Understanding Inflammation: Advances For Clinicians (Part 2)

When inflammation goes rogue, it can lead to a wide range of chronic diseases. In Part Two of "Understanding Inflammation: Advances For Clinicians" we will be talking with Dr David Lescheid about new scientific breakthroughs in the treatment of inflammatory disorders and, importantly, their clinical application for your patients.

Inflammation can be acutely painful; indeed, it robs our patients of their health, vigor and longevity. In part one of this program, we spoke about why inflammation occurs in the body, how we regulate the inflammatory response, and we discussed some effective treatment options. Today, in part two, we will be exploring the cutting-edge science behind advances in the treatment of inflammatory disorders - and what that means for our patients.  

Our guest today Dr David Lescheid, who holds a PhD in molecular biology and protein chemistry, is also a naturopathic physician, as well as was a professor of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, where he taught physiology, microbiology and infectious disease.

Key Take-Aways


1.  Phases of Inflammation Three phases of inflammation exist. The acute phase is commonly called initiation. Second is the resolution phase that actively controls the acute phase. The more recently discovered third phase is called the post resolution phase or adaptive homeostasis. All three of these phases of inflammation need to occur for effective long-term healing to occur.

2.  Control of Inflammation Inflammation is actively controlled by many different kinds of signaling molecules. Many of these regulators are lipid based, acting as stop signals and checkpoints to acute inflammation. Understanding how these mediators work is presently an active area of research.

3. Causes of Inflammation It is important to look at our patients and ask what is the root cause of the inflammation? Is it an infection? Is it an injury? Is it persistent psychological stress? Is it dysbiosis? Identifying the fundamental cause is important in establishing effective treatment strategies.

4. Systems Approach to Inflammation It is critical to look at inflammation from a systems point of view, because this reveals that “nature knows best”. We know that nature provided this important resolution phase, and evolved it to bring us back to balance with long-term healing. This approach supports one of the fundamentals of naturopathic medicine, which is the healing power of natural systems.

5. Role of the Practitioner The ability of practitioners to read and understand randomized controlled trial data in order to make sound clinical recommendations is vitally important. Practitioners know when to use pharmaceutical drugs, vs natural health products. Because practitioners are now well trained in these foundational matters, they can also prescribe other remedies including exercise, drainage and detoxification in the control of inflammation.

6.  Drug-sparing Effects of Natural Products: Underappreciated benefits of natural health products are their drug-sparing effects. So many natural products actually work well in conjunction with pharmaceutical drugs. Since natural products work in synergy with drugs, lower doses of pharmaceuticals can be prescribed, incurring fewer side effects. As such, patients heal faster.

7. Effective Natural Products in Controlling Inflammation Use of natural products to mitigate inflammation is important. In our toolbox exist many multicomponent multi-target treatment options that can match the complexity of the three phases of the inflammatory response. Curcumin, Boswellia, omega-3 fatty acids are safe, effective natural products for treating inflammation.

8. Testing for Health Status: Testing for health status regarding supplements is important.  For omega-3 fatty acids, the “Omega-3 Score” assay is useful in assessing whether supplementation is required. Such tests can be performed across a number of labs, including MyChrome Inc.  Similarly, nutrigenomic testing can be useful in determining whether an individual possesses an inherited trait which might compromise the functioning of a given supplement.

 Key Quotes  

“Natural health products treat inflammation. For example Curcumin, Boswellia, and of course Omega-3 fatty acids are safe, effective natural products for treating inflammation.”

Dr David Lescheid


The opinions expressed in this Nutramedica program are those of the guests and contributors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Nutritional Fundamentals For Health Inc.

This video is intended for licensed or registered health professionals and students of health professions only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information contained in these programs are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.