The Link Between Chronic Inflammation and Aging: What You Need to Know

by Dr. Nick Zyrowski May 09, 2023

If anyone has ever told you that you only live once, so you might as well have fun, you may want to take that advice with a grain of salt. As we get older, our unhealthy lifestyle decisions can take a toll. We know life happens, and no one is perfect all the time. In this article, we’ll give you some actionable steps you can take to improve the aging process and lower inflammation. Some of these may surprise you, so keep reading to learn how you can enjoy getting older without many of the problems your parents may have had.

Risks of inflammation

Your body was designed to use acute inflammation as an immune response to injuries and pathogens. When you get a cold, the inflammation is a signal that your immune system needs to fight. When the body is in a chronic proinflammatory state, it’s called inflammaging. The term refers to the risk for mortality and morbidity in older people. Chronic inflammation is also a risk factor for many age-related diseases like diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and cancer. (1)

The good news is that many age-related problems can be decreased significantly, if not removed, with lifestyle modifications. The research shows that compared to younger individuals, older people have consistently elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines. Problems are also seen in people who are overweight.

Inflammation and aging

Although acute inflammation enables repair and cell turnover in your tissues, chronic inflammation causes low-grade and persistent inflammation that leads to tissue degeneration. This inflammation is a contributing factor to many age-related issues, including your musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Tissues in elderly people are chronically inflamed.

Inflammation can be an accumulation of different lifestyle choices over time. When you combine that with the natural, consistent levels of inflammatory chemicals as you age, it can create the perfect storm to cause diseases and muscle atrophy. (2)

Dealing with inflammation as you age

Since older people can easily develop inflammaging, it’s crucial to make changes to decrease these problems. When you are in a chronic state of inflammation, it’s easy to become susceptible to frailty and premature death. (3) If you want to live a healthy, fulfilling life, there are some strategies you can implement that will drastically change the way you age.

Improve gut health

So many people either forget or don’t realize how important the gut microbiome is for overall health. Older people generally have decreased diversity of gut microbiota. That can weaken the barrier between the gut mucosa and bacteria that can invade the body.

To strengthen your gut health, you want to consume probiotic-rich foods that have the beneficial bacteria your microbiome needs. Consider eating foods like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut. You can also take a quality probiotic that includes active strains that will pass through your stomach to fortify the intestinal microbial environment.

Eat anti-inflammatory foods

Your diet is one of the most important aspects that will affect how you age. Food can be medicine or it can be poison. The choice is up to you to decide what you eat each day. If you make good choices with your diet, you’ll naturally have less inflammation in your body. You want to remove or at least reduce refined sugar. (4) Sugar is one of the leading causes of inflammation, so if you want to age faster, eat tons of sugar!

You want to eat more veggies and low-glycemic fruits, like blueberries. Also, omega-3 fatty acids are great for reducing inflammation. Some of the best sources are fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines. Don’t forget the spices that give lots of flavor to your meals. Turmeric, rosemary, and ginger are great for calming down inflammation.

Stabilize blood sugar

Your diet is also the best way to control your blood sugar. Excess blood sugar can react with collagen and lead to brown spots and premature wrinkling. (5) The excess blood sugar causes damage to all your body tissues and ages you faster.

Avoid processed carbs like bread and pasta. Learn to build your meals around protein, which is satiating and healthy for your body. You may also need additional help to support healthy insulin levels. You can use a low-carb diet in combination with an insulin-balancing supplement to obtain optimal results.

Exercise is your friend

Regular exercise decreases systemic inflammation and reduces fat mass in your body. When you’re inactive, it increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, pulmonary disease, certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and more. (6) Exercise has a protective effect on your body.

Incorporating movement into your daily routine will have an anti-inflammatory effect. Making time to exercise is extremely helpful in preventing inflammation. You can take a brisk, 30-minute walk or do weight training a few times a week to get the most benefit. You don’t have to join a gym. Get outside or buy some weights and exercise in your home.

Lose weight if needed

People who are overweight have more inflammation than others. If you need to lose a few pounds, take steps to live a healthier lifestyle, and you’ll begin to feel better as the inflammation disappears. Weight loss is crucial for reducing inflammation in your body. (7)

It can be hard these days due to so many demands. Many people eat in their cars or at their desks, after they grab something at a fast-food restaurant. These foods are filled with inflammatory oils and bad fats that you don’t want. Taking your lunch to work is a great way to prepare for the day and know what you’ll be eating ahead of time.

Reduce stress

You may not realize it, but chronic stress also plays a role in inflammation. Some people feel helpless to make changes that can manage stress because of their life factors. Although you can’t always change the situations that cause your stress, you can learn to manage your reactions and limit how much stress you have. (8)

Some protocols can be hugely beneficial for reducing stress. Some of these are meditation, yoga, counseling, and journaling.

Get more sleep

Not getting enough sleep also causes inflammation. If you find that you are chronically sleep-deprived, there is a good chance that you have inflammation in your body. Start a bedtime routine and stick to it. Consistent sleep that includes seven to eight hours each night is crucial for preventing diseases and inflammation. (9)


One of the least talked about reasons for inflammation is the exposure to different toxins. We come into contact with tons of toxins all the time. Regular household cleaning products and foods are loaded with chemicals and these substances enter our bodies and cause inflammation. Try to use natural products and eat whole foods that aren’t processed. A complete cellular detox can help because it improves your body’s natural ability to heal. A proper detox process will include support for your organs, cells, and brain. Purging all the unwanted toxins from your body will help to restore cellular health and decrease the inflammation.

Aging gracefully

Many people think they must buy the latest pills and potions to help them age without so many problems. The majority of these are marketing schemes created to make you spend money. The truth is we all age, and that’s inevitable, but you have more control over it than you may think. Since we know inflammation is involved in aging and can cause detrimental effects, we also know that reversing it will help us change those negative consequences.

There are ways to deal with inflammation as it relates to aging. By making your health a priority, you can feel good as you get older, and we want to help you in that process. Sustainable health only comes naturally. There is no magic prescription that makes you well. If you’re ready to learn more about holistic wellness, we have programs and resources to help you improve your overall well-being. Contact us today to learn more about our holistic methodologies.

References :,and%20mortality%20in%20the%20elderly.,preventing%20disease%20by%20reducing%20inflammation.,glycation%20end%20products%2C%20or%20AGE!,those%20with%20underlying%20medical%20conditions.%E2%80%9D

Dr. Nick Zyrowski
Dr. Nick Zyrowski