. If you’re neglecting an injury or refusing to treat an illness, you could trigger a long-lasting inflammation response.
- Autoimmune Diseases: Afflictions that play havoc with your immune response can lead to unregulated inflammation.
- External Toxins: Exposure to pollution or industrial chemicals over a long time can lead to inflammation.
- Poor Habits: There are several ways to inflict inflammation on your own body, including smoking tobacco, overeating, drinking excessively and remaining stressed for prolonged periods.
Some issues that promote chronic inflammation, like obesity and diabetes, can actually develop into much more serious conditions if left untreated.
Promote Lipoxin Growth
Though they were initially discovered more than four decades ago, there is still very little clinical research devoted to lipoxins. A growing number of studies have pointed to the benefits they add to the body, but few medical practitioners are working to employ lipoxins as a medical treatment. Instead, traditional medicine recommends Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids. Both of these treatments have serious drawbacks. NSAIDs can result in stomach pain, heart issues and kidney problems. Steroids can cause high blood pressure, glaucoma and osteoporosis.
In other words, though current medical practices offer treatment for inflammation, there is more to be done in the study and execution of a foolproof remedy for chronic inflammation. That said, lipoxins may be at the forefront of future treatments for the issue.