Inflammation is arguably the biggest buzzword in the health and wellness world—it's been linked to everything from poor gut health and joint pain to heart disease, depression, and even an elevated risk of cancer. But as Health reports, inflammation gets a bit of a bad wrap; it's merely the body's natural response to outside threats, including infection, chemicals, or stress.
"In a healthy situation, inflammation serves as a good friend to our body," said Mansour Mohamadzadeh, PhD, director of the Center for Inflammation and Mucosal Immunology at the University of Florida, to the publication. "But if immune cells start to overreact, that inflammation can be totally directed against us." Unhealthy diets, low-grade food allergies or sensitivities, pollutants in our water, air, and food, a lack of sleep or exercise, and psychological, emotional or physical stress can all elevate inflammation levels to this unhealthy degree.
We've thoroughly explored the connection between healthy foods and reduced inflammation in the body, but alpha-lipoic acid ($8 on Amazon) is one of the most scientifically proven supplements when it comes to tempering inflammation. "Alpha-lipoic acid is a fatty acid made by your body. It plays a key role in metabolism and energy production," writes Healthline. "It also functions as an antioxidant, protecting your cells from damage and helping restore levels of other antioxidants, like vitamins C and E." Studies show that it may reduce the inflammation related to insulin resistance, obesity-related cancers, liver disease, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and more.
The publication reports that "no issues have been reported in people taking [the recommended] 300 to 600mg of alpha-lipoic acid for up to seven months," but you should always consult your doctor before trying a new supplement. Alpha-lipoic acid is not recommended for pregnant women, and should be avoided if you take diabetes medication.
Head over to Healthline for more.