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Lifestyle interventions associated with lower inflammation levels

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

Below you will find lifestyle interventions from the scientific literature that are associated with lower inflammation levels, but how each of these impacts you personally will vary. So, feel free to choose from this list or choose something else you have been meaning to implement and see what type of impact it has on you.

Always seek the advice of your physician or another licensed health care provider with any questions you may have regarding your health and before undertaking a new regimen.

Chart: Lifestyle Changes Associated with Lower Inflammation Levels

References below

Example quantities and time periods studied

The below chart shows example quantities and time periods used in studies of the impact of the habit on hsCRP/CRP. Note that studies were conducted in a wide range of participant health levels. In addition, at times, supplements were used as the habit. There is varying quality of supplements and the natural source may be an alternative.

Category

Habit studied

Example quantities studied

Example time period studied

Notes and References

Nutrition

Berries (Bilberry)

330 mL bilberry juice/day (diluted to 1 L using tap water)

4 weeks

Data based on a single study

Reference 1

Nutrition

Berries (Cranberry)

450 mL/day of high polyphenol cranberry extract beverage


240 mL two times/day of low-calorie cranberry juice


8 weeks

Data based on two studies


Reference 1, 2

Nutrition

Cinnamon

2, 500mg capsules of cinnamon (Cinnamomum burmannii bark ground into a fine powder) twice a day


8 weeks

Data based on a single study where participants started with very high CRP due to Rheumatoid Arthritis


Reference 1

Nutrition

Curcumin

500 mg curcuminoids with 5 mg piperine capsules twice per day


Two 40 mg capsules of Nanomicelle curcumin (Sina Curcumin®) per day

​8 weeks - 3 months

Data based on two studies with piperine added to increase bioavailability. In the first study, participants had metabolic syndrome and in the second study they had NAFLD.


Reference 1 , 2, 3


Nutrition

​Garlic

​Garlic capsules (250 mg capsules) twice per day


Garlicin capsule 400 mg/day

12 weeks to 3 months

Data based on two studies. In the first study, participants had Type 2 diabetes with obesity, and both the control and case groups also took metformin


Reference 1, 2

​Nutrition

Ginger

​Two 500 mg capsules twice a day


One 1000 mg tablet twice a day


8 weeks

Data based on two studies, where participants had Type 2 Diabetes


Reference 1, 2

Nutrition

Magnesium Supplement

320-450 mg/day

7 weeks - 6.5 months

Data based on a meta-analysis across studies


Reference 1

​Nutrition

​Mediterranean Diet

Variations of a mediterranean-style diet.

12 weeks to 2 years

​Data based on a meta-analysis across studies. Studies included had MD dietary or provision of dietary factors relevant to the MD with at least two components from the following list required:


- High monounsaturated/saturated fat ratio (use of olive oil as main cooking ingredient),

- Low to moderate red wine consumption,

- High consumption of legumes,

- High consumption of grains and cereals,

- High consumption of fruits and vegetables,

- Low consumption of meat and meat products and increased consumption of fish,

- Moderate consumption of milk and dairy products


Reference 1

Nutrition

​Mediterranean diet + Olive Oil

Mediterranean diet supplemented with 50mL/d of extra virgin olive oil

12 months

Data based on a single study, compared to a low-fat diet


Reference 1

Nutrition

​Strawberries

​1 cup of freeze dried strawberry powdered beverage twice per day at least 6 hours apart; each cup contained 25 g of freeze dried strawberry powder, which is equivalent to ~250g of fresh strawberries

6 weeks

Data based on a single study with participants who had Type 2 Diabetes


Reference 1

Nutrition

Tart Cherries

240-480 mL/day tart cherry juice

4-12 weeks

Data based on two studies


Reference 1, 2

​Nutrition

Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarian Diet

52 weeks+

Data based on a metaanalysis


Reference 1

Exercise

Aerobic

​5 days/week, 45 minutes exercise sessions

16 - 52 weeks

Data based on two studies


Reference 1, 2

Exercise

Strength Training

3 days/week, 3 sets, 10 exercises, 8-12 repetitions

12 weeks

Data based on a single study


Reference 1

Stress

Mindfulness

Interoception and present-moment focus; began with a 3-day retreat, followed by weekly 2-hour group sessions and 30 minutes of practice daily.

3 months

Data based on a single study, effect only shown for participants who were male and had relatively higher inflammatory levels at baseline


Reference 1

Stress

Yoga

70 minutes (10-minutes warm-up, 40-minutes standing or seated yoga postures, 20-minute relaxation); 2 times a week for first 2 weeks, then 3 times a week

8 weeks

Data based on a single study in participants with heart failure


Reference 1

Sleep

No electronics (e.g., smart phones) in bedroom

Not based on study in inflammation but may help improve sleep health


Tips for Better Sleep | CDC


Sleep

Sleep/wake at the same time daily

Not based on study in inflammation but may help improve sleep health


Tips for Better Sleep | CDC

​Sleep

Exercise during the day

Not based on study in inflammation but may help improve sleep health


Tips for Better Sleep | CDC



References for Chart: Lifestyle Changes Associated with Lower Inflammation Levels

Nutrition


  • Anthocyanin containing berries (e.g. blueberry, cranberry) Xu, Lin, et al. "Anthocyanins, anthocyanin-rich berries, and cardiovascular risks: Systematic review and meta-analysis of 44 randomized controlled trials and 15 prospective cohort studies." Frontiers in nutrition 8 (2021). (Link)

  • Tart Cherries Gholami, Ali, et al. "The beneficial effect of tart cherry on plasma levels of inflammatory mediators (not recovery after exercise): A systematic review and meta-analysis on randomized clinical trials." Complementary Therapies in Medicine 68 (2022): 102842. (Link)

  • Cinnamon Zhu, Changyou, et al. "Impact of cinnamon supplementation on cardiometabolic biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Complementary Therapies in Medicine 53 (2020): 102517. (Link)

  • Cinnamon Vallianou, Natalia, et al. "Effect of cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) supplementation on serum C-reactive protein concentrations: A meta-analysis and systematic review." Complementary Therapies in Medicine 42 (2019): 271-278. (Link)

  • Curcumin (found in turmeric) Ferguson, Jessica JA, Kylie A. Abbott, and Manohar L. Garg. "Anti-inflammatory effects of oral supplementation with curcumin: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Nutrition Reviews 79.9 (2021): 1043-1066. (Link)

  • Garlic Taghizadeh, Mohsen, Zahra Hamedifard, and Sadegh Jafarnejad. "Effect of garlic supplementation on serum C‐reactive protein level: A systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials." Phytotherapy research 33.2 (2019): 243-252. (Link)

  • Garlic Darooghegi Mofrad, Manije, et al. "Garlic supplementation reduces circulating C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor, and Interleukin-6 in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." The journal of nutrition 149.4 (2019): 605-618. (Link)

  • Ginger Morvaridzadeh, Mojgan, et al. "Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on inflammatory markers: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Cytokine 135 (2020): 155224. (Link)

  • Magnesium Supplement Mazidi, Mohsen, Peyman Rezaie, and Maciej Banach. "Effect of magnesium supplements on serum C-reactive protein: a systematic review and meta-analysis." Archives of Medical Science 14.4 (2018): 707-716. (Link)

  • Mediterranean Diet Schwingshackl, L., and G. Hoffmann. "Mediterranean dietary pattern, inflammation and endothelial function: a systematic review and meta-analysis of intervention trials." Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 24.9 (2014): 929-939. (Link)

  • Olive Oil Schwingshackl, Lukas, Marina Christoph, and Georg Hoffmann. "Effects of olive oil on markers of inflammation and endothelial function—a systematic review and meta-analysis." Nutrients 7.9 (2015): 7651-7675. (Link)

  • Strawberry Gao, Qi, et al. "Effects of strawberry intervention on cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials." British Journal of Nutrition 124.3 (2020): 241-246. (Link)

  • Vegetarian Diet Craddock, Joel C., et al. "Vegetarian-based dietary patterns and their relation with inflammatory and immune biomarkers: a systematic review and meta-analysis." Advances in Nutrition10.3 (2019): 433-451. (Link)

Exercise

  • Resistance Training Costa, Rochelle Rocha, et al. "Effect of strength training on lipid and inflammatory outcomes: systematic review with meta-analysis and meta-regression." Journal of Physical Activity and Health 16.6 (2019): 477-491. (Link)

  • Exercise in General Hammonds, Tracy L., et al. "Effects of exercise on c-reactive protein in healthy patients and in patients with heart disease: A meta-analysis." Heart & Lung 45.3 (2016): 273-282. (Link)

  • Exercise in General Fedewa, Michael V., Elizabeth D. Hathaway, and Christie L. Ward-Ritacco. "Effect of exercise training on C reactive protein: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised and non-randomised controlled trials." British journal of sports medicine 51.8 (2017): 670-676. (Link)

  • Aerobic Exercise Zheng, Guohua, et al. "Effect of aerobic exercise on inflammatory markers in healthy middle-aged and older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Frontiers in aging neuroscience 11 (2019): 98. (Link)

Sleep


  • Sleep Disturbance and Duration Irwin, Michael R., Richard Olmstead, and Judith E. Carroll. "Sleep disturbance, sleep duration, and inflammation: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies and experimental sleep deprivation." Biological psychiatry 80.1 (2016): 40-52. (Link)

  • Sleep Duration Grandner, Michael A., et al. "Sleep duration, cardiovascular disease, and proinflammatory biomarkers." Nature and science of sleep 5 (2013): 93. (Link)


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