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The medical world is taking inflammation (even more) seriously thanks to a new study


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Photo: Stocksy/Alita Ong

There’s a reason why inflammation is one of the biggest buzzwords in the wellness space: Experts say keeping it at bay via anti-inflammatory foods, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, and an occasional healthy cocktail (because #balance) helps with everything from skin conditions and allergies to preventing chronic diseases and painful periods. And now the medical world is corroborating some of the claims.

Being dubbed as a “major milestone” study in the health industry, researchers found that the inflammation-fighting drug canakinumab—marketed under the name Ilaris—reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and possibly lung cancer in those who have already had one heart attack (and have a strong chance of having another).

“This is the first definitive clinical trial support for the concept that inflammation-targeted therapy reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

According to the New York Times, researchers have suspected for quite some time that inflammation plays a role in cardiovascular disease and cancer, but now they’re seeing the proof they need in order to believe it. In the study, 10,061 participants from 39 different countries were randomly chosen to either receive a placebo or an injection of canakinumab every few months for about four years. Those who received the drug were 15 percent less likely to have a heart attack or a stoke or die of cardiovascular disease than those on the placebo.

“[This is] the first definitive clinical trial support for the concept that inflammation-targeted therapy reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. I think that’s extraordinarily important,” Daniel J. Rader, MD, an expert in preventive cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania, told The New York Times.

While the term “inflammation” has long been a buzzword in holistic nutrition circles, this study could make it a topic of conversation at your annual visit with your general practitioner. (So, for your next appointment: Here are some Instagram-ready anti-inflammatory drink recipes you can share with him or her.)

Beat inflammation like Jessica Alba with these small tweaks to your diet. And if you really want to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, here are 16 more ways to do it.