Sunday, February 24, 2013

Inflammation, Cancer & Liver Challenges

by Glen Depke

Chronic Inflammation is a huge issue in our culture and for many people reading this article today. While this is the case so few would think about inflammation when faced with a diagnosis of cancer or liver dysfunction. Well, think again...

I have mentioned chronic inflammation many times in the past and for those that are not aware, I refer to this as a NF-kB state. Often clients in my office ask me what NF-kB stands for and honestly, my response generally does not help much, but here we go. NF-kB stands for nuclear factor kappa beta. I know, it sounds like a fraternity at a university. 

Here's something that will make sense though. This NF-kB is defined as a complex group of proteins that controls the transciption of DNA. You may already be seeing the tie into cancer.

NF-kB controls the expression of genes encoding the proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines adhesion molecules, inducible enzymes and growth factors. It is found in all cell types and is involved in cellular responses to stress, cytokines, free radicals and antigens. In short, the chronically activated NF-kB state has been linked to cancer, liver dysfunction, inflammatory conditions as well as autoimmunity.

This NF-kB state is triggered by stress, food intolerance, infection, obesity, addiction and chemotherapy. Interesting that the most common form of cancer treatment actually creates a state that is a significant risk factor for cancer. The frustrating part of this for so many, is that even if you remove all the triggers, the NF-kB state will likely continue to be an issue for you. I cannot tell you how often I have clients in my clinic that feel hopeless and frustrated because they have done so much to be healthy, yet cannot reach their goals. This is often due to the NF-kB self amplifying feedback loops.

One of these feedback loops is tied into liver function.

Understand that the NF-kB state will often inhibit phase I and phase II liver detoxification pathways. This occurs due to the fact that the NF-kB state can create a suppression of cytochrome P450. This suppression leads to a compound hepatic biotransformation, thus activating hepatic end products. It helps to understand that biotransformation is the process of rendering fat-soluble compounds to water soluble compounds so they can be excreted via the urine, feces and sweat. Hormones, toxins and drugs undergo hepatic transformation by phase I and phase II pathways in the liver and are eventually eliminated by a phase III pathway. A significant key though to this biotransformation, phase I, phase II and phase III pathways is the initial release of cytochrome P450. As noted above, the NF-kB state suppresses this cytochrome P450 thus inhibiting the entire liver clearance pathways.

When this occurs a further NF-kB state is initiated and round and round you go. Simply put, the chronic inflammatory state known as NF-kB leads to a multiple challenges within the liver, thus leading to more inflammation. Now you can see why this would be so frustrating for so many.

There are multiple ties of the NF-kB state to cancer, so let's understand this further. 

It is very important to understand the we all have cancer cells. The key for must of us is that we have strong immune systems that keep the body in harmony with these cancer cells. The challenge then is with immune function low the body is no longer in harmony, DNA is not replicating properly and cancer is now a very serious risk.

Remember earlier when I mentioned that the NF-kB is the complex group of proteins that control the transcription of DNA? Making sense now?

The NF-kB state leads to immune system dysregulation which in turn leads to the loss of cellular apoptosis (program cellular death) with the all too often end product being cancer. Understand that apoptosis is the process of eliminating DNA-damaged, superfluous, or unwanted cells and when halted may result in uncontrolled cell growth and tumor formation. Simply put, the NF-kB state leads to cancer.

One other factor to understand with the NF-kB state is the fact that many of the feedback loops lead to immune system challenges, thus increasing risk of cancer. This may be tied into an increase in cytokine production, leaky gut and more.

The most important point to make in this article is the fact that you can address the NF-kB state. I have listed the steps used with success at Depke Wellness to address this properly. 

*I do not recommend addressing this on your own, so please work with a natural health practitioner that would be considered and expert in the NF-kB state.
  • Address food intolerance and nutritional challenges
  • Learn healthy ways of addressing stress
  • Address any chronic infections (generally gut related)
  • Balance adrenal function
  • Increase peripheral circulation
  • Balance immune function with glutathione and vitamin D
  • Address phase I & phase II liver detoxification pathways
  • Take the correct dosage of curcumin and resveratrol (the dosing and form of both is of utmost importance)
I have seen this work with consistency over the years with not only the clients in my clinic but with myself personally. If you want to significantly reduce your risk of cancer and chronic liver challenges, address your NF-kB state.

If you have any comments or questions in regard to this article, leave a post below for me to address personally.


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