Carolyn Huntress, RPh – Rochester location
Inflammation and its associated pain, both chronic and acute, is a common complaint for many, especially adults. While it is an appropriate and critically important immune response to a stressor on the human body, the resolution of inflammation is also critical. Chronic inflammation due to constant activation of the immune response may lead to long term health concerns. Many diseases have origins in or are aggravated by chronic inflammation; these include arthritis, peripheral vascular disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and autoimmune diseases such as IBD.
The immune response has two phases, initiation and resolution. The initiation phase is the body’s natural protective response to an injury where mediators in the body orchestrate a response whereby neutrophils (white blood cells) converge on the affected area. The resolution phase is essentially when the inflammatory response is curtailed and the affected area is cleaned of debris from the inflammatory response.
While traditional anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDs work to reduce the pain and swelling of an injured or stressed area of the body, they do not specifically address the resolution phase. Until recently scientists believed that the resolution of inflammation was a passive process. Newer research has discovered that there are specific mediators that can target the area of immune response to actively promote the resolution of inflammation. The mediators are called specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) and are found in variable amounts in the body.
SPM production in the body is dependent on age, diet, stress and other environmental irritants. Because of this, the body does not always have enough of these important mediators to fully resolve the inflammatory response. The body can also convert Omega 3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA into the necessary SPMs, however, this process is inefficient in the face of chronic inflammation and other co-morbidities. Nutritional supplementation with SPMs can address these deficiencies and actively work to resolve inflammation.
The specific mediators identified to resolve chronic inflammation, 18-HEPE and 17-HDHA, are found in a new Metagenics fractionated fish oil product called OmegaGenics SPM Active.
Call or stop in to Pine Pharmacy to learn about this new option for the resolution of chronic inflammation