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Does Chronic Inflammation Lead to Cancer?


Chronic inflammation has been associated with many conditions, but recent research shows that it might even lead to cancer.

What is Inflammation?

It is the body’s natural response to injuries and to fighting off infection. It results from the body sending white blood cells and other cells to an injury or infection area. Subsequently, this leads to a warm feeling and swelling that often are the first signs of inflammation.

Although incredibly beneficial, it can also lead to an increase in cellular production. Some different substances and proteins speed up the normal process of cellular growth. Inflammation also leads to the production of molecules, which are otherwise known as cytokines. Cytokines can stimulate the growth of blood vessels, which carry nutrients and oxygen to the area. However, in cases where a tumor is already present, such nutrients will only further feed cancer.

What is the Cause of Chronic Inflammation?

There are types of arthritis that stimulate this process, such as Lupus, an auto-immune disorder. In cases where the body begins to attack itself, it also becomes inflamed. Other researchers have found a link between obesity and chronic inflammation.

As is the case with any other condition, your lifestyle, habits, and nutrition also play a role. Certain foods can stimulate an inflammatory reaction, which, if we continue to eat such foods, can lead to chronic inflammation and increase the risk of us suffering from cancer.

Foods that Increase the Risk of Chronic Inflammation

Certain types of food are best to be avoided, for example, sugar and corn syrup. Sugar, also known as sucrose, is made from 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Corn syrup consists of 45% glucose and 55% fructose. There are studies, which show that both sugar and corn syrup can increase inflammatory markers. Fructose can lead to an inflammation within the endothelial cells, which are the line of blood vessels. This situation is what can increase the risk of suffering from a heart condition and suffering from cancer.

Artificial trans fats have a longer shelf life, but consuming them can increase the marker for inflammation.

Vegetable oil and seed oils are very high in omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for the body; however, they need to balance the omega-3 fatty acids. In cases where the omega-6 fatty acids surpass the omega-3 levels, inflammation can occur in many parts of the body. The Budwig muesli made with Flaxseed oil (and adding flaxseeds) will provide this necessary omega 3.

Refined carbohydrates have lost most of their fiber during the refinement process. Apart from the health effects of fiber, refined carbs can lead to inflammation. They can also promote gut bacteria growth, inflating the digestive tract and increasing the risk of inflammatory bowel disease.

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can also take a toll on your health. Too much alcohol can lead to bacterial toxins leaving the colon and entering the rest of the body. This is a condition otherwise referred to as a leaky gut. It can lead to an inflammation that is wide-spread and to organ damage.

Overcooked and processed meats have a more advanced glycation product, also known as AGEs. AGEs can cause inflammation. Those who eat meat should do their best to limit the intake of beef jerky, sausage, bacon, ham, or smoked meat. Fortunately, the Budwig food plan is a vegetarian diet that will certainly reduce inflammation.

Gluten and casein are other types of foods that should be avoided, as they can lead to inflammation and increase the risk of suffering from cancer. Gluten is found in most grains, such as barley and wheat, while casein is found in dairy products. Both gluten and casein can lead to inflammation and joint pain. Those who have celiac disease are even more sensitive to gluten, as this can cause the immune system to begin damaging the joints and the small intestine. The grains that don’t contain gluten are millet, buckwheat, and quinoa. Oatmeal can be without gluten if whole and organic, as well as brown basmati rice.

To learn more about some ideal alternatives to dairy, read our article: Milk Alternatives – The Essential Guide.

Final Thoughts

Research is still ongoing on how to prevent the spread of cancer that is caused by inflammation. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can fight cancer and do your best to prevent it. Eating healthy and avoiding foods that can lead to inflammation can avoid the risk of suffering from cancer.

At the Budwig Center, we are always urging our patients and friends to opt for a balanced and healthy diet. For example, learn more about the Budwig Diet in this video:

If you can manage to stick to a healthy diet, you have a good chance of avoiding chronic inflammation and at the same time reducing the risk of cancer.

For more information or if you have any specific queries, do not hesitate to contact us.


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