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How Diets Cause Chronic Inflammation

In the 21st century, it has become common knowledge that ailments such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and many others are linked to chronic inflammation. This information even made it to the cover of Time magazine. In 2017, the Bloomberg Company, a global business, financial information and news leader, did a study ranking 55 countries for efficiency for health care. The U.S. ranked 50th for efficiency, spending $9,403 per person, per year, for health care. Health insurance premiums continue to rise as the U.S. efficiency in health care continues to decline. If chronic inflammation is a major contributing factor to chronic disease, then what could be causing our bodies to be so inflamed?

Many alternative and integrative health practitioners believe that the answer to that question starts with a poor diet and weak digestion. As a nation, we are no longer eating whole foods, and instead eating food-like substances, chemicals and genetically modified (GMO) foods that human physiology does not recognize. In addition, the greatly depleted soil in which our food is grown offers significantly less nutrients than our body needs to express health. This is why the amount of servings of fruits and vegetables experts now recommends keeps going up (now nine to 13 daily).

The second component, weak digestion, can be the result of eating a poor diet. Other factors that cause weak digestion are:

  • Too much stress on the body
  • Subluxations
  • Food enzyme deficiencies

It’s important to focus on the diet, food enzyme deficiencies and a process called digestive leukocytosis. German scientist Rudolph Virchow, known as the father of cellular pathology, described digestive leukocytosis as early as 1897. Nobel Prize nominee Dr. Paul Kouchakoff researched and studied Virchow’s observation on why eating certain foods can result in digestive leukocytosis. Leukocytosis is a $500 word that simply means that the white blood cells are increasing in response to what one ate. Leukocytosis, or inflammation, is the body’s basic defense mechanism.

While researching why eating certain foods create this process called digestive leukocytosis, Kouchakoff found that eating certain foods caused mild to severe inflammation. Ranked worst were manmade foods such as carbonated beverages, alcohol, white sugar, flour and vinegar, followed by pressure-cooked or canned food, followed by commonly cooked food. Ranked best was raw or frozen food, which caused no increase in white blood cell production.

What is the major difference between processed, cooked or canned, man-made and raw or frozen foods? Enzymes. Cooking and the processing of foods destroy the enzymes needed to aid the body in digesting them. The digestive and immune system are heavily dependent on enzymes to do their job properly. Consistently eating a diet from which the enzymes have been removed produces more stress to the body, and in time it creates the perfect storm: weak digestion, digestive leukocytosis and chronic inflammation. If the cells, organs and tissues do not receive the proper nutrition to grow and repair themselves from the daily wear and tear, then chronic disease results in the future.

What can one do?

  • Minimize, or if possible, eliminate processed and GMO foods
  • Eat a balanced, whole food diet rich in organic fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and meats
  • Chew each bite thoroughly (30-plus times)
  • Take digestive food enzymes to support normal digestion and a normal inflammatory response

The human body knows how to heal and how to express health. We don’t need to outsmart the body; we need to support normal function and allow the body to do what it was designed to do. Wellbeing is our natural state, and every cell is programmed to thrive. Many of us abuse our bodies with a poor diet and excessive stress that is wearing out our digestion and immune systems at a rapid rate. Cleaning up the diet, chewing food and supporting the digestion and immune systems with food enzymes are important for the body’s overall health and longevity.

Dr. Keith Giaquinto is an internal health specialist located at 300 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville. For more info, call 630-246-2627 or visit

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