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Cellular Inflammation-Definition and Causes

A majority of the symptoms and diseases we see today stem from chronic cellular inflammation. “Inflammation of the cell membrane affects the way the cell functions, including communication with other cells, detoxification and gene expression (DNA).”[1]

Let me give you a brief overview of how the approximately fifty trillion cells that comprise the human body function. Every one of our cells has a membrane comprised of a lipid bilayer (two walls of fat), and off these walls of fat are receptors. A normally functioning cellular membrane takes in the raw materials we eat, and our bodies break them down into usable elements. These receptors are responsible for drawing into the cell our vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and hormones like insulin.

Correlating receptors draw that raw material into the cells, and energy (ATP) is created in the mitochondria. That energy is converted into hormones, messages, and antioxidants before they are sent out of the cell to other cells. In the production of energy, toxins are also produced and released from the cell.

An inflamed cell is a congested cell. When this occurs, the receptors are blunted. The proper nutrients can’t get into the cell, and toxins can’t get out of the cell. This causes a number of problems with cellular function, and symptoms begin to occur in the body.

The cell then has two options:

  1. It will mutate or adapt to the new environment of toxicity or inflammation. This mutation is also known as cancer.
  2. It will die. Also referred to as cell apoptosis or premature aging.

When the cells die off at a rapid rate, the body begins to respond with conditions like headaches, brain fog, and fatigue to more serious illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic symptoms and diseases that many men and women in our culture face today.

There are three major causes of cellular inflammation. The first one is excessive sugar intake. With excessive sugar intake, the insulin receptor gets overworked and eventually dies. The cell can no longer hear insulin. That is what type 2 diabetes is—the body’s inability to hear insulin, not produce insulin. But in today’s medical treatment, medications are used to beat the pancreas into producing more insulin, when the problem is in the cell. High insulin levels drive inflammation further, eventually leading to heart disease and premature aging and will further the progression of diabetes. Insulin also makes it harder to lose weight because insulin is a fat-storing hormone. So, in order to get well, this vicious cycle has to stop.

Sugar also fights with other receptors, such as the receptors that take in vitamins and minerals and, therefore, acts as an anti-nutrient. This is why sugar plays such a huge role in many of the chronic diseases we see today.

The second cause of cellular inflammation is the intake of bad fats. We have become so afraid of saturated fat and cholesterol, but when we look at the research, these are the two most necessary fats to regenerate the cell membrane.[2]

Bad fats in the form of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFAs) damage the cells and drive inflammation and oxidative stress (production of free radicals). These fats, in the form of vegetable oils, are found in the majority of our processed foods including chips, pies, cookies, crackers, and even foods marketed as health foods.

Sugar combined with bad fats increase the LDL particles (commonly known as bad cholesterol) that drive inflammation.

The third major cause of cellular inflammation is environmental toxins. The Environmental Protection Agency defines toxin as “any chemical or mixture that may be harmful to the environment and to human health if inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin.”[3] Environmental toxins involve a broad entity of chemicals that we encounter in our everyday lives. Our environment has been bombarded with over 84,000 chemicals since World War II, with about 1,500 new chemicals being introduced into our air, food, and water each year.[4] Every time we take a shower, we breathe in more chlorine than is in a glass of unfiltered water. The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organization have concluded that 80 percent of all cancers are attributed to environmental rather than genetic factors, including exposure to car­cinogenic chemicals, such as formaldehyde and benzene, many of which are found in household cleaning products. Our laundry detergents, kitchen cleaners, and air fresheners could be unknowingly making us sick. Every morning we lather up in skin-care products that are also loaded with toxic chemicals, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, which has devastating effects on our health. Other toxic chemicals we have daily exposure to include fluoride, molds, pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals like lead and mercury.

Toxins are known as the smoking gun that can trigger numerous chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and obesity. The inability to lose weight, despite diet and exercise, is usually associated with high toxicity levels in the body.

Another cause of cellular inflammation I would like to introduce has helped me “crack the code” with not only my health challenges but also some of the tough cases that I’ve seen in my practice. I will call this the fourth cause of cellular inflammation, which is a negative belief system. Our cells not only respond to a toxic or unbalanced physical environment, but they also respond to unhealthy or unsupportive beliefs.[5]

Whatever program you use or lifestyle changes you choose to implement, what you believe plays a major role in whether or not the system will work for you. Your outer world, including your health, is a reflection of your inner thoughts. When I was able to grasp this concept, I began to notice my life and the lives of others completely transform.

So, the intention of my action steps was to downregulate cellular inflammation, start a diet that promoted cellular healing, and remove excess toxins from the body.

To fix and detox the cells, I implement the 5Rs of True Cellular Detox. The 5Rs act as a roadmap to regulating the cells’ ability to heal and detox.

An Introduction to the 5Rs

The 5Rs of True Cellular Detox, a model developed by Dr. Daniel Pompa, is subsequently the best approach to fix the cells and improve the body’s functions. Let’s briefly go over the 5Rs to cellular detox.

R1: Remove the Source

Removing the source is, unfortunately, one of the most overlooked Rs. In order to control numerous serious conditions like diabetes or heart disease, it is very important to remove the source. Most of the healthcare practitioners, including allopathic and alternative, treat the symptoms of chronic illness without considering the primary cause or source. Instead of getting to the source, which may be toxic in nature, most practitioners dabble with downstream symptoms in their attempts to fix the issue.

We must remove the interference. If we don’t remove the barriers to healing, the patients will not get well long-term.

R2: Regenerate the Cell Membrane

While removing toxins from the body, it is very important to regenerate the inner and outer cell membrane. If the cell membrane is inflamed, it will not allow nutrients to enter the cell and toxins to exit.

When the membrane is regenerated, it is able to communicate properly with other cells and bring changes in the DNA and in gene expression. If the cell membrane is unable to regenerate, it will not be able to detox or change gene expression.

Regenerating the cell membrane may be the most important R of all. We can’t get the patient well without fixing the cell membrane.

R3: Restore Cellular Energy (ATP)

It is very important to restore cellular energy. In fact, increasing cellular energy is the first step to improving overall health. Without restoring cellular energy, it will be challenging to benefit from other treatments. The cells will not have sufficient energy to function properly.

With lower cellular energy, inflammation will increase. Due to this, you will feel very lethargic and lazy. You might not have the energy to get out of bed or even get through the day. In addition, you may experience some general pain and brain fog. This defect in basic cellular metabolism may be the primary cause of your illness. It is necessary to restore cellular energy to improve your condition.

R4: Reduce Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in the Cells

As mentioned earlier, it is extremely important to reduce inflammation to control chronic illness. With this stress, this is certainly not possible. In order to reduce inflammation, it is crucial to reduce oxidative stress. If you’re unable to reduce oxidative stress, your detox attempts are likely to fail. R4 is the most basic of the 5Rs, and the key treatment to reversing this is with The Cellular Healing Diet.

R5: Reestablish Methylation Pathways

Methylation is a standard process in which the body performs and manages many responsibilities. One of the most important responsibilities of this process is to turn the good genes on and bad genes off. Detoxification of bad hormones, such as toxic estrogen, which is linked to so many cancers today, is another responsibility of methylation. In fact, this process is the key to starting and stopping most cellular functions. Thus, it may be considered a process to sustain life.

Stress is one of the most important factors for depletion of methyl groups. It is important to understand that the human body considers physical, emotional, and chemical stress to be the same. Therefore, it responds in the same way to every kind of stress. Stress puts your DNA at risk.

You also need to take care of the chemical exposure from various products that may be toxic. Some of these include personal care products, nonorganic foods, silver amalgam fillings, city water, grain-fed meats, vaccinations, and so on. When you add these toxic substances with other stressors (emotional or physical), methyl depletion will cause some serious health problems.

My focus on the 5Rs has helped my patients and me recover from many chronic diseases and improve overall health. I use various combinations of the 5Rs throughout patients’ treatment plans to help get their health back. With this approach, it is such a joy to see my patients feel better, lose weight, gain more energy, and transform their lives!

[1] “R4 – Reducing Cellular Inflammation: ‘The Secret Killer,’” Dr. Daniel Pompa, accessed July 13, 2013, http://drpompa.com/additional-resources/health-tips/r4-reducing-cellular-inflammation-oxidative-stress-and-nitric-oxide-cycle.
[2] “R4 – Reducing Cellular Inflammation: “’The Secret Killer,’” Dr. Daniel Pompa, accessed July 16, 2013, http://drpompa.com/additional-resources/health-tips/r4-reducing-cellular-inflammation-oxidative-stress-and-nitric-oxide-cycle.
[3] “What Is A Toxic Substance?” Environmental Protection Agency, last modified May 9, 2012, http://www.epa.gov/kidshometour/toxic.htm.
[4] “TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory,” Environmental Protection Agency, last modified March 13, 2014, http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/tscainventory/basic.html.
[5] Bruce H. Lipton, PhD, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles, (Hay House, 2005), 107-114.

2 Comments to “ Cellular Inflammation-Definition and Causes”

  1. Tanya Nicholas says :

    Thank You For Educating Us so Clearly and passionately.

    1. Dr. Leona says :

      My pleasure! I am glad you find this information helpful.